North Korea seeks respect on the cheap — and attention and cash — that it cannot win the old-fashioned way by the long, hard work of achieving a dynamic economy or an influential culture.
Over the last quarter-century, it has proved that feigned madness and the road to nuclear weapons (Pakistan is another good example) provide a shortcut to all three goals: It is now feared, in the news, and likely to receive another round of Western danegeld.
Setting off a bomb (as opposed to merely bragging that it soon will do so) seems to stave off a Western-style preemption of the sort that eventually liquidated Saddam Hussein and Moammar Qaddafi.
Unlike both Iraq and Libya, North Korea had two other indemnity policies that so far have ruled out Western preemption: 1) a nuclear neighboring patron like China, and 2) a nihilistic conventional artillery and missile arsenal aimed at a nearby rich Westernized South Korea. An outmoded, conventional, short-ranged asset would be largely irrelevant in most military landscapes, but it is not when based just 35 miles from Seoul (which exchanged hands five times from the beginning to end of the Korean War). Consequently, the unpredictability of Beijing and the possibility of an attack within hours on Seoul — which would end up like Dresden in 1945 — enhanced North Korea’s small nuclear arsenal.
What then is North Korea’s ultimate objective?
feel like i’ve been reading similar articles and posts for the past 8-10 years or so now… i mean, it’s a good article, and yet another good reminder of what’s going on with North Korea — especially since we do tend to forget, and things / news certainly do move pretty fast on the interwebs.
i’m sure i’m not the only one who secretly wishes china had some vested interest and would step in, and bitch slap NK around until they got their collective shit together.
oh, and i’m sure nobody is happy with “likely to receive another round of Western danegeld” — i think i’d be surprised if Trump was okay with and signed off on something like that… but then again, this is Trump we’re talking about, so who really knows.