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This post was edited by abramicus at 2012-12-3 08:59|
At a certain level, the North Korean rocket launches reminds one of the era of MAD where countries have to threaten each other with total destruction in order to get the other side to avoid using their ICBMs. Having more one such country only adds to the aggregate risk of an actual launch by any one. With the North Koreans being known to be quite emotionally unstable, there is reason for worry.
But, North Korea already has a plateful of threats to swallow too, one of which has always been its total destruction by the Allies if it made even a single attempt to launch an ICBM on any of its enemies. It seems that Mutually Assured Destruction, or even Unilaterally Assured Destruction, has no effect on the North Korean mindset. So, what makes North Korea tick?
Even China has run out of explanations.
Nobody seems to understand North Korea any more. And yet, they are human beings like everyone else, with needs, with wants, with fears, and with anger. Maybe, it is the anger factor that the world is neglecting. They are angry at the number of casualties they sustained in the last Korean War. They are angry that their trade is reduced to a trickle. They are angry that their climate is so harsh that they periodically experience famine. They are angry that South Korea is so prosperous while they are so poor, when before the separation of the two, North Korea was the industrial center of the country.
Maybe, the answer is to pay the North Koreans to launch weather satellites, to sell electricity from their nuclear reactors, to produce auto parts for South Korean car manufacturers, in short to find a peaceful and profitable use for all the technology it wants to have, but can find only military use for. When North Korea sees that its rocket technology would lose business if it were turned into military use, or its nuclear reactors would have no buyers for electricity if used to make weapons, or its factories would have no buyers of their products if used only to make tanks with, then it would transition towards a more peaceful use of its industry, and cease to be a threat to its neighbors, who could not imagine what other use it may have for all its rocketry and nuclear capabilities, except to destroy them with. There is no doubt that the North Koreans have a high level of intelligence to be able to do all these antics with aplomb, if not with any actual success. Maybe, like a problem child who is bright but hard to manage, North Korea should be nurtured by China to channel its energy and intelligence into industries that produce things people need, rather than things nobody wants. This will have to be handled very carefully, to avoid the opposite from happening. It is a risk, but compared to this annual or biennial exercise of threat and counter-threat, it might be worth a try.