Saturday, August 26, 2006

Missiles and Nukes?!!! How About This...?

Image taken from the Stratfor website.

According to Japan 'denies N. Koreans entry' six North Koreans on their way to a conference in Kyoto, Japan were denied entry.
TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- Japan denied entry permits to six North Koreans seeking to attend a religion conclave under tightened visa restrictions in the wake of Pyongyang's missile tests last month, a news report said Friday.

The Justice Ministry refused permission for six North Koreans representing Christian and Buddhist organizations to enter Japan in order to attend a conference that begins Saturday in the western Japan city of Kyoto, public broadcaster NHK said.

They were denied entry on the grounds that "they appeared to be linked to North Korean government authorities," the Justice Ministry said according to NHK. ...
What do I think, you ask?

I think sanctioning and punishing North Korea in every way possible for their actions is allowable. You can't fire off missiles, promise not to produce nukes then turn around and give the world the finger by declaring you're a nuclear power, sell weapons and weapons technology to "rogue states" yet think that everyone else wants to host your citizens in their countries. Humanitarian aid, North Korean refugees and human rights aside, I say screw the North Korean who gets the privilege to travel.

All North Koreans who get that coveted privilege, I'm pretty sure, from the privileged class anyway. The privileged class are the exact class of people who need to feel the hit and the fury of the international public. They need to feel the negative consequences. They're the people refusing to admit the Juche way is a load of crap and simply admit that the system doesn't work. Almost every communist nation is gone with the exception of North Korea and Cuba.* Socialism can work, but communism has consistently fallen flat. Your North Korean farmer has no power, but the North Korean elite do.

How much? Well, no one knows.

Granted, I realize the same applies to the US, so I've been packing light during these last five or so years due to the inane policies of the Bush administration, but that's another post of another time (or just go back and look at some of my older posts).

It seems that the brass in Seoul have finally realized that two-stepping with Pyongyang always leaves you screwed. In Do not back North Korea into corner, Seoul says
Regional powers should not try to back North Korea into a corner over its missile tests and nuclear weapons programme but should stand firm when Pyongyang behaves badly, South Korea's foreign minister said on Friday.

I'm still not sure exactly how that statement will pan out in reality. In order to "stand firm" sometimes you have to back your opponent into a corner. However, it's true that the guy with nothing to loose might just surprise you and not capitulate but go out in a blaze of glory. Since I live in Seoul with around 20 million other people, I'd prefer no blazes of glory from the North anytime soon.

However, the powers that be could try to get creative and find a new middle ground. Not sure what I mean by that? Go back and find some diplomatic history and read up on how a some visionaries got out of nasty fixes before. John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile crisis is one and another is Jimmy Carter shifted the conflict between Israel and Egypt over the occupation of the Sinai and miraculously helped to engineer the Camp David Accords which still hold to this day.

I truly think we have no visionary diplomats and politicians out there who are close enough to power to wield some influence. However, I also think we're bogged down with people who've studied nothing since the Cold War.

It's time to say "enough is enough".

*Okay, technically, Cuba claims it's socialist, but if you can't take your family out for a vacation to the Bahamas, I'm sorry, it strikes way too much of the former USSR for me to agree it's socialist. I think of the Nordic countries when I think of effective and efficient socialism.

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