pageok
pageok
pageok
Red Rockets Glare:

North Korea conducted several missile tests on July 4th. I wasn't able to comment at the time, but Daniel Drezner rounded up the various reactions here.

Leland (mail):
Smart move launching the missiles just after the Shuttle launch. DPRK will now play the moral relative card (the US launches stuff over other countries, we can too). The systems failed, but then how many inside the DPRK really know that? A few radars possibly tracked the systems through the entire flight plan, but just a few. I'm sure US telemetry data on the flights was better, and in some ways, that's bully for us. We now know there capability, and they are still wondering about ours.

However, as Daniel Drezner pointed out, we do need to act on our threats or face having our bluff called. I primarily want to laugh at the bully who failed to deliver a landing punch, but ridicule won't work in this scenario. A sharply worded retort from the UN Security Council will be also meaningless.

How many caught the sub-story to the July 5th launches? The DPRK is holding on to Chinese locomotives delivering humanitarian aid. Apparently, the DPRK considers the trains part of the aid, and the Chinese consider them just part of the mechanism for delivering aid. There's a lot more telling in that little story than DPRK's failed tests. How do you move troops long distances across land?
7.6.2006 5:04pm
Enoch:
Smart move launching the missiles just after the Shuttle launch. DPRK will now play the moral relative card (the US launches stuff over other countries, we can too).

The argument fails. The shuttle was not launched over another country, and is clearly distinguishable from a ballistic missile.
7.6.2006 9:05pm
Leland (mail):
enoch,

Ordinarily I would agree, but he's playing to a crowd in a closed society. For another example, I point to DPRK keeping the trains that China used to send North Korea humanitarian aid. Kim is arguing that the trains were part of the aid. If he would do that, do you not think he'd try the argument I suggest?

I agree, it won't play well with most rational people.
7.6.2006 9:44pm
The Mad Pigeon (www):
Since it's cheaper to pay off The Chonger off than go to war, he's always made money in the past through stunts such as this. Sanction resistance from Russia and China indicate, at least in my humble pigeon opinion, Kim's going to get away with this one as well.
7.6.2006 11:39pm