Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Kim Jong Il, missiles, nukes....yea I'm sleeping well at night!

The Japan Times reports that N. Korea fired a short range missile into the Sea of Japan Sunday. The Japanese Defense ministry also says its no big deal:

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda played down on Monday the seriousness of North Korea's reported launch of a short-range missile, telling reporters there was "nothing special" to say about the incident.

"It is apparently a fact that tests have been conducted from time to time. There is nothing special to speak of," he said.

According to the Japan Times, a missile was launched from North Korea's east coast shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday 1 May, 2005, and plunged into the Sea of Japan. There was no indication as to the reason for the missile firing and what type of missile it was.

However, Japanese officials do not appear to be worried. DPRK military folks, shooting off weaponry they have no business having, and are starving their people to get, under the dictatorial rule of a certified wacko named Kim Jong Il, should have no implications for Japanese security:

Defense Agency Director General Yoshinori Ono told reporters Sunday night in Manila that it would not pose a danger to Japan. "We have received information that a short-range missile was test-fired," Ono told reporters. "As long as it is short-range, it would not cause problems to Japan's security."

Yea right........

Any thing with N. Korea is a problem for Japan's security. Especially when the country already has long range missiles.

Map shows range of Taepodong 1 missile, flown over Japan in 1998. Range
1,500-2,000 km, payload: 1,000 kg

Now if you look closely at the map, Tokyo is right in the middle of the big blue circle. That's not good. Especially since N.Korea is thought to already have nukes. However Condi Rice tells me I do not have to worry:
Responding to reports that North Korea launched a short-range
missile into the Sea of Japan on Sunday, Rice said, "I don't think there should be any doubt about our ability to deter whatever the North Koreans are up to."
And, in reassuring South Korea, Japan and other allies in the Pacific area, Rice told reporters: "This is not just between the United States and North Korea."

That ought to make me sleep better. After all if Condi Rice says its ok, then it must be ok. There's always room for one more thing on the national security plate. And after all Kim Jong Il is such a rational guy, such that he would take her words at face value right? ( Start sweating here......). He'd never go off the deep end. After all this is the same man who just called the President of the United States a "Philistine" and a "hooligan." Hell, does Kim even know what a Philistine is?

Kim Jong Il is not exactly operating on all cylinders if you get my drift. As has been noted elsewhere:

Kim Jong-il's impatience and extemporaneous behavior contrasts markedly with Kim Il-sung's magnanimity and charisma. The elder Kim was mindful of advice from others, while Kim Jong-il is arrogant and self-centered in policy decision. In addition, the junior Kim does not take kindly to criticism or opinions
different from his own. Kim Jong-il's personality can be characterized by suspicion, and is extremely emotional in his expression of his likes and dislikes, which borders on double personality.

However, he can be trusted to be respectful of the words the US tells him.....

Here's what I don't understand. If China, really wanted a free hand to take back Taiwan, then why don't they offer up ol Kim on a silver platter. I mean it, pack him off to the looney bin, and let Korea reunify. For China it would not be anymore of a threat than they have now with him keeping the attention of thousands of troops on N. Korea. If Korea were to unify, the pressure would build to reduce US troop strength. Korea, which can't make up its mind if it likes or dislikes the US would probably demand less troops. Japan would have a hell of a hard time explaining 20,000 troops in Okinawa for a non existent Korean threat. Since China has already embraced capitalist economic policies, it could more than compete with a unified Korea on the economic front. However, over time, the US would be not so much of a central player in the region, because the main "threat" would have been eliminated. And so over time, China would be able to swallow up Taiwan, maybe with out firing a shot.

However, this type of long range planning is not typical of Communist Governments. So burden or not, they will continue to carry this nut case and his Stalinist regime, even if in the end it costs them more than it benefits them. Makes no real sense, but then when did anything that China does make sense?

Time for another beer....that's the only way I'm going to sleep well tonight!



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