14 October 2006

The North Korean Nuclear Test

The US is preparing a list of additional sanctions in response to North Korea's preparation for a nuclear test. A provision in the sanctions provides for search and seizure of North Korean sea shipments which escalates the intensity of the present situation to a new level.

North Korea has never tested its proported nuclear capabilities and until recently, plans for such tests have never been revealed by the Pyongyang government. The latest announcement of a planned test should concern the world community as it increases the stakes of the East Asian situation. North Korea has a history of ratcheting up their posturing when faced with diplomatic challenges.

Shinzo Abe, the new Japanese prime minister has throughout his career favored a stronger stance against North Korean hostilities. His recent installation in Japan's top job might be a significant impetus that could prompt North Korea to expand their blackmailing strategy.
A nuclear test would be a significant development in the East Asian situation.


Proposed US countermeasures, including the maritime provisions could push North Korea away from posturing and closer to actual hostilities. The critical element in this standoff will be Russia and China. If Russia and China side with the US and the United Nations, then North Korea might be economically influenced enough to either eliminate their nuclear program or perhaps respark the Korean War.

2 comments:

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