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North Korea - again
An editorial / By Dale McFeatters
Scripps Howard News Service


October 09, 2006

The simple fact of a possible nuclear test by North Korea is that there is little the U.S. or the U.N. can do to a regime that has limitless tolerance for the suffering of its own people.

And it is testament to North Korean's credibility that the major nations awaited independent confirmation that it was a nuclear device rather than take the regime's word for it.

Korean Nuclear Test

Korean Nuclear Test
By Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

President Bush said he had been in contact with the other four nations involved in negotiations with Pyongyang - China, Japan, Russia and South Korea - about seeking additional U.N. sanctions and had received a positive response.

Additional sanctions should be imposed, if only to make good on an often invoked threat, and there should be a coordinated and aggressive international effort to crack down on North Korea's principal sources of income - arms trafficking, drug smuggling and counterfeiting.

Other than that, there was little Bush could do except reaffirm our treaty commitments to defend Japan and South Korea and threaten reprisals if North Korea provides nuclear weapons or material to other nations and "non-state entities," meaning terrorist groups. We would consider that, said Bush, "a grave threat to the United States, and we would hold North Korea fully accountable of the consequences of such action."

North Korea will regard Bush's words as a self-fulfilling prophesy since its an article of faith with its leader, Kim Jong Il, that the United States will sooner or later attack.

But Bush surely had another audience in mind - China. While there's little the U.S. and U.N. can do, there a lot that China can do since Kim's regime basically exists at Beijing's sufferance. North Korea is dependent on China for food and fuel and a closed-door policy on refugees that helps keep the regime in power.

The North Korean test was a slap in the face to China, which strongly opposed the test in advance and strongly condemned it afterward. China's stern words were good; action would be even better.


Contact Dale McFeatters at McFeattersD(at)
Distributed to subscribers for publication by
Scripps Howard News Service,

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