Archive for the ‘North Korea’ Category

North Korea’s failed missile test sparks worldwide condemnation

April 5, 2009

Against the resolutions of the United Nations (UN,) the North Korean government went ahead of the launching of a missile test that fizzled out in the Pacific Ocean. According to Pyongyang, the missile was supposed to be a satellite, but the outside world believed it was an experiment of a weapon technology that can threaten US territories like Alaska and Hawaii.

The United States Command which observed the launch from the Pacific said the “satellite” was a failure, but the rogue government of Kim Jong II was celebratory—insisting that the launch went well.

“Given the volatility in the region, as well as a stalemate in interaction among the concerned parties, such a launch is not conducive to efforts to promote dialogue, regional peace and stability,”— Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General Ban. (04/05/09, Foster, P)

The criticism and disappointment of Ban with North Korea is shared by US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who asserted North Korea’s action was “completely unacceptable.” Gordon said Pyongyang’s communist regime, a threat to world peace and security, must stop the testing and proliferation of nuclear weapons. Japan’s ambassador to the U.N., Yukio Takasu condemned the launch “a clear crime” versus U.N. Security Council demands that posed a grave threat to Japan.

The rocket launch was a violation of international agreements. The United Nations in New York went for an emergency meeting to thresh out ways (other than condemnation) to respond to the provocative action. However, it is doubtful if the world’s body of nations has the effective teeth to discipline a dangerous nation like North Korea. Since December last year, diplomatic talks on nuclear control with North Korea, Japan, China, South Korea, Russia and the US (Six Party talks) have been not pushed through. (Photo Credit: Eric Lafforgue x 2 )=0=


Richard Lugar Praises Obama on Foreign Policy

October 15, 2008

Republican Indiana Sen. Richard G. Lugar and a prominent member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said in his speech at the National Defense University that there are benefits to talking with enemies of the US, as against use of military force.

Generally, Lugar praised Barack Obama who John McCain called “naive” for saying that as US President he would talk with the likes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Isolation does not resolve contentious issues, Lugar added in agreement with Obama’s line. In campaign speeches in a presidential debate, Obama repeatedly says that, while he does not take military option off the table, not talking to an enemy regime as a form of punishment does not make sense. Lugar rebuked McCaine by saying that exclusive use of isolation or military force in dealing with enemies of America may not be desirable. “In some cases, refusing to talk can even be dangerous.”

McCain recently took a flack when he turned cold shoulder on the prospect of meeting the Prime Minister of Spain. Spain’s sin: it pulled out its troops from Iraq when the US-initiated invasion started to get messy and unpopular. Since that time, President Bush has snubbed Spain’s leaders, a cue apparently not lost to Senator McCain.

Noting recent diplomatic success in dealing with North Korea, Lugar suggested further diplomatic engagement with Syria and Iran. He suggested though that McCain may be right when the Republican nominee warned that “there are times when diplomatic approaches to rogue regimes have little efficacy.”

In July, one Obama campaign ad mentioned Lugar by name and Lugar says he is “pleased” to have worked with the Democratic nominee on nuclear proliferation issues.

We here in the Philippines remember then Congressman Richard Lugar as the head of a US conressional committee who attempted and failed to broker a deal betwen President Ferdinand Marcos and Cory Aquino as the Marcos regime started to crumble in the aftermath of Ninoy Aquino assassination. At that time, Marcos was a SOB but “he is our SOB.” Incidentally, Obama promises not to have none of these SOBs.

Iran’s Ahmadinejad & the Impotence of the United Nations

September 24, 2008

Side by side with the financial crisis rocking America, the threat of terrorism showed its ugly head when Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, made a controversial speech in the United Nations (UN) in New York City today September 23, 2008, highlighting the impotence and hypocrisy of current world politics. His allusion to a pessimistic outlook of America is as though the United States is alone in its march towards a rough ride into the future.

Faced with a global economy, exploding population, dwindling resources, differing value judgments and relativist view of truth, America shares its problems with everybody. This is what is happening in the current economic crisis. The financial flu sweeping the United States is threatening to be a world pandemic of economic and political woes whose end result for the world is scary to imagine.

Wishing bad things to happen for America isn’t good to the peace and stability of its global neighbors. Just as the full-blown effects of the present US economic downturn are starting to be felt, the world waits on the edge; nobody knows how it will end. But even without this, Iran has been suffering under the current Islamic regime of Ahmadinejad. Outside the UN headquarters, he is met by protests and jeers by those who disagree with him.

The United Nations (UN) has been inutile in convincing Iran to stop its nuclear program. Effective in fighting certain world problems, UN is “forced” to give air time to Ahmadinejad whose horrific support for terrorism and promotion to destroy Israel sends goose bumps to decent people worldide. Most observers doubt Ahmadinejad’s hyperbolic rhetorics and many don’t believe his vitriol and clever pretentions. With a sluggish UN, few nations however speak up and stand against his way.

For not suspending its uranium enrichment, three rounds of UN sanctions hasn’t deterred Iran from continuing its nuclear activities. It’s this type of UN sanctions that Sadam Hussein endured until after 16 unheeded resolutions which led to the Iraq war that was supported albeit lamely by the UN.

The possibililty of nuclear war is ever more real in the current stockpiles of weapons whose oversight is increasingly becoming more difficult. Serving as a political tool and a weapon of intimidation, the acquisition of nuclear arms by unstable countries like Iran, Pakistan and North Korea is a scary step towards the planet’s destruction. It encourages terrorists and extremists to work harder to destabilize the world and make the nuclear cloud closer to reality.

With rogue nations sitting side by side in UN in “cooperation” with those committed to make the world a peaceful place, the challenge of diplomacy is ever more complex and daunting. The world body cannot even agree on who are the terrorists. Having reckless leaders like Ahmadinejad who denies the holocaust, lacks accountability, threatens Israel, and wages proxy wars (Hezbollah and Iraq) could be the signs of what lies in the future. It’s at this late hour that world is learning. Sooner or later, it must wake up and confront the reality at hand. Photo Credits: Ben Heine; Nickolette22; MihaiRomanciuc)=0=

Enigmatic Kim Jong-il & the future of North Korea’s nuclear arms

September 10, 2008

The news is abuzz with speculations that Kim Jong-il, the strong communist leader of North Korea, one of the most secretive and reclusive communist regimes in the world with strong military power is incapacitated.

Short, pudgy, and known for his platform shoes and liking for Hollywood movies, the bouffant-haired strongman (believe to be 67 years old,) is suspected to be ill, possibly downed by a stroke sometime in the middle of last month. Since then he has not been visible in the government functions. Some theorize his death. Others believe he has been replaced by a double.

Amidst denial from the North Korean government, this brings a new uncertainty on the future of a repressive dictatorship in an impoverished nation which brings chills to the world for its possession of nuclear weapons. Jong-il’s alleged illness since August can stall the little gains of nuclear arms control brokered by the United States in the region. (Photo Credit: Nick Papniconstainou)=0=

On September 11, 2008, North and South Korean officials affirmed that Kim Jong-il had a stroke which required brain surgical intervention. It remains to be seen if full recovery is in the offing.=0=