Friday, November 14, 2008

North Korea still dangerous and unpredictable

The current US leadership -- to the extent the term "leadership" applies anymore --- has overestimated the difficulty of finding a way to get along with Iran, taken actions that have been extremely counterproductive to building a relationship with Iran, and generally failed to seize the initiative with Iran when they had it. I suspect the difficulties the US is having with Iran today are not nearly as intractable as the US leaders have made them out to be. There are simply too many points where the interests of the US and Iran actually coincide.

North Korea is another matter altogether.

If there is a country the US leaders should be losing sleep over it is North Korea. Friday the commander of U.S. military forces stationed in South Korea spoke out about the dangers posed at this juncture; a time when the health of North Korea's leader is declining and the country faces a possible transition to military rule. It is something I alerted readers to a few weeks ago.

Hong Gwan-hui, a North Korea expert at the Seoul-based Security Strategy Institute, told UPI:
North Korea may stage a military provocation against the South if Seoul's conservative government does not comply with its demands.
Now is not the time to misread North Korea. The stakes and the risks are sufficiently high today that North Korea will need to be handled with extreme care in the coming months. For the sake of the South Koreans, Japanese, and also the North Korean people, let us hope competent people in Washington are paying close attention to the situation in the Korean Peninsula -- as the US goes through a transition of its own.

1 comment:

  1. All of this is of course made much easier by a possible power struggle, if Kim is indeed incapacitated as per the rumors.

    Despite his efforts, I wonder if Obama is going to find himself as another President of two wars.


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