Well, somewhat to my chagrin I have to use the phrase “Biden was right” again. With North Korea launching a missle that traveled 1900 miles before it crashed into the Pacific, Biden’s prediction of an international crisis early in the Obama administration is coming true again, and this time I doubt if doing nothing will probably work either short term or long term.
Why the North Korean government did this is difficult to ascertain since it is probable that the “Dear Leader” of North Korea is certifiable. Perhaps to extort more Danegeld from the West, a profitable activity for North Korea since the Clinton administration.
It is quite possible this test is also part of North Korea’s long term relationship with Iran. It has long been suspected that North Korea is in the process of selling nuclear weapon technology to Iran. The hard currency they could obtain as a result might well be very tempting to the cash starved regime in Pyongyang. We know that North Korea has been helping Iran with its nuclear program. Iranian technicians were in North Korea prior to the launch of the missle, to help with the launch. Iran has defended the North Korean launch as being part of a program to launch a communication’s satellite into space. Why a nation with a starving population would divert resources to a futile attempt to launch a communications satellite was not addressed. Commentators dealing with this frame of reality of course realize this is part of an attempt by North Korea, along with Iran, to develop an inter-continental ballistic missle capability.
As usual, the United Nations, in spite of a call from Japan for an emergency meeting of the Security Council, did what it does best: nothing. Whether the Obama administration will follow the lead of the UN remains to be seen. If nothing is done, eventually I expect the Japanese to arm themselves with nuclear weapons, their constitution be hanged. The Japanese take any potential threat to the Home Islands very seriously and they have long suspected that the US is unwilling to take effective steps against North Korea. A nuclear Japan confronting a nuclear North Korea with a nuclear China nervously watching from the sidelines could be a very dangerous situation. Sometimes inaction is the best policy option. In regard to North Korea that seems not to be the case.