In terms of world troublemakers, North Korea is the recalcitrant little kid on the block who tweaks his nose at the cops and gets away with it.
The tiny impoverished nation announced Monday it successfully conducted an underground nuclear test. South Korea said it also may have fired three ground to air missiles into the Sea of Japan.
A special meeting of the United Nations Security Council was called. Big frigging deal. UN sanctions have done nothing to thwart North Korea from its nuclear testing program.
A report in Monday's New York Times offers a roundup of condemnation from world leaders:
President Obama said in a statement : “North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community. Such provocations will only serve to deepen North Korea’s isolation. It will not find international acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.”
China's Foreign Ministry said it was “resolutely opposed” to the test.
Russia said the test would “endanger security and stability in the region,” according to the Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement.
Argues North Korea's official news agency KCNA: “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of the measures to bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defense in every way as requested by its scientists and technicians." The test was safely conducted “on a new higher level in terms of its explosive power and technology of its control,” the agency said. “The results of the test helped satisfactorily settle the scientific and technological problems arising in further increasing the power of nuclear weapons and steadily developing nuclear technology.”
It will take several weeks to determine the success and strength of the test, according to military and diplomatic analysts.
So, the hand wringing continues on what to do with the piss ant leaders who bully their neighbors and doom all but a few elite to abject poverty.
If its bargaining chips they're after, there are two American journalists scheduled for trial June 4 charged with illegal entry and hostile acts. No offense, but those are small potatoes compared to a nation hellbent on bringing nuclear destruction in the Far East or selling their weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.
Besides, with the help of China, the Bush administration in 2007 promised fuel to North Korea if they stopped their nuclear production. The communist government reneged and kicked out the verification inspectors.
The Obama administration last week dispatched Stephen W. Bosworth, the American special envoy on North Korea, to Asia with a fresh offer of dialogue. Hours before he arrived in Seoul, North Korea's Foreign Ministry announced “There is nothing to be gained by sitting down together with a party that continues to view us with hostility."
How long this waiting game lasts is undetermined. One suggestion is to wait until North Korea's scotch-drinking, porn-watching chairman Kim Jong-il dies and hope for a more enlightened leadership.
U.S. neocons would love a pre-emptive strike to take out the nuclear plants but all that would do is grant North Korea the excuse to attack South Korea with 25,000 U.S. soldiers on the front line.
These little brats can be a thorn in the side of the Obama administration that could get bloody.