Ah, you can trust Fox News to delve into an issue, and make a complete mockery out of it. You can trust it for asking questions to which it does not want to hear answers- because the questions are just statements of fact disguised with a '?' at the end. No, no, I'm not talking of the Clinton-Wallace interview [which was great TV by the way, see it on youtube if you haven't] but of the latest headline I saw from Fox---- WILL THE NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR THREATS HELP THE REPUBLICANS IN NOVEMBER?
I hope I don't need to explain my problem here.
Alright, to the meat of the matter. I know what America is going to do under Bush, I'm pretty sure screwing everything up is part of the plan. But more importantly, what does this mean? What is China and Japan's role and reaction in the matter- being neighbours- and what is India's position?
Mr Blair has been nice enough to point out there are no parallels between the N-tests in North Korea and India. Manmohan Singh that this test increased the "danger of clandestine proliferation" which actually brings me back to my old friend, Mr Ahmadinejab of Iran. Remember him? Iran and North Korea have been keeping an eye on eachother, and the reaction of the international community with regards to this latest development will have major repurcussions for world affairs. B. Raman has rightly pointed out that Iran will look for a mild protest in hope and Israel with concern. He writes (and I quote): North Korea's nuclear test has proved the limits of the much-vaunted Chinese and Russian influence on Pyongyang. It has also shown the incapability of Japan and South Korea to act decisively. Condemnations such as "brazen defiance", "unacceptable" etc are not going to have any impact on Pyongyang. Nor will economic sanctions alone.
Yes, well lets talk about that. Kim Jong II only warned Beijing 20 minutes before the test. Now considering this is a nuclear bomb that will effectively change the landscape, water, air of the entire area, that was rather polite of him. But, on a more serious note, it does show that North Korea and China have a fairly stable relationship. In 2005 their trade deal worth $1.5 billion made China its biggest trading partner. China was active in the arranging the six-party talks with North Korea and even extended an invitation to Kim Jong to see China- perhaps to show him he could develop along the same lines too. But now, what should China do? In the world, which sometimes I think of as a massive high school, America is clearly the alpha male, but China has maintained its position by non-interference in others affairs; it did not even condemn the missile tests that North Korea had last summer, but now it needs to think of its reaction viz-a-viz Japan's reaction. Not only that, but economic sanctions against North Korea could lead to an influx of starved refugees who would cross over to China. Will this move force Japan to militarilize? As a deterrant againt Kim Jong, would Japan want to build its own bomb?
And Israel must be getting worried. Iran is predictably estatic with this development, faulting western (read: American) actions that have forced countries to develop their own bombs. I bet Ahmadinejad will make this all about him. The nerve!
Now, the way I see it is this: the bomb represents many dilemmas all around the world. I can't pretend to know what Kim is thinking: the most I've seen of him is his solo in Team America where he was ronwery (lonely). But I do like how Fox News has gone straight for glory. And the question is almost rhetorical. They've found their next scare tactic. As for me, the cocktail I'm sipping is a curious mix of worry and confusion. Oh give it time. Come november, I'll be swigging straight from the new alcoholic beverage from Fox, called Little Kim, Big Bomb.
Lets hope, for ONCE, a debate can be around the real issue, and not wasted time in a drunken haze. Only time will tell.