North Korea makes another bid for attention


North Korea evidently has felt left out of world headlines of late.

So the repressive regime of this isolated nation has decided to remind the United States and South Korea, its two hated enemies, that it is still relevant. In the process, the family dictatorship has also reminded Americans, including President Barack Obama, that trouble thousands of miles away can upset global stability.

The North Korean government in Pyongyang threatened South Korea, and warned their rival to the south not to take part in any new sanctions against North Korea.

The threat carries some weight because, while no grave threat to the United States, North Korea has considerable weaponry fixed upon our top two allies in the Far East, South Korea and Japan.

A new Korean conflict could bring thousands of civilian fatalities. That’s a sobering prospect, but President Obama and other Western leaders must not give North Korea any concessions until they bargain in good faith.

What started this latest round of saber-rattling was the United Nations’ condemnation of the North’s ballistic rocket launch in December. But it’s the threat of new sanctions that has North Korea angry. The U.N. expanded existing sanctions, according to Reuters, but did not install new ones.

North Korea reacted harshly to the specter of new sanctions, saying it would conduct new nuclear tests. North Korea conducted such tests in 2006 and 2009. The dictatorial regime also said it would target and confront the United States.

Continuing the tantrum, the North Korean government threatened South Korea and warned their rival not to take part in any new sanctions.

The ongoing drama on the Korean peninsula is bad for world stability, and North Korea’s strongest ally, China, is beginning to understand this. China’s state media wants North Korea to get over its anger.

China and the United States have made great strides since normalizing relations in the 1970s. The two nations are the world’s most important economic superpowers. A conflict in the Koreas could throw the globe into chaos and recession. And it could cause hundreds of thousands of deaths.

North Korea must be guided to the negotiating table by the United Nations and especially by its ally, China. North Korea must stop experimenting with nuclear weapons and rockets, and focus instead on economic development, feeding its people and normalizing relations with South Korea, Japan and the United States.

A great deal depends on North Korea finally joining the community of civilized nations.

From the Kinston Free Press

 

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