North Korea, What Next?

Well, it seems that the crisis in North Korea is getting ever closer to a declaration of war.
North Korea keeps saber rattling and flexing its muscles while Seoul has joined more than 90 nations that have agreed to stop and inspect vessels suspected of transporting banned weapons.
One would think that in the face of such odds that North Korea would back down but they won’t. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il, is now in a position where he must save face in the eye’s of his people and possibly go for broke. What is also playing out right now is a leadership transition in the North in which the stroke-afflicted leader Kim Jong-il is gradually being succeeded by a select group of hard-line loyalists and members of the Kim family.
What really seemed to piss off the North Koreans was South Korea’s decision to join the Proliferation Security Initiative. Following North Korea’s nuclear test on Monday, Seoul announced it was joining the ad hoc alliance. Pyongyang promptly threatened to attack the South if it were to search North Korean vessels under the program.

Well, it seems that the line has been drawn in the sand! What now? Where do the other nations stand? What of China, Russia, Japan, all of which would share consequences? Well right off it is a known fact that China is not part of the 95-nation grouping. “China’s lack of participation is noticeable because a lot of North Korean proliferation activities are going through China, either wittingly or unwittingly,” said Bruce Klingner, a Korea expert at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

One concern that both China and South Korea are worried about are moves that might push the belligerent state into collapse, which could lead to chaos on their borders and a bill estimated at more than $1 trillion for the South to absorb the North in the event of re-unification.
Russia has no interest in an isolated, pariah North Korea. Last year, Putin played a constructive role in encouraging Kim Jong-Il to mend relations with Japan, resulting in North Korea’s admission that it kidnapped Japanese citizens, many of whom since died in captivity.

Everyone knows the consequences for Japan especially after the recent missile tests conducted by North Korea!
Well, no doubt this coming week will prove to be crucial among the decision makers of the world. Let us all hope the right decisions are made and that we are not plunged into another nuclear confrontation or world war.

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