07 July 2006

North Korea's Missile Tests

ST July 7, 2006
N. Korea warns it will conduct more missile tests
Regime threatens retaliation as key UN members discuss sanctions

SEOUL - A DEFIANT North Korea acknowledged for the first time yesterday that it had launched several missiles, vowed to carry out more tests and threatened to use force if the international community tried to stop it.

The Bush administration dismissed the threats and made a stern call to get the secretive regime to 'cease and desist' such actions.

China, grappling with pressure from Washington over North Korea's tests, said its top negotiator on the North Korean nuclear crisis would visit Pyongyang next week.

While China and Russia oppose sanctions, the United States and Japan have closed ranks in the face of a UN Security Council split on the issue.

'The Korean People's Army will go on with missile launch exercises as part of its efforts to bolster deterrent for self-defence in the future, too,' North Korea's KCNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.

'The DPRK will have no option but to take stronger physical actions of other forms, should any other country dare take issue with the exercises and put pressure upon it.' DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The North launched seven missiles on Wednesday, one of which was a failed test of a long-range Taepodong-2.

You'd think that the recent events in North Korea would scare lots of people, but financial markets are actually looking pretty steady. A quick snapshot of financial markets around the world yesterday/today:

7Jul06


... green means that a particular market is up; red means that the particular market is down; and black means that the market hadn't opened yet when Mr Wang looked into the Yahoo! finance pages.

As you can see most markets finished green yesterday or started off on a green note this morning. Stock market indices are like the collective pulse of investors worldwide (institutions, corporates and the man in the street) and basically the pulse yesterday and today is not really reflecting much anxiety over North Korea.

Maybe that's what happens when you close yourself off from the rest of the world for too long. Everyone moves on eventually and forgets about you. You have to fire off half a dozen missiles in order to get some attention ... and even that may not work.

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2 comments:

Lee Kuan Yew said...

Long live Kim Jong Il.

Anonymous said...

There is no oil in NKorea. While NK does supply missile tech to unfriendly arab countries, they do not promote direct terrorist action against the US.

The NK govt is centralised, unlike the loosely organized Al Qaeda. The US can target and kill them very easily. The NK govt has a lot to lose, and it won't go too far.

Unless there are very good reasons for the US to hit NK, I don't see it happening, anymore than than US getting itself involved in Darfur, as there is nothing much for the US to gain from this.

The US is in Iraq to ensure that the oil doesn't fall into jihadist hands, and to set up a democracy and warbase right in the heart of jihadism. Their idea is that jiahadism will be largely defeated when all arab countries no longer support or are breeding grounds for jihadism. This will happen when most turn to democracy and have more respect for women's and human rights and freedoms. In other words, they become modern societies.

Apart from these long term objectives, it also peripherally strengthens the US currency as the world's reserve currency, as previously Iraq asked for euros(demand for US currency is its strength, esp since OPEC asks to be paid in US dollars)
To do this, the US military has to defeat with deadly force all those who hope to disrupt this process of democracy/nation-building.

The disruption is by terrorist bombings and the encouragement of internecine strife, because such destabilisation will obviously prevent a peaceful democracy arising. You can't have a peaceful and prosperous society if you have war and hatred all the time.

Basically, going into iraq strengths the US position in the world in many ways, military action in NK does not, just like Clinton's silly actions in Bosnia and Somalia.

Don't sweat NK......if they really want to attack anyone, they wouldn't be making so much noise, it's just advertising for their missile sales to arabs.

flosduellatorum

PS--did you see that "Mr Brown" kenah hantum by gahment? I don't follow local politics much....but as they say, find out where all the flowers are(by appealing to their vanity, give em recognition, invite em to conference,etc) so you can cut em down easy if need to. Light touch....light touch....

When Brown was complimented on his ter kah sketch, does anyone think it was done with unreserved appreciation of his comic talent?

This time not funny, arrhhhh?