Thursday, July 06, 2006

North Korea set to launch more missiles


North Korea has three or four more missiles on launch pads, and the South Korean defense minister warned that further tests were possible, South Korean media reported Thursday.

The seven missiles tested yesterday "apparently fell into the sea without causing damage or injuries". Nonetheless, the situation remains tense. So tense -- and so worrisome -- that, as usual, there seems to be no agreement at the U.N.:

Japan, with support from key allies the United States and Britain, called for sanctions against North Korea Wednesday in response to its barrage of missile launches but immediately ran into opposition from China and Russia.

True, North Korea could view sanctions as "a declaration of war," and "a U.N. demand for such measures [could] only make the current situation worse and delay a return to six-party talks," as Russia and China suggest, but at what point do we say enough is enough? This isn't about North Korea's "sovereignty," after all, nor even about weapons testing. This is about North Korea's determined escalation to war. A game of chicken, perhaps, an attempt to force the U.S. to the bargaining table, but still the prelude to war. Nuclear war, to be more specific. The tests themselves are an act of aggression. If you were South Korea or Japan, how would you respond? If North Korea really does have the capacity to launch a long-range missile at the U.S., what should Washington do?

No, bombing North Korea may not be the best option at present, but at some point something drastic may have to be done about this very real threat.

And I'm not talking about more talks.

(For more, see Creature's reaction to Bush's reaction to North Korea's missile tests here.)

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