Kim Jong-il Quakes In His Boots

It’s at times like these that politicians are truly at their most amusing. Internationally, they love to squabble among themselves, hold heated debates within the safety of the United Nations, and appear to us lowly masses as important and all-powerful beings.

Suddenly, along comes a scruffy, half-beat, little nation like North Korea. It sticks its index finger skywards – roughly in the direction of Washington DC – and politicians everywhere huff and puff like old foxes attempting to blow Kim Jong-il’s house down.

The whole world knows they’re wasting their time.

Since North Korea tested another nuclear device this week, the corridors of the UN have been buzzing with little men (and a few little women) all scurrying about like frightened rabbits seeking the shelter of their burrows and not being able to find the right hole.

They’d like us to believe they’re in control. They’d have us think Kim Jong-il’s shaking in his boots at the prospect of imminent punishment, for daring to play with the oversized chemistry set his western masters had barred him ever from touching again.

The truth, as always with politicians, is somewhat different.

North Korea is pretty much impregnable. Any land invasion would result in huge western casualties, inflicted by the communist state’s million strong military ready and willing to commit mass suicide for ‘Dear Leader’. Aerial assault is unacceptable, even to the United States, due to the massive civilian casualties that would result.

So the politicians huff and puff, pretend they’re all-powerful, and hope Kim Jong-il will conveniently die before the world realizes just how efficiently he’s making them look utterly stupid.

Susan Rice, America’s Ambassador to the United Nation, told CBS that North Korea will “pay a price for their action.”

[These were ]……clearly provocative and destabilizing actions which threaten international peace and security. North Korea needs to understand that its actions have consequences. The pressure will increase on North Korea, economically and otherwise, and North Korea will realize that its actions have only left it further isolated and further debilitated.”[1]

In response, to demonstrate how scared he was, Kim Jong-il fired two short-range missiles.

Up yours, Ambassador Rice.

The long-term problem doesn’t rest with North Korea, but with the West in general, and the US in particular. While Congress and the American media constantly blame Pyongyang for the failure of diplomatic talks, America’s high-handed, arrogant, attitude towards North Korea is undoubtedly a major part of the problem.

Kim Jong-il is a little guy with a big ego and he doesn’t like being pushed around and made to feel second-rate. It may be fine for the US to treat European politicians that way, after all, they rely on the US for their defense umbrella, but Pyongyang expects a level playing field in talks with the rest of the world, but doesn’t get it.

Until it does, international politicians will continue to have days where they rush around the UN pretending to look very fierce, while desperately seeking out a suitable rabbit hole.

[1] “North Korea ‘will pay’ over tests” BBC, May 26th, 2009

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6 Replies to “Kim Jong-il Quakes In His Boots”

  1. R J A, What gets me most is the hypocrisy of the whole thing. Why is it OK for some countries to have Nuclear Weapons and not others. If you ask me, ALL nuclear weapons should be banned and abolished! But countries like the US, UK, France or Israel would never agree to something like this. Why? Because they are the “good guys”…. it makes me laugh! There are no good or bad with any nation holding the N. W. in their hands…..

    We are living in an increasingly dangerous world. It takes one crazy nation to push to button, the rest of the world will follow as a retaliation or in the name of defense …. poooffff


  2. Nevin – this is exactly what I mean by “America’s high-handed, arrogant, attitude towards North Korea”, and of course it applies equally to Iran:

    “We’ve got the best toy, you can’t have it.”

    Always, the West is negotiating from its position of strength, treating the other guy like he’s a second class citizen. Is it any wonder Kim and Ahmadinajad get upset and start making threats?

    American arrogance is renowned throughout the world. We saw it raise its ugly head in Iraq, in Afghanistan, where the US cares not one jot when it slaughters innocent women and children, yet wails like a baby when US servicemen are killed.

    America is at the heart of these world problems. It’s support of Israeli aggression against the Palestinians is legendary, turning much of the Arab world against the West.

    If we are ever to have peace on this planet it’s the United States that first has to change, and sadly there’s precious little sign of it under Barack Obama.

  3. Quote from this morning’s BBC News:
    “The United Nations Security Council is working on a strong condemnation of what it says is North Korea’s contravention of its rules.”
    Ummmm… And that will help how?

    The problem with Susan Rice’s position
    “The pressure will increase on North Korea, economically and otherwise, and North Korea will realize that its actions have only left it further isolated and further debilitated.”
    is that these sort of sanctions only work if the country in question cares. N Korea, as in Iraq and Iran, will just see these sanctions as proof that the rest of the world is against them, and therefore emphasising the need to make sure that they are as well armed and ready to respond to any threat when (or before) it occurs. The better response would be to treat North Korea as a grown up nation in its own right, with all the respect that that entails.

  4. Jo – I can add little to your comment. In particular, your closing sentence sums up the situation perfectly.

    America reminds me of the nun, Maria, from the Sound of Music, who self-righteously preached to the von Trapp children (European nations) on how to follow her good example, all the while harboring carnal lusts for their father.

    Double standards rule, okay?

  5. I heard kim jong il likes to Milk his dogs till midnight and then sleeps on a bed of rose pedals.

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