Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me…
So it’s happened. The event our administration has hoped to head off, to discourage and deter, happened anyways. Asian security policy ought now be chronicled with “before test” and “after test.” For how can Japan and Australia now maintain non-nuclear military postures? What do the South Koreans do? It would be stupid of North Korea to strike South Korea with a nuclear weapon, and sure, the weapon’s design is to deter the United States (it’s as much a gesture and communication as it is a weapon); but the South Koreans can’t ignore it. And the border between those two lands is a hot one.
What a disaster. World responses show just how few options the world has now. Rogue actors — and Kim here is like a rogue actor with a nation state (he’s more nuts than Osama folks) — leave us with no options. Kim clearly wants recognition that the rest of the world has said it will not give (no negotiation with the axis of evil). And he’s succeeding in getting it with the methods he’s chosen: nuclear weapons.
I have no idea what happens next. We’re outside the rules of the game now. North Korea: 1 ; World: 0
Unacceptable — US
Completely Irresponsible — UK
Provocative — US
Fraught with danger — Russia
Destabilising — India