Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Cracks In The NoKo Deal

There are a couple cracks already visible in the sanctions the UN passed yesterday against "Li'l Kim" Jong-Il:
  • China is said to have "strong reservations" about an all-important element of the sanctions -- the right to search ships going to and fro to NoKo
  • SoKo says it will not stop two enconomic develeopment projects in NoKo -- an industrial park and a resort -- which provide NoKo with bucks
While not exactly a crack, Japan's obvious need to re-visit its pacifistic constitution will drive Asia into a frenzy, which could lead to appeasement strategies toward Li'l Kim. Japan must consider how pacifistic it wants to be first, because there's a growing part of the Japanese leadership that wants nukes as a deterrent. That's a debate that will likely cause rioting in Japan , and elsewhere, particulary China. But there's also the fact that it's questionable whether the consititution would even allow the Japanese navy to search NoKo ships.

Concerns about an increasingly militarized Japan is one reason for China's warning about ship-searches. Distrust and hatred of Japan in East Asia is still alive 60 years after the end of WWII, and the NoKo crisis is bringing it to the forefront again, as Japan searches for a way to deal with Li'l Kim.

Then there's China's twin fears: A collapsed NoKo and millions of starving near-slaves pouring over the border into China, and a Japan-NoKo or US-NoKo confrontation that will force it to take a position in a situation it wants no part of.

What this all boils down to is pretty clear: There's less chance of success than there is of failure with the sanctions approach to NoKo. Well and good; let sanctions fail, then move on.

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