North Korea Risks New Definition Of M. A. D.
As Maniac’s Assured Destruction
In its latest nuclear fundraiser, North Korea has risked incurring a new definition of MAD, the wonderfully comforting Cold War acronym for Mutual Assured Destruction, as the more timely Maniac’s Assured Destruction.
Why take such an apparently dumb risk? Pure financial desperation. Not to mention a sly undercurrent of cynicism about how likely the nuclear superpowers are to put up their nuke dukes.
The country’s retro Asian economy is in its usual desperate straits, and Kim Jong needs the donations to flow in to support his wine-lapping lifestyle, while his citizenry continues to lose weight and height. He is also well-versed in the ways of nuclear inaction and knows his hobbled nation is safe from an actual nuclear strike.
Question is, will he succeed in further loosening the locks on the vaults of the world’s superpowers by demonstrating that the country under his thrall can become even more of a menace?
On the surface, it looks as if the tactic bombed, because, even allowing for revisions due to the inevitable diplomatic duplicity, the entire UN Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions. As our ever-frustrated UN ambassador, John Bolton, suggested, the intent is to put Kim Jong IL on “a little diet.”
But notice the immediate reaction of North Korea. While its ambassador to the UN walked out, his move was simply a gauged effort at bravado. The tantrum-prone nation immediately began cooing and wooing. For instance, the next day it alerted Russia's nuclear envoy that it was ready for multilateral talks with the six nations most concerned about its misbehavior – and most likely to pledge remedial donations.
After his meeting with North Korean officials, the envoy said, "I was repeatedly told in Pyongyang that they are for the continuation of the process. They are for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."
Apparently, Kim Jong IL knows what every beggar finally learns. If you shout too loud at possible donors, you might have to back off and smile a bit to get them to open their wallets.
What do we have here but nuclear gamesmanship?
They say nuclear test, we say sanctions. They say negotiations, we say sure. They say no more tests, we say guess what? You just reached your fundraising goal.
Such is the way of the world run by committee and, while it seems a pitifully inept way conduct the nuclear defense of the globe, it is, overall, better than actualizing MAD in terms of its possible new definition.
Meanwhile, no doubt the madman of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the mighty mullahs who rule his every thought and action are observing the implementation of sanctions and wondering how they can best adjust their nuclear ambitions to achieve an appropriate balance between national pride and their own nuclear fundraiser.
By Tom Attea