AND JUST WHAT WILL WE DO ABOUT IT? – AT 10:26 A.M. ET: Iran isn't the only foreign problem on President Obama's already overcrowded plate. The North Koreans are acting up, having not been especially punished for past behavior. From WaPo:
SEOUL — North Korea said Saturday that it intends to use a three-stage rocket to launch a satellite into orbit later this month, a move that the United States and its allies describe as a de facto long-range missile test that violates Pyongyang’s international commitments.
In an announcement carried by its state-run news agency, the North said that the launch would take place between Dec. 10 and Dec. 22, with the rocket traveling south between the Korean Peninsula and China on a “safe flight path.”
We assume the Chinese gave their okay.
A South Korean Foreign Ministry statement called the launch a “grave concern.”
The North’s fourth attempt to send a satellite into orbit comes just eight months after a high-profile failure in which the carrier rocket disintegrated some 90 seconds after liftoff. This latest attempt also complicates the Dec. 19 South Korean presidential election, in which both leading candidates have called for rapprochement with the North but said little about how that would work if tensions increase.
If North Korea succeeds with its launch, the family-run police state will become a more urgent security concern for President Obama, as well as for the soon-to-be-chosen new leaders in Seoul and Tokyo. Sending a three-stage rocket into orbit would represent the North’s most significant step yet toward developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland, although key hurdles would remain. North Korea’s satellite-carrying rocket depends on technology similar to that used in a long-range missile.
COMMENT: Imagine what the world will look like in ten years if North Korea and Iran continue their military and nuclear programs, without being set back by international punishment: Two rogue regimes will be able to strike the United States with nuclear-tipped missiles. Each could potentially have more firepower than the United States had in World War II.
But, hey, the spirit of multiculturalism will save us. Won't it?
December 1, 2012