In looking at the situation that has unfolded over the past month in North Korea, I see two possible paths that North Korea could be headed towards. Path one is the atypical playground bully turned armed robber who has become accustomed to people putting up their hands when confronted, only he has had the misfortune to run into someone who has attended a Front Sight course and carries a full frame 1911… ’nuff said. The game is up, and the robber just soiled his boxers. If this is the case, we won’t be having any more trouble from this nation. They tried to play nuclear poker and realized that their opponents are stronger, better equipped, and when confronted with a nuclear strike will have no hesitation on the retaliatory strike.
Path two is more insidious. In this situation, Kim Jong Il has tested the waters of nuclear politics with his live test of a device, and has found the waters to be hostile. Because his nuclear arsenal is in the early stages of development and cannot be effectively deployed, he’s doing a political tactical withdrawal, with the intent of pushing the program under deep cover. Once he’s apologized, the sanctions lifted and several years have gone by, he will resurface with a strong and deployable arsenal, capable of reaching the US.
My money is on path two. The threat with North Korea and Iran is real, and they have developed societies that hate America and all that America represents. If they could get international acceptance by detonating a test device, they have moved up a rung on the prestige chain. If they get sacked diplomatically (as is the case), they have a clearly defined path which takes them to the same destination, which is to have the capability of executing a first strike against the continental United States.
I don’t think we’ve seen the last of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, and my suspicion is that Iran is not-so-quietly developing similar capabilities. – Mark from Florida