nukes

A Reality Check Next for DPRK-US Relations

The Chosun Daily might understand that the Obama administration is skeptical about the Six-Party Talks format, but its perceived solution – it’s Beijing’s responsibility – is becoming more shibboleth than plan.

…some skeptics there argue that the six-party talks are useless and have only aggravated the situation while giving the North Korea breathing space to develop its weapons. This was reflected in a recent remark by former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen, who said the U.S. is interested in a “new way” that could generate more positive results than the six-way talks.


Awesome Manly Asteroid Blowing Up Stuff

It’s like Carl Sagan has returned in the form of a bald man armed with a laser!

How do we stop an asteroid, one that might impact the Earth in 2036? Boom and tug. Push it a little with a nuke, and then tow it with a satellite a little more, to insure it doesn’t just return the same way in the future.

But, really, watch the episode for the explosions! And, make your wife watch, because it’s really boring for woman to watch guys blowing things up!


August Links Dump

Teaser: the hypocrisy of praising sex, Noynoy’s follies, the entertaining Koreas, nuclear Japan, and Tyler Cowen defending Bruce Cumings


Selling What Japan, Inc. Has Left

It’s not that I don’t think geopolitical fears of Beijing’s rise are driving Tokyo’s drive to sign civilian nuclear deals with India, but that Joshua Keating talks about everything but Japan, Inc.’s pressure to compete against its foreign rivals. And, why make hay of anti-nuclear sentiment in Japan; can it really stop a deal?

Japan’s willingness to cooperate on nuclear energy with India is a pretty good indication of how China’s military and economic rise has changed the equation for its neighbors.

The very article Keating produces is mostly about international corporate competition in the nuclear industry, not about nukes.


Obama Riffs on Bush As Pyongyang Stays on Tempo

Generally, I think sanctions have little effect except to please domestic constituencies in the sanctioning state and to give other states opportunities to fill the void. That’s why I generally agree with Tad Farrell’s yawning acknowledgment of the Obama administration’s burst of sanctions activity on Pyongyang.

As some analysts have already commented, this new round of U.S sanctions will likely be regarded as “meaningless” by the DPRK.


With Friends Like New Delhi

Brian Fung is rightly bewildered by the DPRK’s barter trade with India for oil, but a mere $2 million in another category is enough to wreck a friendship.

Perhaps a little more attention is in order since India is selling more than mere oil to North Korea. Last year, according to Indian trade data, India also exported $2 million in goods in a category called “nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances”–most likely water pumps, computer data storage units, ball bearings and machine tools. Could they be used to maintain a nuke plant in some way? Maybe.


DPRK’s Burmese Lifeline

In addition to the weapons sales and tunnel expertise the DPRK is trading for Burmese raw goods, including food,  New Old FriendsYangon is helping to extend Iran’s strategic reach in Southeast Asia.

…the Burmese military regime has recently boosted ties with Iran, which according to the UN report is also allegedly receiving nuclear and missile technologies from North Korea.


No Prize for Demonizing China

GEORGE JONAS, columnist for the National Post of Canada, is a treasure of the Anglosphere–everything he writes, whether serious or light-hearted, is worth reading. Readers with an interest in Northeast Asian affairs will find this recent column especially worthwhile. It’s called Dear Leader’s see-no-evil enablers, and it examines the international response to North Korea’s sinking of the Cheonan. Here’s the point: Westerners who look to China fo … Read More

via AMPONTAN

What?! Are we handing out medals for pointing out the frakking obvious! Now, what do you propose we do?


Beijing Goes After Michael Corleone

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (L), South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (C) and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pose with elementary school students of their countries as they arrive to bury a time capsule and plant a tree in Seogwipo on Jeju island May 30, 2010.

“Listen, whoever comes to you with this Barzini meeting, he’s the traitor. Don’t forget that.” No matter how it’s translated, the PRC’s prime minister still sounds like the threat the Godfather warns Michael to expect.


Korea 2012 Looks Like Fun (Audio)

Diane Rehm posts yet another show devoted to the “Rising Tensions on the Korean Peninsula“, featuring Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Michael Green, Leon Sigal, and Kurt Campbell. The one guest whose comments stood out for me was Sherman’s. Her call for a medium-to-long-term commitment to a political settlement on the peninsula, without shelving the short-term value of the Six-Party format, complements Charli Carpenter argument on bhTV about regime change. And then, Sherman just sounded scary. All those elections in 2012 are a recipe for all manner of foolishness.


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