DPRK Thoughts

On October 10, 2006, in General, by Neil Stevens

Having a friend who was in Seoul recently to visit family, and was in Japan when the nuclear test was announced, I quickly mailed him to ask for his thoughts on the matter.

He assures me that the situation is not as bad as I think. I’ll hit a few highlights, not wanting to ask his permission to just paste in hunks of the email. First off, he says Seoul is not in as much conventional danger as I think, due to advances in counterartillery technology. I’m very glad to hear that.

Second, he suggests the nuclear test may have been faked, given that if the test was real, the evidence shows it to be smaller than even the bombs used in World War II. Or if it wasn’t fake, then perhaps they’re just so short on fissile material that they had to conserve like crazy. Either explanation would be good news.

Third, he suggests that the test was a political failure. It didn’t prevent an ROK politician from becoming the next UN Secretary-General, it won’t cause the Japanese people to turn back from their increasingly tough course led by PM Shinzo (who’s showing himself even tougher than Koizumi so far), and even the ROK popular reaction isn’t what the DPRK could have hoped. Failure for the bad guys is great, of course.

So if my friend is right, the situation is bad, but not Cuban Missile Crisis bad. Here’s hoping.


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