Thursday, May 28, 2009

On Travel

I'll check in as I can, and I expect to be back here the middle of next week.

No promises on The Weekly N&C before then.

Until the return, then, this thread is left open to comments for folks to make their own fun or leave messages for me about breaking news events. Yeah, yeah, the usual rules still apply: play nice.

Thank you for your patience, and your interest in CompHyp.

Be well and safe, All.


Will said...


Pajamas Media has a piece suggesting steps to take on the North Korean nuke threat. I'd be interested in your take.

Susan said...

I see Jong has his kid coming into charge now---or has him as a back-up--

another defiant child! must be with the so "honourable" attitude

Will said...

It was good to see you, however brief it was. Looking forward to your return here.

L.Douglas Garrett said...


Thank you. It was great to get to cross-over during the trip. Here's hoping to do so again soon, under better circumstances.

You asked about the suggested steps re: North Korea in that article from Pajamas Media...

Some parts of that deserve a longer answer than I'll be giving here now, but to sum up:

(1)Nuclear Culpability -- this is a really hard one, International Law-wise. It is historically an accepted casus belli to ascribe the action of an agent-power under the responsibilitiy of the enabling-power, *but* the problem is that in the post-1948 (post-U.N.) system, only active self-defense and U.N. authorization are "universally" acceptable reasons to engage in war. It would be a pretty tough sell to win over the UNSC to authorize a reprisal to anything even vaguely indirect. That basically means that while Nuclear Culpability is a viable policy decision, it requires that the state taking up that policy be willing to act unilaterally.

(2)Radio Free N.Korea -- The Republic of Korea (South Korea) already engages in massive efforts to undermine DPRK (North Korea) propaganda at home and abroad. Sure, more is better regarding that, but the issues of getting control of the airwaves and having a believable message tailored to the audience are both challenging. I'd read this as an all-or-nothing move: either knock the DPRK media off the air at home and abroad by all means possible, or be content with the very limited means already in hand. Half-way measures will get as hostile a response as full measures.

(3)Nuclear Japan -- Up to the point that Japan feels threatened (existentially threatened) by nuclear-armed neighbors, Japan will not take up nuclear arms. The American umbrella is just too convenient, in domestic politics, to cast aside so long as it can be trusted...


...were the doubts about American reliability as an ally to continue to grow, or if the sense of North Korea becoming a threat directed at Japan were to grow, then it is basically a given that Japan will engage in re-armament for both deterrence and force projection.

I'd give that "however" about an even chance of happening, given the perceived reliability of the current American administration and the visceral fear in Japan of the North Korean Stalinists.



Welcome back!

The Kim regime is still trying to run North Korea as a private show, at least in public. The real rulership may well be in the hands of a small clique of Generals, though. No surprise that.