North Korea

korea

Why are they the enemy?

Why is it wrong when they test missiles?

The act of developing missiles itself is not wrong, because we ourselves do it.

vandanex

But when a poor nation tests weapons, this is wrong.

An example: less than a year ago, Russia invaded an American ally, Georgia.

They, like America when we invade countries, actually used their missiles on people.

georgia

Despite our “condemnation,” in three days Obama is meeting their president Dmitry Medvedev.

Britain Obama Russia G20

And yet he would not dialogue with Kim Jong-Il, as Korea is on the verge of being returned to our list of countries that sponsor terrorism.

However Russia has no such qualms…

Vladimir_Putin_with_Kim_JongIl2_1

Why is it wrong for one country to build missiles, but those that use them are excused?

Who gets to decide – this is the enemy?

North Korea’s ostensible rationale for resuming their nuclear weapons program is in part because of no sign of disarmament from the United States – Iran has made similar statements.

And it is true, we do not destroy our bombs, but merely refurbish them.  The same goes for Russia.

Another example: We have provided bombs for Turkey under the NATO Nuclear Sharing Program in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

I have reprinted the relevant articles, not surprisingly the first two:

Article I

Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.

Article II

Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

kurds

Is their treatment of the Kurds not terrorism?  Yet they are our ally, and would never appear on any list.

If we committed terrorism, would we add ourselves?

4th

Why do we revel in gunpowder, but expect others to act differently?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to North Korea

  1. Why are they the enemy?

    Well, in a literal sense, because we had a war against them which has never officially concluded (just a ceasefire and an ongoing standoff). More broadly, because they are governed by a sociopathic dictatorship that oppresses her citizenry, threatens neighbors and sells weapons on the black market to bad actors.

    That sure was a pretty picture though! Is your point that we can’t/shouldn’t have enemies from countries where there is beautiful scenery somewhere?

    Why is it wrong when they launch missiles?

    It’s not “wrong when they launch missiles” per se (I assume we’re talking about those test missiles). They are launching these missiles as a demonstration of a capability, to rattle their sword for extortion purposes and/or show the black market what they can produce. People who understand all that take notice then. It’s not that it’s “wrong”, it’s that it’s worth taking note of and understanding the implications and intentions.

    The act of launching missiles itself is not wrong, because many countries do it.

    Indeed.

    But when a poor nation develops weapons, this is wrong.

    It’s not about the fact that they are “poor”.

    Less than a year ago, Russia invaded an American ally, Georgia. And in three days Obama is meeting their president President Dmitry Medvedev.

    I have my problems with how the U.S. reacted to and continued to react to the invasion of Georgia, but that’s irrelevant to the issue of North Korea.

    Yet he refuses to meet with Kim Jong-Il?

    He does? News to me. Madeline Albright met him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Obama meet with him one of these days. But if he does indeed refuse to meet with him, I approve. Why would the U.S. President “meet with” Kim-Jong Il? What for? And why would you want him to and be upset that he doesn’t?

    Russia has no such qualms…

    Russia is an authoritarian mafia state. Russia has bought slaves from North Korea in the past. Yes, they’re old friends. So?

    So why is it wrong for one country to have missiles, but not another?

    Because not all “countries” are exactly alike?

    Who gets to decide – this is the enemy?

    Practically speaking, whoever is in leadership. On the other hand, keep in mind it only takes one party to a conflict to decide this. We may not want someone to be an enemy, and never ‘decide’ this, but they may have other ideas.

  2. deadondres says:

    Sonic charmer – thanks for adding your views…

    I am speaking more to the nature of words and concepts, us vs. them, nations, etc. and how these ideas are developed and channeled.

    You also caught the post in rough form and I have defined a few notions – which you quickly noticed – better.

    But a few specific points:

    Dictatorship – as you mentioned Russia is an “authoritarian state.”

    But Russia is a friend, North Korea cannot be?

    How is this reality about anything beyond the fact that North Korea is “poor?” – that is to say, if North Korea controlled vast amounts of energy and stockpiles of bombs, I suspect the situation would be reversed.

    You ask, what would he meet Kim-Jong Il for. Yet we meet with Medvedev, which you say is irrelevant to the notion of North Korea.

    Why so? Don’t we have standards? Why do we have a list of state sponsors of terrorism if we have no intention of objectively applying it?

    The truth is that words like terrorism and ally and enemy are all concepts to mask the more brutal geopolitical reality. I am leery to use the word hypocrisy, but it suffices.

    You Sonic Charmer clearly see through the mythology and platitudes, which I applaud, but my post is more to help others see how words like terrorism and diplomacy muddle the greater picture.

  3. Dictatorship – as you mentioned Russia is an “authoritarian state.” But Russia is a friend, North Korea cannot be?

    Who said Russia is a ‘friend’? I do not have this illusion.

    At best, I suppose I would agree we should go along with the comfortable fiction that we are ‘friends’ for reasons of expedience, reason that don’t hold so true re: NK. In short: because Russia is stronger and has more missiles than NK, we can less afford to antagonize her.

    How is this reality about anything beyond the fact that North Korea is “poor?” – that is to say, if North Korea controlled vast amounts of energy and stockpiles of bombs, I suspect the situation would be reversed.

    Well there you go. You have answered your own question: as you state, this has a lot to do with the control of stockpiles of bombs and energy supply routes, rather than being ‘poor’ as such. Plenty of countries are rich (cf. Luxembourg, Bermuda, Liechtenstein, Hong Kong) without controlling huge amounts of weaponry/energy.

    You ask, what would he meet Kim-Jong Il for. Yet we meet with Medvedev, which you say is irrelevant to the notion of North Korea.

    Frankly, I’m not sure why we meet with Medvedev either, since he’s not even the true power in Russia.

    But generally I don’t understand what this sort of argument (why do we do Y if we can’t do X) is supposed to prove. It’s really a form of changing the subject. I thought the subject was North Korea. We could be wrong/inconsistent in everything else we do but this would prove nothing vis-a-vis North Korea.

    Why do we have a list of state sponsors of terrorism if we have no intention of objectively applying it?

    Indeed, I’m not sure why we bother maintaining a ‘list’ of officially-designated ‘state sponsors of terrorism’. I think it has something to do with various bills and treaties we have passed, which require us to keep such ‘lists’ and treat those countries on it differently, but I would have to read up more on it.

    The truth is that words like terrorism and ally and enemy are all concepts to mask the more brutal geopolitical reality. I am leery to use the word hypocrisy, but it suffices.

    I suppose I agree with you somewhat. The difference is, I don’t agree that ‘hypocrisy’ as such goes very far as a criticism. This is geopolitics, and to some extent yes it is a schoolyard without ‘standards’. This is true of the United States but it is also (if not more) true of everyone else you can name – Russia, North Korea, etc, etc. What is your real criticism exactly? That we don’t live up to imaginary ‘standards’ that nobody else does?

    my post is more to help others see how words like terrorism and diplomacy muddle the greater picture.

    I understand that I’ve somewhat narrowed the intent of your post, and for what it’s worth, I did find it thought-provoking, which is why I was motivated to respond. Best,

  4. deadondres says:

    Glad you could make it back.

    I do not mean to change the subject – I cannot feign much substance specifically on the issue of North Korea, but am more interested in not only the psychology but also the philosophical consequences of our application of and attachment to nations and resulting propositions.

    For example, why even bother pretending that the power game is other than it is? Do we necessarily have to demonize the enemy in order to go to war with him?

    On the other hand, why do institutions come to manipulate language? Is this more a cause of the language or the institution itself?

    I have few answers and thus pose the question, hoping that others such as yourself will respond.

    Part of the confusion in the post arises from the divide between official government policy and the tableau delivered by media and regurgitated by the “masses“. Admittedly this is a blurred line which I myself smeared further in this post, somewhat purposefully.

    In the end I am not trying to criticize “ourselves”, as it could clearly sound, but am interested in what factors cause us to design and venerate these “imaginary standards,” and what function they fulfill. I use America as an example because the diagram seems to have more sense from within experience.

    That is the reason I was loathe to use the word hypocrisy, but found it convenient for rhetorical effect; clearly it posits that there is an existing alternative to hypocrisy, of which we have no proof.

    Thanks for stopping through and best of luck with your own thoughts and writing!

  5. For example, why even bother pretending that the power game is other than it is? Do we necessarily have to demonize the enemy in order to go to war with him?

    In general, a good question. I suppose North Korea may just be a bad application of this point, which is probably what set me off.

    Honestly, the ruling regime of North Korea needs little help from Western propagandists when it comes to her ‘demonization’. She’s doing a fine enough job of it on her own.

    Anyhow, one reason the pretense to ‘standards’ appears necessary, seems to me, is that people ask for it, and poke and prod at their boundaries. Isn’t that what you’re doing here, after all? So even the most crass, Machiavellian leader will feel an incentive to at least give a nod to ‘standards’ if he wants to move masses to some act (such as a war).

    But again, North Korea is a particularly ill-suited peg on which to hang this point. My sense is the U.S. and West in general would be perfectly happy to never think about North Korea again, she certainly has little in the way of resources or anything else that even the most self-centered imperialist could want. Perhaps one could bemoan the contingency that led to us intervening in the South Korea-North Korea conflict in the ’50s in the first place. But really, that’s ancient history and as for right now, the fact simply remains that this is a place ruled as a lineal absolute dictatorship that has little in the way of economic activity other than extorting and scaring the rest of the world into paying them off.

    And so we do that, and we also worry and complain about that regime, wonder what it will do next, wonder how to contain her, etc. As we should. It really has very little with us having somehow randomly ‘decided’ to make North Korea an enemy. Again, I’d be thrilled to never think about North Korea again. But she has other designs, because that’s practically her sole export at this point: enemyness.

  6. Pingback: Why Obama Matters « Active Philosophy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s