Rocket Ruckus

North Korea’s successful launch of a rocket, said to be essentially a step towards an intercontinental ballistic missile, has riled the US and raised concerns around the region – on the eve of elections in South Korea. Read this Wall Street Journal essay by former US defense official Jack David. What are the implications of this latest move by the unpredictable DPRK?


2 thoughts on “Rocket Ruckus

  1. Michael W

    The leader may have changed but the bargaining tactics stay the same. The young Kim, just like his father in the movie Team America, is perhaps feeling a “bit ronery, so ronery” in his country and wants to be heard. Like always, increased North Korean activity will bring about attempts to re-enter negotiations. North Korea offers to stop/slow down their military activity in return for aid and some talks. The charade can continue but after each round the DPRK ends up with better technology. It already has nuclear weapons and although these rockets aren’t exactly reliable they are making progress. Does everyone keep smirking at their results until realising that they’ve actually succeeded to get everything they need: the bomb and the missile? Clinton nearly made it to North Korea but left it too late into his second term and the incoming Bush team effectively vetoed it. Obama, though, has no such worries. Perhaps he could drop in to Pyongyang and the two basketball lovers could get to know each while shooting some hoops?

    1. DIAN WANG

      Yes Michael, I agree with you, the future development direction of North Korea is elusive: along with the aggressive rocket program, on the other hand, a open attitude could be detected by another project in Pyongyang – the construction of Ryugyong Hotel, a glass tower spanning 105 storeys and rising 1,080ft high. After 24 years after it was first started, the hotel which once aimed to be the world’s tallest tower may finally open in a near future. The young Kim do make some efforts to attract the FDI by this project, the Orascom Telecom from Egypt. Can we treat it as a kind of possible positive signal?


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