Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nuclear Test Breeds Fear

I’m much too young to remember the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but the little that I do know is not good. Thousands of people were killed and not even from the initial impact of the bomb but from toxic radiation poisoning. Cities were destroyed. Something like this should never happen again.

Reports now confirm that the underground tests conducted in North Korea on Monday, October 9th were nuclear. Tests detected radioactive debris; however, it appears to be a relatively small nuclear test.

Yet, in light of this information, has the world done enough to combat North Korea?

No, initially President Bush called the nuclear test “unacceptable” and said it “deserved an immediate response by the United Nations Security Council” but appeared to do little else. Since when has Bush waited for the United Nations Security Council to take actions before?

Even congressional candidate Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania said, “Our country has become less safe.” Americans’ safety should be the first priority. Clearly, it wasn’t because it took until Saturday for the United Nations Security Council to unanimously approve Resolution 1718.

Although well intentioned, Resolution 1718 should have been instituted sooner. There have been signs of possible nuclear weapons since 1998 when North Korea launched a missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean.

Instead of killing the hornet before it’s allowed to sting, the world and President Bush just swatted it away. Several times North Korea has been nothing more than bribed to stop their nuclear weapons program. Aid has been offered to North Korea in 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2005.

Perhaps the stupidest form of aid that could have been given to North Korea was the two light-water nuclear reactors they were given in December of 1999. There’s nothing like shooting ourselves in the foot.

North Korea even admitted to having nuclear weapons in February of 2005 but nothing was done then. Maybe too much attention was placed on Saddam. Iraq didn’t even have any weapons of mass destruction and we went in after them.

I’m not saying that we should start a war with North Korea; we can’t even finish the one we started. But something needed to be done long before now. The Resolution would have been an excellent idea five years ago. Now something more needs to be done. What? I’m not sure but certainly not another war.

The Resolution now requires cargo going in and out of North Korea to be searched for prohibited items that could be used as weapons of mass destruction—that includes nuclear ones. The trade of high end military equipment and material with United Nation members is also forbidden.

Most importantly Resolution 1718 requires that Pyongyang not conduct further nuclear tests or launch ballistic missiles and demands that North Korea abandon all nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the country wants “peace but is not afraid of war.” What’s even scarier is that North Korea views the United Nations Security Council sanctions—a.k.a. the Resolution that was supposed to make us feel safe—as a “declaration of war.”

If the first test weren’t enough, it now looks like North Korea is planning a second nuclear test, according to U.S. officials,

Scared yet? Perhaps you will be when you see other countries responses. Australia won’t even let North Korean ships enter their ports. China, North Korea’s number one trade partner, is now inspecting trucks on their shared boarder even after Chinese United Nations Ambassador Wang Guangya said they would not be carrying out inspections because they believed it would lead to “negative consequences.”

What could be a more negative consequence than Kim Jong Il and his million-man army possessing nuclear weapons? Discernibly, China wised up to this and made the correct decision.

I don’t care what nation it is, but any one with the aptitude to make a city on the western sea board of the United States into Hiroshima or Nagasaki is something to fear.

With out a doubt the world did not do enough soon enough to combat North Korea. For now, all I can do is hope that North Korea will either comply with the sanctions placed on them by the United Nations or find some peaceful way to work the situation out.

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