Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bring it on, NK!

And I don't mean that in a bellicose way.

North Korea is claiming it will test a nuke. Sometime.

North Korea triggered global alarm on Tuesday by saying it will conduct a nuclear test, a key step in the manufacture of atomic bombs that it views as a deterrent against any U.S. attack. But the North also said it was committed to nuclear disarmament, suggesting a willingness to negotiate.

I'm not sure why this should alarm anyone, considering we've assumed they have nukes for years. We should welcome it as a sort of "put up or shut up" test. If they do it, it confirms they have nukes. Sure it will give them data that will be helpful in building better bombs, but all in all I'd prefer to know exactly what we're dealing with -- although I wouldn't put it past them to simply fill a hole in the ground with 13,000 tons of TNT and detonate it to simulate a small nuclear blast.

And think how satisfying the diplomatic exchange would be:

NK: "We're going to test a nuke!!"

U.S. NEGOTIATOR: "Okay. Say, did you happen to see the lunch menu? I'm really hoping they have some of those little cucumber sandwiches. I love those."

Such a collective yawn might get them to cease such attention-getting tantrums. Probably not -- it doesn't work that well on my 3-year-old, either -- but it's better than rewarding the behavior. Ignore it and concentrate on adult negotiations.

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