Tuesday, October 10, 2006

North Korea may have miscalculated

Looks like everyone is mad at North Korea -- including, significantly, China:

North Korea must face "some punitive actions" for testing a nuclear device, China's U.N. ambassador said Monday, suggesting that Beijing may be willing to impose some form of Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang.

China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya told reporters that the council must give a "firm, constructive, appropriate but prudent response" to North Korea.

Okay, there are a lot of weasel words in there. But it does show that there limits to what China is willing to put up with from its oddball neighbor.

Meanwhile, a former military intelligence analyst weighs in with some additional options for dealing with North Korea. The include a naval quarantine, restrictions on air travel, aiding defectors, selling anti-missile technology to South Korea, Japan and Taiwan and cracking down on North Korea's criminal financing network.

Several of those would probably be considered acts of war by North Korea, and several would probably upset China, most notably selling advanced weaponry to Taiwan. But they do represent options short of war that could be used to pressure the regime.

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