Jan Weatherhead writes from Washington: Great news from North Korea: it has successfully carried out a third nuclear test.
It may not be enough for a fully-fledged nuclear warhead, but things are moving in the right direction. Congratulations are in order from all freedom loving governments. These governments – Israel, the US, the UK, France, Russia, India, Pakistan and, of course, neighbouring China – have great experience in this area and fully appreciate the determination and political courage it takes to get this far.
The North Koreans must be further congratulated on two major points: firstly, their rocket testing has coincided with progress on nuclear development. So both Russia and America will surely be sending Well Done flowers to Kim Jong Un, along with the UK where its leader David Cameron knows only too well the difficulty of reaching the co-ordination stage in his own efforts to replace the UK Trident missile and Vanguard nuclear weapon-carrying submarines.
And now for the second congratulatory point. What really gets the well-done applause from brother nuclear weapons states (see above) is that North Korea a small, starving, basket-case country, has proved it can scare a whole chunk of the sophisticated world led by the United States. Better still, that powerful group of nations can do absolutely nothing about it.
The world message is easy in the extreme: if North Korea is determined to be a nuclear weapons power with long range delivery systems, then that’s what it should be allowed to be.
In Washington, self-determination is celebrated as democracy. Washington does and admires others who do the same –with the US approving the democratic model of course. Yes, Washington does democracy.
For examples, if the US wants to invade Afghanistan or Iraq or if a guy wants to buy a semi-automatic firearm and kill half a classroom, knowing that the gun-buying laws are not going to change any time soon, then that’s self-determination and democracy. So far gunmen going on rampages in schools in America have killed more than the North Korean programme, but of course not as many as the US nuclear weapons programme. (Japan will supply the exact figure for anyone really interested in accuracy.)
So the big question is: what’s next? For starters, everyone is looking to China. At first sight, the folks over at Beijing truly have a problem. With North Korea going ahead with its N-Bomb programme, China is now surrounded by nuclear states – India, Pakistan, Russia and North Korea. But the other way of looking at it is this: the US model of living with the bomb was known as MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction. The translation: you nuke me, I’ll nuke you. So, no winners and last man counting has no one to tell what he thinks anyway.
The new deal is a no-brainer. Everyone who wants a nuclear warhead and the means to deliver it should be encouraged to get one. For example, if Iran gets a warhead, then Iran will get the respect it craves, although maybe it will be short lived as Israel bombs it.
But then Saudi Arabia will want its own bomb. And the US, full of the democracy loving brotherhood for the princes of democratic principles running Saudi Arabia, will offer to base a whole bunch of nuclear warheads just outside King Khaled Airport. Job done. Nuclear weapon balance sorted.
Of course, that’s the easy way when the brotherhood in North Korea show they’ve gone all the way with their nuclear programme. The US, generous as ever, will offer to put their nuclear warheads in downtown Seoul Special City and over on Honshu. Thus the nuclear ring is complete.
Meanwhile, young Kim Jong Un must hide his blushes and simply accept the congratulations of the existing nuclear powers. This will allow him to tell his beloved people that empty bellies are worth having, if it means that the presidents and prime ministers of the Magic Mushroom Cloud league of nations are at last showing the respect that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea deserves.