There’s one thing about weakness, it is enticing to the strong – and especially to the bad guys. So if you’re a despot or dictator, and see what Iran just got away with, well, you’re probably figuring why not me too?
So when seeing how we bartered for our American citizens to be released, North Korea took an American college student hostage. And in seeing the consistent violations by Iran in ballistic missile firings, Kim Jong Un succinctly said, why not? The message that needs to be sent to pudgy Lil’ Kim with the bad haircut is that your obtuse belligerence will not be tolerated.
On Sunday, North Korea did its best to poke America in the eye…twice.
As reported by Fox News, “North Korea on Sunday defied international warnings and launched a long-range rocket that the United Nations and others call a cover for a banned test of technology for a missile that could strike the U.S. mainland.
The rocket was fired from North Korea’s west coast and its path was tracked separately by the United States, Japan and South Korea; no damage from debris was reported. At an emergency national security council meeting in Seoul, the country’s president called the firing an “intolerable provocation.”
North Korea, which calls its launches part of a peaceful space program [yep, just like Iran’s nuclear program is about energy development], trumpeted the beauty of the launch’s “fascinating vapor” as the rocket cut through the clear blue sky and said it had successfully put a new Earth observation satellite, the Kwangmyongsong 4, or Shining Star 4, into orbit less than 10 minutes after liftoff.
And guess where that satellite orbited? Yep, right over the Super Bowl stadium. AP reports Shining Star (who knew Kim was a Maurice White and Earth Wind and Fire fan) passed almost right over Levi’s Stadium about an hour after the Super Bowl ended.
“It passed almost directly overhead Silicon Valley, which is where I am and where the stadium is,” tech watcher Martyn Williams said in an email to The Associated Press. “The pass happened at 8:26 p.m., after the game. I would put it down to nothing more than a coincidence, but an interesting one.”
Folks, I don’t believe in coincidences.
Fox says North Korea vowed more such launches. A U.S. official said it might take days to assess whether the launch was a success.
The firing came about two hours after an eight-day launch window opened Sunday morning. It follows North Korea’s widely disputed claim last month to have tested a hydrogen bomb.”
Here’s the worst-case scenario: what if Iran and North Korea are working together on nuclear warhead and ballistic missile technology? And please, don’t tell me that can’t happen. Remember when Israel blew up a nuclear weapons development site in Syria where it was suspected the North Koreans were assisting? You didn’t hear a peep from Syria or North Korea in the aftermath of that attack — and Israel did the same to Iraq.
This is the type of response that belligerent leaders comprehend, not lofty rhetoric or “historic deals” which only serve to embolden their nefarious intent. It is clearly Pavlovian — if you reward bad behavior, you’re certainly going to get more of the same.
We need to emphasize national missile defense — an important issue as we’re currently formulating the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. And may I ask a simple question: why not just shoot the doggone thing down and let Kim Jung Un throw a fit? China is on the verge of an economic crisis and they’re not going to be capable of giving support to North Korea much longer if the inevitable happens. After all, President Obama did state that his national security strategy and foreign policy would be based on a pivot away from the Middle East and a focus on the Pacific Rim. So far, all we’ve seen is the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a company of Marines deployed to Australia — some pivot.
“The United States and Japan quickly requested an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Sunday morning, saying Pyongyang violated a council ban on ballistic missile launches. North Korean rocket and nuclear tests are seen as crucial steps toward the North’s ultimate goal of a nuclear armed long-range missile arsenal. North Korea under leader Kim Jong Un has pledged to bolster its nuclear arsenal unless Washington scraps what Pyongyang calls a hostile policy meant to collapse Kim’s government.”