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Robert Weller Headshot

North Korea: Brink Of War?

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As liars go, Pyongyang certainly isn't in the class of either of the Joes, Stalin or Goebbels. Both knew how to tell the big lie.

The best North Korea has been able to come up with so far is that its bête noire fired artillery shells into water it claims. No one was hit, no ship damaged. There is no clear demarcation line in the water, simply what is called the Northern Limit Line. North Korea has frequently crossed it to go into southern waters Seoul claims _ particularly during crab season.

In response, arguably the world's most militarized nation, bombed a South Korean island, killing two marines and two civilians. More firing was heard Friday, apparently by the north's army, but it remained inside North Korean territory, Army Times reported. North Korea said the peninsula was on the brink of war.

No doubt, like Hitler dealing with Poland, its dictators are convinced Seoul and its allies won't go beyond the firing of a few shells back shortly after the attack occurred.

In 2003, the U.S. sent thousands of troops into Iraq to search for non-existent weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt North Korea has WMDs or will soon.

This weekend they threatened to react if a major U.S. naval drill is conducted. No American warship should be left like the Pueblo. Our sailors, airmen, soldiers and marines are entitled to defend themselves.

This week, a Georgetown University professor reported in Foreign Affairs that in the absence of any forceful action against Burma its military dictatorship is now "partnering with North Korea to explore nuclear nuclear capabilities, a potentially explosive issue given recent revelations that Pyongyang has successfully moved forward with its own program for highly enriched uranium."

What to do? Another military drill near North Korea, but not too near because Beijing won't like it?

Some pundits are saying that because U.S. forces are tied up in Afghanistan and Iraq that President Obama's options are limited. I wonder what Gen. George S. Patton would say. It might be that they are well-trained and ready to go. And it would be a conventional war, not the hated asymmetrical fighting.

The Central Intelligence Agency says there are no signs that North Korea is preparing for a war. Patton might say what better time to attack.

How difficult would it be for warplanes from the U.S.S. George Washington to disable North Korea, cut its communications and leave it in ruins? God forbid no one would want to build a democracy there.

In fact, South Korea has shown that it is quite good at building an economy. Democracy might accompany it. The prospect of food, health care and lives worth living might be an incentive to abandon communism, for any who remain committed to it.

Those who fear the economic damage hostilities with North Korea might cause should consider the world economic disaster that would result if the Kim regime bombed Seoul, easily within the range of their weapons. This also would hurt China.

Beijing is cited as the main obstacle to shutting down North Korea's military. They have the power to do it themselves. If they won't someone else will.

The carnage and economic damage would slow China's push to start sharing the wealth of its billions in exports with its peasants, keeping a promise made more than 60 years ago by Chairman Mao.

As for Burma, its generals might decide it would be best to high-tail it to China, assuming they would be welcome. Unlike North Korea, Burma already has a political leader in waiting with the support of a large majority, the recently released Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi.

As for Russia, they have condemned the North Korean attack. They might be able to use supporting the U.S. to get their coveted membership in NATO. The "Manchurian Candidate " is no more.