*Updates below the fold* [Pakistan President] Musharraf has survived at least three known attempts on his life since taking power in a bloodless coup in 1999. At least 16 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on his convoy in Rawalpindi in 2003. The attempts on Musharraf have been blamed on al-Qaeda-linked militants.
The action China is taking against North Korea is mere lip sevice for the UN imposed sanctions against the brutal communist regime (North Korea, to clarify).
The press release today all but proves it. Likewise for our South Korean pacifist friends...
It's no surprise, and this AP story further proves the need for the U.S. to rely on China for a real North Korean solution:
Customs officials examined trucks at the North Korean border Monday as China complied with new U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang for its nuclear test. But China's U.N. ambassador indicated its inspectors will not board ships to search for suspicious equipment or material...Nevertheless, the U.S. does have options in persuading China.
China's support is key to whether the measures will have any impact on neighboring North Korea. Beijing's mixed response on implementing the sanctions, approved Saturday by a unanimous U.N. Security Council including China, demonstrates the difficulties U.S. diplomats will encounter as they tour the region.
China and Russia contend that interdicting ships might needlessly provoke the North and at the very least discourage it from returning to talks on its nuclear program - though the U.S. and Britain say most inspections of ships would be done at ports rather than on the high seas.
Apparently and also unsurprisingly, South Korea is half-assing sanctions as well, both they and Russia are important, but China's cooperation is key.
Why does this matter if North Korea is incompetent? First of all, an incompetent nuclear nation is as dangerous as an evil nuclear nation, and North Korea is both. I mean look at nuclear Pakistan -half as evil as NoKo, but their incompetence is potentially fatal:
Imagine al-Qaeda as the beneficiary of a successful coup over Musharraf and the Pakistani government... imagine a nuclear al-qaeda... imagine their combined force with Iran.
And Iran is watching and learning from this mess of a policing effort. World War III is literally in a precarious balance.
*UPDATE* Freedom's Zone posts on a report stating China is openly debating North Korean regime change.
Now that is interesting, though I am skeptical regime change would come from China. Throughout the post-WWII era they have been reluctant to participate in or support any type of conflict. Most of the time where military action was unquestionably justified, China abstained from a UN vote, or when there is some anti-U.S. support brewing in the UNSC against military action, China joined the crowd. They have their own reasons for that behavior mainly being Taiwan -I'll get into that later.
But this time it's different. It actually is in their interest for a better behaving North Korea, however they are in no mood to experience an instable one. Regime change would be risky for China, but it may prove to be one of their few options.
Maybe it's the talk, enough to scare Kim Jong-il into submission and get Iran to tone it down.
**UPDATE** North Korea preparing for another nuclear test, according to Japanese and South Korean intelligence (radio, no link yet).
U.S. officials suspect this as well.
[Pakistan President] Musharraf has survived at least three known attempts on his life since taking power in a bloodless coup in 1999. At least 16 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on his convoy in Rawalpindi in 2003.
The attempts on Musharraf have been blamed on al-Qaeda-linked militants.