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– TRAPPED N. KOREA [KANG NAM 1]

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In the recent weeks North Korea used pretentious language in threatening USA, Japan South Korea and actually the whole world with a “nuclear firestorm” should any sanctions imposed on N. Korea because of its nuclear test, or its sovereignty will be violated directly or indirectly in any form. In order to backup its threats and to strengthen its credibility N. Korea launched a series of missiles of different kinds and ranges toward the Japanese Sea.

Eventually harsh sanctions were imposed by UN on N. Korea, anti missile systems were deployed and piled up around N. Korea and its commercial ship Kang Nam 1, loaded with missile parts and heading to Myanmar (Burma) was followed by American war ships with UN authorization to board the ship and search its content should the ship anchor in a port of any UN member country. Kang Nam 1 became a test case for the USA and the determination of N. Korea to provoke the world. N. Korea understood well that it cannot ignore any take over of American troops of a North Korean ship and its promises to put the world in a “nuclear storm” will be proved as empty, baseless, bragging propaganda.

N. Korea blinked first and ordered the Kang Nam 1, on Wednesday 07/01/2009, to return to N. Korea. In order to compensate its own confidence and its public opinion they launched yet another series of short range missiles toward the sea, which left little impression. No doubt N. Korea is not really ready for any confrontation and its own people suffer from severe shortage.

N. Korea is, now, trapped. The world is not deterred by its empty threats, on the contrary, N. Korea is deterred from pulling the rope too much. The country is under severe sanctions imposed by UN with the backup of the traditional supporters of N. Korea – China and Russia – and the country is running out of options.

It is now a matter of time that N. Korea will see no options then to return to the negotiation table without playing cards. It is also a setback for North Korean allies such as Iran, Syria and Myanmar.

The question whether the world, led by USA, is able to act the same in conjunction with Iran remains opens. Unlike N. Korea Iran is an oil country and the world still depends on oil.
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