What do you think of these days, when you hear “North Korea” ? Are you feared or do you feel threatened ?
I think most people have no idea why North Korea could be a massive threat to international security and/or they have a strong opinion on national defense. Let’s just leave some of the popular rants to radio hosts and politicians: I would like to say how I feel about the ongoing events, e.g. the start of a “satellite”.
As far as I can tell, there is way to much show going on: Uniformed soldiers looking into cameras, paintings of the “Kim-Dynasty” waving at the horizon, the rocket itself, looking like a toy from the American 50’s, the “control-room” set up for the media. How can we separate propaganda, such as the paintings and official press conferences from the truth ? It might help to think like a high-ranking leader within the military or government. It is about power and influence, and the chance to score an ideological victory over the hated “west”. The message to us in Europe or the USA in particular should be that the DRPK (Isn’t that the best term for a nation since CCCP) has the technology and determination to “dominate” space, an ideal the soviet union already failed to finance. Obviously there are massive diplomatic challenges for the US or China and even though i don’t believe that this launch makes North Korea more dangerous in terms of nuclear capabilities, I think it shows how difficult it can be to legally and peacefully stop them.
Maybe they do have a satellite, but that isn’t really the point here, is it. I am no rocket scientist, but the setup seems so fictional, i might be out of a movie. Most likely it is about the symbolic act and the fact, that they have something interesting to show to foreign journalists. (Hitler didn’t really care about the Olympics in Munich, but they attracted the media he wanted to manipulate)
Assuming that they have put all their efforts into the project, it seems highly unrealistic, that it would help the development of ICBMs. Even with help from China the North Korean technology might be decades behind international standards for surveillance and interception of those carrier systems. (It might be a nice thing to see the Japanese and Americans test their systems on the Korean rocket/missile, given that it doesn’t crash on the pad)
Secondly, the DPRK can “use” an international incident to provoke anti-western propaganda, to fuel the opposition in democratic countries by spreading false data about the USA and their “imperialist” behaviour.
The only chance for an administration, that promises to find a peaceful solution, (e.g. Obama), is to send food and resources while holding endless conferences and bilateral meetings. That of course takes time, time, that the Korean elite can use to build up their armed forces and influence young people.
I, as a German, do believe in peaceful revolution and political change (there has actually been a delegation by German politicians, who experienced the fall of the Berlin wall, who advised the south on how to reunite the country), but there are many politicians who seek a radical approach to the threat (e.g. the republican presidential candidates). That of course can quickly result in a military confrontation, not only between the DPRK and the USA, but between counties such as Russia, China, India and Japan.