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Mon, Oct 25 2004

Just How Big Is Korea?

We are placing a lot of attention and focus on a country the CIA World Factbook describes as "slightly smaller than Mississippi". Last year former President Jimmy Carter spoke of issues with North Korea being a great threat. Of course, his being a Democrat might have colored his view. But I checked back some time before that, and found a report from March of 2003, in which several members of Congress, from both major political parties, expressed varying degrees of concern. Comments ranged from a wait-and-see attitude to an expression of the situation as a crisis.

It's always difficult to know just how tense a situation really is when there are so many partisan remarks being tossed about just prior to a major election in our country. Is this a more of a hot topic because of the election? One journalist who wrote a piece last week felt that the issue, which is not a new one, is an issue unlikely to be resolved under current conditions, whether George Bush, or John Kerry, is elected president in November. I wonder if he's right. It does seem that certain conflicts are almost set up from the start, not because of collusion, but because of a premeditated stance on the part of those in power. If the situation was somehow reversed, and it was the job of a very large North Korea to dissuade a much smaller United States to develop very powerful weapons, would our country's response be less defiant? Would we run to the table and begin peaceful negotiations? If we move back to reality, we have to remember that our country has actually had nuclear capability for several decades, and has done tests of that capability more than once.

We have Colin Powell dashing about and talking to China and other countries in an effort to put pressure on North Korea while North Korea says we're hostile and that they're not going to deal directly with us under the current conditions. I just keep thinking that, for the size of a country slightly smaller than Mississippi, North Korea is certainly getting a lot of attention in the world arena.

posted at: 11:03 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



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