GuamDiary put a question mark on today's entry title? Why? On 26 May last the US Navy tried to board a North Korean vessel out of Shanghai suspected of carrying missile technology to Myunmar. The North Korean captain refused the US naval officers permission to inspect his cargo. [The ship is registered in Belize. Belize gave the US permission to board the ship since it is a signer of the US inspired and enforced Nuclear Security Initiative.] He turned his ship around and headed back to DPRK waters.
A similar incident happened a few years ago when India impounded a North Korean vessel suspected of transporting missile technology. After inspection, it turned out that it was not and allowed to sail on to its destination. And before that, the US had to eat crow when an ally in the war against terror insisted it allow a shipment of missiles to unlade at its port on the Red Sea. The US blinked.
The 'New York Times' guy at the Pentagon labelled the 26 May incident a 'rare victory' for the US. Maybe it was. Maybe it was not. The US, wrongly or rightly, assumes that every North Korean vessel is carrying 'wmd' [weapons of mass destruction], especially when the ship is steaming towards Myunmar. Yet, it will never know.
Of late, the US and its ally South Korea have ratcheted up pressure on North Korea with little success. Washington and Seoul are coordinating policy aimed at regime change in the DPRK. The recent announcement of China's heavy capital investment in North Korea's rust belt in Rajin should tell them something. China is not going to allow North Korea to implode, collapse, or allow the ROK to extend its borders to the Yalu river. [Remember the reason why Chinese 'volunteer' soldiers joined the DPRK in fighting the US UN led troops during the Korean War was all about a secure borders for China!]
The US and South Korea's pursuing a similar hard line policy towards North Korea is an exercise in futility. It is an old tactic which the US pursued in Vietnam, causing so much damage to life and limb and infrastructure to push its enemy back to the caveman's age.
Consider each time the North Korea releases a captured US citizen either to a former US president or a high level official, Kim Jong il has sent a message calling for resumption of Six Party talks in Beijing and better dialogue with Washington. His calls have fallen on closed ears. Why? Well, the simple short or long answer is that North Korea will not accept the US ukase of terms that any self respecting, independent government would spurn.
So, you have to wonder if the US and its ally the ROK are capable of acting like responsible nations in diplomacy or are they simply itching for pushing for warlike actions on the Korean peninsula, like the one South Korea initiated in November 2010 when its shell fell into North Korean waters close to the NLL [Northern Limit Line]. When the North responded in kind, the US quaked for it was not willing to go to enter a third war in Asia and it had to sit on South Korea's president Lee Myung bak, to chill out and cool down his thirst for war.