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International Reaction to North Korea
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I found most of the comments from people of various nationalities on this BBC Talking Points page regarding North Korea extremely depressing and idiotic.

Some samples:

The most likely reason why the North is resuming its nuclear programme is to use it to get the world to start talking to it again.

E S Kim, South Korea

Yes, North Korea is resuming its nuclear programme because it "wants to get the world talking again". Uh, right.

Iraq claims it has no weapons and the US talks of war against it. North Korea claims to have nuclear weapons and the US uses diplomatic measures and no talk of war? Insane!

Joe, Norway

That's because once a country has developed nuclear capabilities, preventative measures are no longer valid. And if you engage a nuclear power militarily, you risk a nuclear exchange. Why is this so difficult for people to grasp? This is exactly why Saddam must not be allowed to develop nukes. Because after he has them, there are no good options, and the risk of loss of human life increases exponentially.

The expulsion of the UN monitoring team should not be viewed as a hostile move but a practical defensive one. If monitoring must be done, then it must be performed by an organization that does not appear to be a puppet of the United States.

Charles, Pyongyang

You're absolutely right, Charles. The expulsion of the U.N. inspectors shouldn't be viewed as hostile, but as defensive. What the shit are you talking about? Yeah, North Korea's just interested in defending itself from the oppressive Americans. Again, why are people so short-sighted and naive that they want to impart the most benign motives to ruthless dictators, flaunting international treaties to develop nuclear weaponry?

The DPRK is desperately trying to insure regime survival, is cornered, and is accelerating its nuclear program as a result. Clearly, they are trying to coax a treaty out of the US. We might fear the results if Washington does not give them one.

Christopher Riley, Canada

Yes, that's exactly the right response. Reward bad faith, broken treaties, and nuclear blackmail with goodwill and rewards.

North Korea has been forced to deal with American hostility for years. Yet it agrees to put its nuclear development on hold in exchange for two nuclear reactors and oil. The reactors have been held up and the oil delivery suspended. All this happening at a time when they are facing the worst famine in many years. What would we expect them to do?

Steve T., Canada

I don't about live up their agreements, divert the huge amounts of military spending to developing domestic infrastructure, and help relieve the suffering of their people? Nah, I think they're perfectly justified in spurning aid in favor of building nukes. Yeah, that's what any reasonable leadership would do.

To have nuclear capabilities is for North Korea a matter of image and pride. How can they be consistent with their belief that they are to win over the West if they let themselves be imposed rules and limits over what they can do?

Benoit, Canada

Yeah, this is a good one, too. Developing nukes is a matter of national pride. Well, let's just tear up all these international nonproliferation treaties, set them on fire, and throw them out the fucking window, then.

Because it's a matter of national pride.

North Korea, as a nation has the right to develop any weapon to protect her people. Blaming North Korea alone is not helpful, if we need a nuclear-free world, then we must start destroying all the stockpiles in the US, UK, China and nations that possess them. The current situation in the Middle East make nuclear development a must to many nations if they want to live with dignity.

Mike Aziz, Vancouver, Canada

This kind of sentiment honestly makes me sick to my stomach. Having a nuclear arsenal isn't a matter of pride or dignity. It is, in fact, a matter of shame. I'm not proud of the American nuclear arsenal. It fills me with revulsion. These are disgusting, apocalyptic weapons, and the world would be better off without them.

But the idiotic suggestion that by us tossing ours onto the scrap heap, everyone would follow suit, just exposes a fundamental naivety that's dangerously stupid. That's like saying that if policemen and law-abiding gun owners tossed all their guns into the river, the criminals would follow suit. It just doesn't work that way, people.

There are a few voices of reason among this comments section, but overall there seem to be many more of the "so what if North Korea has nuclear weapons?" kinds of comments.

As I've argued here before, it's not just in America's interest, but in the world's at large, to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, at damn near any cost.

There is a strong likelihood that both Japan and South Korea, feeling threatened and having the capability to do so, will begin covert nuclear programs of their own, if they haven't already.

We're on the threshold of the nuclearization of both Asia and the Middle East, if nothing is done to stem the tide. Soon we'll have nuclear weaponry on almost every continent, aimed at more and more people, in a less stable and fractured political climate.

And eventually, if we do nothing, along this course those weapons will be used.

So what, right?

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