It may seem a long way away from Sofia, Athens, Bucharest or even Potters Bar, but the threat of nuclear war is in the air. “Not possible,” I hear you say, but lunatics have been known to start wars before, especially if they have an uncomprehending psychopathic nature like Kim Jong-un.
It has often occurred to me that some paranoid tyrants, like Sadam Husein, Colenal Gadaffi, Hitler, and even Stalin, didn’t really care if they lived or died, as long as they remained in control. Nor did they care if their population perished during a conflict, because they fundamentally believed, that people were only an instrument of power.
So, in that context, we should all be wise to consider that nuclear war is not inevitable, that irrational people often control countries, and – whilst making sure that their advisors and fellow countrymen remain quiet impotent – they could easily provoke a war. Having purged his regime of moderates, and executed anyone with close ties to China, Kim Jong – un believes, in his infantile mind, that he is invulnerable, and far more powerful than he really is.
What can stop him from fantasizing, and spending the limited resources North Korea has, on the kind of technology needed to put himself on a par to to the United States, and where does this technology come from? And, how can a backward and ignorant Communist country like North Korea, realistically, be capable of producing such a hydrogen bomb, without the assistance of another major power?
We have all had experience of Communism, the bragging, the brinkmanship, and their downright insulting views of the west, but we also discovered – when eastern Europe was finally liberated– that all their techno might, and their Communist bragging rights, came second hand from the Soviet Union.
CNBC reported today that – “Amid new international sanctions, North Korea ‘s number two, officially embarked on a 10-day visit to Iran, in a move that could result in the two sides expanding their ties. Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported Kim Yong Nam, chairman of the Supreme Assembly of North Korea, arrived on Thursday, for the weekend inauguration ceremony of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.”
“But given the head of North Korea’s parliament is expected to stay for 10 days in Iran, the trip is being seen as a front for other purposes, including expanding military cooperation. At the same time, Pyongyang is looking for ways to counter sanctions, and to boost the availability of hard currency, for the dynastic regime, led by renegade Kim Jong-un.”
And, even Isreal is becoming a little concerned – “There could be very problematic cooperation going on, because of the past history, and because it makes strategic sense, especially for the Iranian government,” said Emily Landau, a senior research fellow at the Israeli-based Institute for National Security Studies and head of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program.
Iran’s atomic program is now in the hands of the UN, and held – we hope – in limbo, but with the known transfer of rocket design and manufacture from Pyongyang to Theran, it seems that some North Korean nuclear data might have emanated from Iran, now they are no longer free to develop their own nuclear capability. It would also be very convenient for the Iranians to adopt a proxy country, in which to continue their nuclear development, especially one as poor as North Korea. After all, Iran is not short of money nor oil.
North Korea’s new Embassy opened this week in Theran, and Kim Yong Nam, arrived with the large team of advisors. Allegedly in order to attend the inauguration of the new Iranian President, ten days is a long time in which to attend any social events, and so it seems that the threat is there, the motive, and possibly the opportunity to transfer further dangerous technical information, to a maverick country with a despotic dictator at the helm.
Why these two quite different countries should find common cause, may come as no surprise to anyone. It is simply a matter of world politics, because neither nation being accepted at the UN council table, they have inadvertently become bedfellows. If Donald Trump decides to take on North Korea, I don’t think that nuclear war is inevitable, but it is a serious threat.