So word comes from our friends at the I.A.E.A. that North Korea has barred inspectors from a reprocessing plant that produces materials for use in nuclear weapons and plans on starting up the machinery next week. The Bush Administration remains sanguine that multilateral talks will continue to yield the type of results that led NoKo to recently destroy its cooling tower. I hope so.
A quick word about North Korea: the reason NoKo is traditionally well positioned to extort the U.S. is that it’s population is ridiculously poor and ridiculously hungry. Therefore, while the U.S. — with assistance from South Korea and perhaps Japan — could easily topple the North Korean regime, the costs associated with habilitating the North Korean populace are staggering. As such, it’s been easier in the past to make concessions where we can. It’s sort of an odd paradox that a population that stands to benefit so greatly from regime change is precisely the reason regime change is infeasible.