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June 09, 2009

North Korea: Nukes, They Aren't Just For Defense Anymore

Turns out a crazy dictator with nuclear weapons might threaten to use them for less than peaceful purposes after all.

Pyongyang raised tensions a notch by reviving its rhetoric in a commentary in the state-run Minju Joson newspaper Tuesday.

"Our nuclear deterrent will be a strong defensive means ... as well as a merciless offensive means to deal a just retaliatory strike to those who touch the country's dignity and sovereignty even a bit," said the commentary, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

It appeared to be the first time that North Korea referred to its nuclear arsenal as "offensive" in nature. Pyongyang has long claimed that its nuclear weapons program is a deterrent and only for self-defense against what it calls U.S. attempts to invade it.

The tough talk came as South Korea and the U.S. lead an effort at the U.N. Security Council to have the North punished for its nuclear test with tough sanctions.

And just in case you thought they were kidding, don't forget there were reports last week of another North Korean long range missile being prepared for launch.

Obviously, this is the perfect time to cut funding for, er, missile defense.

The North Koreans also have two American reporters in jail at the moment. Some might consider them insurance of a sort.

You'd think the people who are so indifferent (at best) to Iran acquiring nukes would realize just how dangerous this is. You can make the argument that Iran won't use the nukes or give them away for use (though that's a dangerous bet and a stupid one in my opinion) but as North Korea is showing us, you don't have to use nukes to get your money's worth out of them. Aside from making you virtually attack proof, you can saber rattle when ever you want and you are guaranteed attention, at the least.

Imagine what fun the Iranians will have with world oil prices and the balance of power in the Mideast just with a press release. A press release backed by nuclear weapons.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:32 AM

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