24
May
09

Talking points: 25 May

north korea

“We have successfully conducted another nuclear test on May 25 as part of the republic’s measures to strengthen its nuclear deterrent,” the official KCNA news agency said.

Barack Obama called the test a “threat to international peace” and said it warrants action by the international community. But according to this blogger North Korea is not really interested in world opinion when it comes to it’s nuclear program.So, has the world failed with North Korea? And what about military intervention is it an option?

***
The Pakistani troops are clearing Mingora, the main city in the Swat Valley, house by house. Maj Gen Athar Abbas , a Pakistani army spokesman , said. He added that it could take another week to 10 days to remove the Taliban from the city.

Should the world invest in the Pakistani army? At a time when they’re fighting the Taliban in one of the world’s most volatile regions, should we stand by the Pakistani army?

***
President Obama has vowed during last year’s campaign to scrap the 16-year-old policy that allows gays to serve so long as they don’t disclose their sexuality or engage in homosexual behavior. But the President’s top military adviser warns against it.

Admiral Michael Mullen says that scrapping the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy now will put an already pressured military in a confrontation with a very sensitive issue. If sexuality, like your political beliefs, is a very personal matter why is disclosing it publicly necessary? And if it meant less problems and tensions in a highly tense and stressful environment why not hide your sexuality?

***
What scares you more, swine flu or climate change?
Is climate change this age’s Cholera? Should we be treating climate change like an epidemic? According to this article by Muir Gray,yes we should. He says,
“Smoking, Aids, swine flu? They all pale into insignificance compared to climate change’s threat to health.”

But judging by the world’s reaction to swine flu (one that hit home here with World Have Your Say’s team earlier this month) the world seems no where near as scared of climate change as it is of swine flu. Do we have to count the bodies before we’re really scared?

***
Another thought
A discussion on our sister program Newshour on Saturday about degrees in the current economic climate got me thinking. Are university degrees relevant in 2009? In a climate where highly skilled and experienced people are hanging on to their jobs by a thread if not losing them, is the classroom really the place towards your future?

In this blog a professor says that an average American student will have to pay up to 22,000 dollars in student loans. Is t his money well spent when you’re not guaranteed you’ll earn enough to pay it back? Is it wiser to save it? Or even start a business with it?

Having said that, this blogger says that he actually did start a business right after high school but found that with graphic design courses his business flourished. Another person blogs about having taken too many courses that have actually landed him no where.


30 Responses to “Talking points: 25 May”


  1. May 25, 2009 at 12:16

    North Korea, Iran and Pakistan are part and parcel of the same issue: They are winners: “Give us the money!” Pakistan has got it. Five billion dollars over five years, not bad. Cut price gas: An oil pipeline from Iran to Pakistan just to keep Baluchi tribesemen out of south east Iran.
    Iran? You wait. Once we’ve got the bomb, there will be no looking back. Prelates will be ensconced in power for the next thousand years. Ahmadinejad, Mousavi, Khatami, Karroubi, come who may: They’re a docile pact, like the home crowds. Prelates own the country. A little arm twisting and Obama will be dancing to their music.

  2. 2 Tom
    May 25, 2009 at 13:29

    Congrats for implementing another nuclear tests and getting success.

  3. 3 T
    May 25, 2009 at 14:05

    In the current global political/economic climate, invading the North won’t happen. The States are involved in two wars right now. There’s no way they could take this on as well. Also, what other country would join a coalition force to invade North Korea?

  4. 4 Peter sc
    May 25, 2009 at 14:08

    The only reason why the world is a mess is our lack of faith that by being good and nice , we become suckers. Love and goodwill conquere all. Have faith. The battle of midway was won on faith. Trust what I say. The battles I lost was when I doubt my self , those I won was when I believe.

  5. 5 Henry Nyakoojo, Kampala
    May 25, 2009 at 14:16

    The indignation of the “international community” over the North Korean nuke is all but hypocritical. Those condemning the loudest are the current club of nuclear states, who have arrogated to themselves the dubious “privilege” of possessing the world’s only nuclear deterrents. Worse, the loudest of all is the only country ever to annihilate humans and other forms of life using an atomic weapon – all the while claimimg that “lesser” countries (Iran, N. Korea, Libya, etc.) are too unstable to possess the ultimate in WMDs.

    The REAL INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY will only take the big powers seriously on this matter when they themselves take serious, transparent, credible and irreversible nuclear disarmament moves. As it is now their sole motivation is to preserve the exclusivity of their frightening club of bullies.

    • 6 Shunjing
      May 26, 2009 at 01:49

      Agreed , wholeheartedly . US is the most blood thirsty of all nuclear power. They used it before and most likely to be the first to use it again.

  6. 7 Rob (UK)
    May 25, 2009 at 14:17

    I don’t agree that people are more scared of swine flu than they are of climate change. These are different threats that prompt different reactions.

    Swine flu poses the threat of serious illness or death in the short term, and prompts immediate action (like cancelling flights, or wearing masks), whereas climate change is a long-term issue that prompts long-term action (recycling more, flying less frequently, petitioning politicians).

    Short-term responses will inevitably be perceived as the product of fear, but fear can prompt both long- and short-term responses.

  7. May 25, 2009 at 14:21

    we the children of africa. one for the world to put stop to the war in africa.because the children are suffering from war in africa.africans head states like to died in power because of money.but not developing the country of africa. as the world look around us. we are fooling ourself by bringing war to africa.our children are not going to good school.so they will live better life for tomorrow.and africans head of states stop the war in africa. please.

  8. 9 Christopher
    May 25, 2009 at 14:30

    I’m from Norway and I see other countries more threatening than North Korea. We should never forget that USA is the only nation who effectively used nuclear bombs on civilians. They start wars without being honest about their motives.
    I’m sure that the consequences for North Korea would be fatal if they had oil. There is enough “weapons of mass destruction” in that little state to launch a war or two without the international society making to much of a protest.

    Let us see us at is is: The US is the threat here. They have enormous amounts of weaponry. They use religion for reasoning a war, and they supply nuclear and economic aid to found war in other parts of the world (like Israel).
    As a citizen from a oil producing country, I should stop my critics. Who knows, maybe they find something that makes them carpet-bomb our little kingdom to “free us all”…

    I don’t try to say that North Korea isn’t capable of going to war, but that is is a little mouse compared with their enemy overseas.

  9. 10 Robert
    May 25, 2009 at 14:31

    Regarding N Korea’s bomb. I am more concerned about the bombs in Pakistan falling into the hands of the rebels. That is were our attention should be focusing.

    N Korea only want the bomb to show off that they are part of the club. Can you think of any way it could be used without the complete destruction of N Korea following? One thing about dictators is they like to hold on to power. Being the dead dictator of a nuclear winterland doesn’t work. And the saber rattling from the rest of the world plays into this regimes fantasy of importance.

    However the rebels in Pakistan do have links with people that don’t care if they live or die. And they are secretive and the organizations hidden. And they want to inflict damage. That is a more dangerous combination and they are the bombs we should be worried about

  10. May 25, 2009 at 14:36

    The latest nuclear test by North Korea shows that the NK regime has no country to trust but its nuclear power as it is one of the most isolated in the world. It doesn’t have an economic influence it can use as an alternative to nuclear pressure.

    The danger of NK can be when it starts to expert its nuclear expertise to other countries at enmity with the USA. This will make the task of the international community even harder to stop nuclear proliferation.

    If the USA wants to deter Iran from developing its nuclear program, it should set the example by striking NK nuclear facilities. It remains to see how current international balance can be safely kept if both Iran and NK become de facto nuclear powers in challenge of international calls for them to abandon their nuclear pursuits under the threat of further international sanctions of all kinds.

  11. 12 Azad
    May 25, 2009 at 14:41

    Iran needs to do the same as N. Korea to protect itself against pillage by bankrupt western nations. The future of those who don’t will be like Iraq and Afghanistan, devoid of security, with their country, culture, heritage and resources plundered by spineless foreign thieves.

  12. 13 steve
    May 25, 2009 at 14:49

    Hurray, guess where more of my tax dollars will go to buy them off?

  13. 14 Paul Harbin - Waco Texas
    May 25, 2009 at 14:52

    North Korea,
    Who’s attacking you, that you need this deterrent for? Is the whole world out to get you, by attacking with words?

    Politicians/gays
    Is it better to hide from your problems or face them head on? does the innuendo of this questions mean that politicians shouldn’t be honest and gays should get back in the closet, because it’s easier to pretend?

    Swine-flu/climate change
    Swine-flu is not killing billions of people, climate change can, and very well might. The world took action and steps about swine-flu, and we like to pretend we are doing things about climate change, but are we really? “Is climate change man made or is it a natural cycle?” Why is that the question to begin with? Is “man” super-natural, unnatural, or natural. Man, is part of the natural process on this planet, unless we are all some part of a alien experiment, so yes it is man made, and it is a natural cycle. We cannot separate ourselves from nature, if we could, swine-flu wouldn’t be so scary.

    Education/worth
    Degrees, you’re damned if you do, your damned if you don’t. I want to be a teacher. I have to get a degree to do it, but I don’t have to pay 25-60k a year to become one, and can make 39-53k a year in my local area if I am one. My education will be a result of the time and effort I put into it, not the dollar amount.

    My question, where is value placed in our society or humanity?

  14. 15 John in Germany
    May 25, 2009 at 14:59

    Reading the few words from Tom caused a flutter.

    Sorry to say the person hiding under that name, must be totally out of sync with the rest of the world.

    Thousand of hungry people are being ignored for the Doubtful propaganda of another Nuclear test. This must be so because the cost of nucs is horrendous. The cost of feeding people in comparison peanuts. Why worry you could say, there is always the Aid societies who with donations from the Democratic World can feed the Hungry if allowed. Isn’t this the case in most non democratic Countries?….

    No one wants a Nuclear War.But if forced to, the Nuclear Powers could Blast N/K of of the face of the Planet, and the rest of us as well as a matter of fact.

    May be China will change its mind about supporting North Korea in the end. She cannot be sure about North Korea’s Aligence can she?.

    Let us not talk about the right to possess, but about the willingness to use-is not that the difference.

    Crazy sad old world.

    John in Germany.

  15. 16 Michel Norman
    May 25, 2009 at 15:48

    I cannot help recalling the celebrations at the fall of the USSR – and now we see where there nuclear technicians have all found work! Which means that even if the nucelar country is “stable” now who knows what will happen in the future. Regarding North Korea, I am far more concerned about a country closer to home, which has been supporting international terrorism for years, and is developing “peaceful nuclear power” which it needs long range rockets to deliver.

    What is interesting is that both Iran and N. Korea are using their nuclear weapons programs to camouflage the appalling poverty that they have inflicted on their own peoples.

  16. 17 sibghat shakir
    May 25, 2009 at 15:50

    well i would say this is the right of every country to have nuclear program for peaceful purposes, if having nuclear weapons is aomething bad, then why Americans have that?
    and if this is something good, then why they do not let others to have it?
    if Israel can use white phosphorous without heeding to any international concerns then why north korea shall take care about?
    i think this is not a matter of nuclear deterrant program, this is more than a matter of anti-american concepts (communism) in that country.

    sibghatullah shakir
    kabul-Afghanistan

  17. 18 Bob in Queensland
    May 25, 2009 at 15:57

    I suspect the North Korean nuclear and delivery capacities are extremely limited in nature–probably much more for domestic consumption than to present any genuine threat. The biggest risk is that a hard-line response will force them to lob there single nuclear weapon at Seoul or Tokyo. “Softly softly” will win this game.

  18. 19 Elasto mecha(kenya)
    May 25, 2009 at 15:57

    Americans think they posses the world.they are sponsors of almost every war in the world,israel is an example of how u.s works on propaganda to invade other countries where she has interest.
    North korea has the right to develop a nuclear weapon as u.s.if u.s want n.korea to destroy these weapon,it should start by example.
    Its true that n.korea has enemies as u.s does,so on this basis why not allow her to do it.americans are the real terrorists in the world.they use religion to attack others.i conclude by asking the americans if they are a semi god in this world?

  19. 20 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    May 25, 2009 at 16:11

    Swine Flue was mishandled by the press in the initial stages. By naming as such initially, it brought untold suffering to the hogs who are not the cause of this particular influenza virus.
    The second mistake was to lable it a Mexican problem when everyone wrongly wondered what the Mexican government would instead of all countries contributing to defeat the disease at ground zero before it spread out.
    Having said that, it is common knowledge that, people all over the world only overreact only to the most recent news and then gloat of over it. As for climate change, most people just make a mental note of it and then go casual about it. Why? Because it has been there for a long time. They will only worry only when lets, 100 people die of climate related illnesses in one locality and within 24 hours. No one will give a damn if 100 people die in 100 locations in a week.

    Swine Flue needs urgent attention because of its speed of affliction. As for the climate, its no longer a case of small or big nations. They should mobilize both human and material assets to counter the effects of this sword hanging over our heads while we digress on mundane matters.

  20. 21 Gary Paudler
    May 25, 2009 at 16:55

    Korea: The Dear Leader is just as pathetically insecure as all us Gringos; he wants to have all the useless, shiny, ostentatious wampum that affords his peers the respect they crave. If the U.S. and Israel and China and England all agree that nukes are important, how does one persuade an isolated despot that they aren’t? Our governments are leading by example.

    A Degree: I’ve worked with recent graduates of prominent private U.S. universities who have student debt of $100,000 to $200,000! Their studies were very narrowly focussed on very specific specialties; fine arts and design. One of them with a Masters degree from USC (University of Southern California) lacks high school-
    level mathematics skills, can’t spell in English, her native, and only, language and her bitterness doesn’t enhance her ability to hold a job. Yet Human-Resources directors, the people responsible for hiring, cover their own behinds by imposing specifically quantifiable qualifications, including “degrees”, on every advertised position rather than taking the risk of making subjective judgements in selecting candidates. Another coworker on a temporary project just graduated with $200,000 in debt from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena with a degree in Transportation Design just in time to seek a job in a dying industry. I’m happy that I got my stupid little degree and some of the smartest people I know suffer with the fact that they didn’t finish college, but the world has changed and it won’t be those sorts of abstract credentials that confer employability on people ill-suited to contributing to society. BUT, and it’s a big but, I don’t think that the sole purpose of education, even its primary purpose, should be employability. We’ve got to stop seeking self-worth only through our jobs.

    Pakistan: Yes, help Pakistan fight the Taliban, but make that assistance contingent upon Pakistan improving their dismal human rights policies and, while you’re at it, make them solve the stupid, persistent conflict with India over Cashmere.

    Sexuality: My butt is nobody’s business but my own. I happen to be straight but the fact that somebody else happens to be gay should have no bearing on their role in society, the workplace or the military. However, gays should not be allowed in state-supported media.

    Flu v Climate Change: No contest – The more people killed by the flu, the less-severe Climate Change will be. But the flu is an ineffective means of addressing climate change; let’s continue to ignore the lack of safe drinking water which causes 5000 deaths per day due to diarrheal illness. In the U.S. alone, 40,000 people die each year in car wrecks and 200,000 die in hospitals due to errors in treatment. If you get the flu, whatever you do, don’t drive to the hospital.

    Semi-sincerely,
    Gary Paudler
    Summerland, CA

  21. 22 Dennis Junior
    May 25, 2009 at 17:44

    ….So, has the world failed with North Korea? And what about military intervention is it an option? …..

    Yes, The international community has failed North Korea….Nonsense, North Korea doesn’t want to accept international norms in respect towards their behaviour….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  22. 23 Fred
    May 25, 2009 at 17:45

    I ses the U S bashers are out in strength again – another day ,any excuse .

    How convenient to have a country to blame for all the ills of the world .

    O K – lets see if the great dictatorships like China Iran Libya or Cuba

    can do any better with sorting out the World and the inbred infantile

    North Korean regime . Oh I forgot -perhaps they can give Mugabe

    the gift of a nuclear bomb too -thats what the people of Zimababwe really

    need !

    Obviously the fruitcakes ruuning North Korea can give their know how to all

    kinds of dubious regimes or groups. Syria and Hamas have had their rockets

    and missiles already – so how about Somalia and Taliban ?

    Lets mess up the world real good -and make the “Satanic West ” feel guilty

    again as we worry about Climate Change and Global Warming and North

    Korea and Pakistan et al can carry on polluting what is left of the wonderful

    world that was .

  23. 24 Richard
    May 25, 2009 at 19:58

    Whatever else has happened, the US has made a diplomatic mess of it under the previous administration. Unfortunately, the present administration is under the influence of the same backroom boys (Brezhinski, et al) and public statements do not have the ring of Obama’s campaign rhetoric, but instead start to sound more like the standard fare of Washington’s inner circle, the CFR and that bastion of human rights, the CIA.
    President Obama, if you’re listening, our government represents the people of the United States, and we – the people – don’t want a nuclear war with anyone. If you ask on the streets of Pyongyang, you’ll find the same answer. Threats from either side are just as absurd. Reacting to the neighborhood bully is just what that bully wants. Let’s get back to your promise of dialog, Mr. President. Enough dialog (1,000 x more than we have had just to begin with) and the weapons will be put away, the bully will have to go home, and we’ll talk about trade with these countries and the rights of their citizens and ours instead of war.

  24. 25 RightPaddock
    May 25, 2009 at 23:24

    If I had the DPRK as a neighbour I’d be more concerened about the collapse of the regime and the resultant flood of millions of refugees across the borders. For China this is particuarly scary as itcould destab

  25. 26 RightPaddock
    May 26, 2009 at 00:16

    If the DPRK was a neighbour I’d be more concerned about the collapse of the incumbent regime than their nukes and the resultant flood of millions of refugees across the borders. For China this is particularly scary as it could lead to domestic instability.

    The long term goal of the international community has to be the reunification of Korea. The division of North Korea was NOT a result of the Korean War (1950-53) as has been said on at least one recent BBC News report. Korea was a trophy of WW2, so the the victors, USA & USSR, followed time honoured traditions by dividing it between them. Korea was not a WW2 belligerent, although few would argue that it wasn’t a victim.

    From Korea’s perspective the period of WW2 should perhaps be put at 1910-45. In 1910 Japan occupied Korea, which was a consequence of the Japan-Russia war (1904-05), the end of which was negotiated by Theodore Roosevelt in the form of the Southampton Treaty. This treaty made Korea a protectorate of Japan (regarded as the victor in the Japan-Russia war), which effectively green-lighted its subsequent occupation a few years later. The USA turned its blind eye to this event in exchange for Japans acquiescence to the USA’s continued presence in the Philippines.

    It is in the context of this history that the international community, leaders and citizens, need to contemplate the question “what’s to done with North Korea”.

    It would also help if the media could get its historical facts both accurate and complete, rather than telling a conveniently lazy fictional tale of untruths. Whilst its not yet dead, history is being strangled by the media’s insistence that everything must be told in 15 seconds in words of 2 syllables or less.

  26. 27 John in Germany
    May 26, 2009 at 08:22

    Thousands of Europeans if they want to or not, are here today as free people due to the assistance given by the USA. We all have the right to look forward, no one has the right to forget those that gave their lives so that peace was achieved.

    To day we are all suffering due to the world recession, America is in the same boat as we are,except she is still providing political stability in many lands. And her soldiers are dying, as are European and others, to maintain peace in our crazy world. Jealousy is a bitch, and the reason for hate, and mis-judgement.
    Look at the countries that are so called America Bashers, go on look at them, and you have the answer as to why.

    North Korea is already testing delivery systems-and will continue to do so.

    Congratulations to China and Russia and there go with attitude. UNO talking as one. Good old World. it will out live us all.

    Greetings.
    John in Germany.

  27. 28 Matt Roberts
    May 27, 2009 at 02:48

    I am sick and tired of Dear Leader Kim and all of North Korea, the ultimate Rogue State. So, Mr. USA Commander-In-Chief, how about this for an idea? North Korea wants more fissile material, so give it to them, but in a form they might not really desire. 1) Surround North Korea by aircraft carriers; these ships are touted as a means to “project power,” but seem to rarely be used for that mission. And, of course, use our ait bases in South Korea as well. 2) Give Pyongyang residents 12 hours to evacuate, then hit that area with enough Neutron Bombs to kill all their cockroaches and rats. 3) If they do anything to retaliate, start using real nuclear bombs. Have fun, Rogue State people!

  28. 29 John in Germany
    May 27, 2009 at 10:29

    Burma is going ahead with the show court case……..Mobbing to the 1st degree.

    North Korea is now threatening the South. Give then thier due they are good at poker, just one problem they keep using the same pack of cards. China should stop supporting them, she would then see what value her aid is. It could be the only way to stop a catastrophic situation escalating into an unpredictable chaos.

    John in Germany

  29. 30 Fred
    May 27, 2009 at 10:32

    On I forgot it is all Israels fault too !

    As afar as I can tell israel has never expoled an atomic / nuclear bomb

    or tested one anywhere . WE have never heard of a Chernobyl like leak

    in Israel -maybe the North Koreans are being manipulated by Mossad ?

    One justt wonders what the North Koreans actually want ?


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