Once again North Korea has hit the news cycle for its outrageous declaration of self-importance and implied threats against America. In this case it was the release of a propaganda video depicting North Korea with a space shuttle, a space station, and America in flames. The resulting question must be, what will America in fact do?
[See video on side of article]
While the concept of a North Korean space anything is laughable, the joke is short-lived considering the continuing efforts of that nation to develop an inter-continental missile. The message to the often starving people of North Korea may be a message of space travel, but to the rest of the world it signals an intent to be able to deliver nuclear armed missiles - specifically against the favored enemy, the United States. It is a sobering message.
At the same time, the propaganda video highlights an America - specifically a very New York City looking city - in flames, with the caption
It can be speculated that these lines are in reference to the division of the nation politically. It could be a take on reaction by many citizens to the unilateral expansion of power by President Obama via his Executive Orders for gun restrictions. It could be a forecast of the results of unchecked government deficit spending. Or it could just be North Korea trying to once again downplay America's longevity, as it has for some 50 years since the Korean War ceasefire.
No matter the actual intentions of the video, is does speak to the international policy of the Obama Administration and international efforts to dissuade North Korea from nuclear arms tests. The prolonged position of the Obama Administration, has been offers to hold diplomatic talks:
In 2008 President Obama stated
"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
In 2012 President Obama said during his November 2012 trip to Myanmar,
"To the leadership of North Korea, I have offered a choice: let go of your nuclear weapons and choose the path of peace and progress. If you do, you will find an extended hand from the United States of America."
The apparent response from North Korea to the speech in Myanmar was the most recent of rocket tests, on December 12, 2012. That rocket launch received a response of tightened economic sanctions from the UN Security Council. The counter-response from North Korea, according to South Korean analysts, has been efforts to improve the rocket technology and a planned nuclear test to highlight technological improvements in the nuclear weapons program.
"This is a strong message from North Korea, basically saying that no matter how much economic aid it receives, no matter how flexible other countries become, it will be negotiating only on the premise that it will be accepted and treated as a nuclear power." - Choi Jin-wook, Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul analyst, Jan 23, 2013
As the Obama Administration enters its 2nd term, the primary tactic apparently continues to be the same course detailed by President Obama in the July 2007 Democrat primary debate
"I would [meet for talks with North Korea without precondition], and the reason is this, the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them - which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this [Bush] Administration - is ridiculous...the reason is because [Reagan and JFK in regard to USSR] understood that we may not trust them, they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we have the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward."
Considering that Iran continues to develop nuclear arms, North Korea consistently launches rockets and holds nuclear weapon tests, and now the propaganda video depicting America in flames - the validity and utility of the same course of action seems ripe to be questioned.