The Definition of 'Imminent Threat'

It will prove a difficult challenge to win the global war against terror when only half of America’s political class is serious about it. Take the Democrats’ offering to be the next First Lady: Teresa Heinz Kerry.

She has been gallivanting across the country handing out campaign buttons decorated with caricatures of Bush Administration officials. These badges are emblazoned with the acerbic slogan “Asses of Evil.” People who see the possibility of a nuclear Iran or North Korea as fodder for jokes are obviously not people who should be entrusted with guaranteeing national security.

In his new book, Rogue State: How a Nuclear North Korea Threatens America, William C. Triplett II reminds the reader exactly how real and present the danger from the Axis of Evil is. As years of news reports have chronicled, years of trying to bribe and coddle North Korea into giving up its nuclear program have been a complete failure. Pyongyang might already have “the bomb,” and if not they are less than two years away from being able to mass-produce nuclear weapons.

The Hermit Kingdom already maintains a massive inventory of deadly weapons of mass destruction. For example, as the author writes, “North Korea is estimated to have a stockpile of 2,500 to 5,000 tons of various lethal chemical weapons . . . just two tons of North Korean poison gas would murder 100,000 civilians on the peninsula.”

It also has the means to deliver its warheads. Six years ago, North Korea test-fired a three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile that hit Alaska. The quality of its ICBMs has been rapidly upgraded in the years since, thanks to designs and engineering from Mainland China.

Even worse than its ability to wreak carnage is Pyongyang’s policy of selling its deadly products to terrorist-sponsoring nations all over the globe. In fact, the Stalinist government has never produced a weapon that it did not proliferate.

In the past, it has sold, traded or delivered weapons of mass destruction and equipment to produce such weapons to such peace-loving states as Libya, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Pakistan. The promiscuous nuclear proliferation by the Pakistanis is a warning just how easy it would be for nukes to get into the hands of numerous enemies of the United States.

Beijing is up to its neck in this lucrative lethal racket. In many cases, the arms being sold to third parties are made in China with the North Koreans merely acting as a delivery service or middleman. With billions to be made as the world’s largest gunrunner, Mr. Triplett explains, “In many cases the North Koreans serve as a transshipment point, no doubt for a fee, so that the Chinese can issue a credible denial.”

The two Communist states are blood brothers. Originally signed in 1961, Beijing and Pyongyang still maintain a mutual defense treaty — the only one the People’s Republic of China has. To make the United States and its allies think twice about bombing, North Korea purposely builds bases and weapons-making facilities close to the Chinese border. Certainly the prospect of war with the more than 1.3-billion people in the Middle Kingdom is a deterrent to decisive action.

If push did come to shove, however, and Washington could convince Beijing that Chinese interests were best served through neutrality, U.S. forces would make minced meat out of the Gulag State. Even more frightening than the devastation such a confrontation would have on the peninsula is the danger to the world should Pyongyang provide WMD to al Qaeda.

In 1999, the Clinton State Department published that “North Korea maintained connections with Usama bin Laden and his organization.” Other reports, based on information from defectors, allege that North Korea has trained Islamic terrorists and sold weapons-grade anthrax to bin Laden.

The most murderous regimes of the deadly 20th century were Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and the father-son Kim dynasty that has ruled North Korea since 1948. Four of these five tyrannies were Communist. Two of the regimes still exist and are allies: North Korea and Red China. Neither has renounced despotic repression.

While Beijing tries to polish up the veneer of its reputation for the outside world, Pyongyang has recommitted itself to a policy of threatened aggression with a vengeance. Dictator Kim Jung Il explained his stance to his head henchmen as thus: “The only way is the violent method, and peaceful means is nothing but an illusion. There has to be violence.” Americans all should fear the prospect of nuclear weapons in the hands of this madman.


To order Rogue State, click here.