In its latest major accomplishment as an industrial power, North Korea has dug a really big hole. Usually such a hole would be filled with the bodies of starved peasants or of schoolchildren convicted of being distantly related to someone caught listening to the Bee Gees. But in this case, the hole is only metaphorically filled with such bodies, as it is thought to actually contain the infrastructure for a test detonation of one of the atomic bombs on which North Korean God-King Kim Jong-Il has spent his people’s stolen resources — while allowing as many as 1,000,000 people to die of hunger. The prospect of North Korea nuking this defenseless hole has filled a part of the “International Community” with a frenetic dread that it seemed strangely unable to muster when it thought that the bomb in question was simply aimed at Los Angeles. Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is “very, very concerned” about a potential attack on this hole, which would be “a reckless, reckless step.” Such a test, he said, “could open a Pandora’s box, frankly. I do not know what will happen afterwards.” Therefore, he believes that “everybody today should be calling Pyongyang trying to persuade Kim Jong Il not to go ahead with such a test.” Unfortunately, I don’t have his phone number, or I might call him and in a very diplomatic tone communicate to him thusly: “Do it already, you morally malformed runt. You’re nothing without a bomb test! This is your chance to finally be a man. You look much taller (almost five-foot-five) when standing in front of a mushroom cloud. Make that hole call you ‘Daddy,’ dear Leader!” This would not simply be an attempt to make John Bolton seem profoundly diplomatic either. I would do it because the world will likely be a safer place after the test. Kim Jong-Il and his dead father, Kim Il-Sung, have bankrupted North Korea in pursuit of nuclear weapons, which they believe can protect their hedgehog kingdom from the secret American invasion that never seems to happen, even though it has been “imminent” for 50 years now. Because they are so important in their own minds, they naturally believe they are equally important in ours, so they live in a delusion in which America sits and broods daily on how it might extinguish the light of the World, the last great Worker’s paradise, North Korea. (Of course, the lights are pretty much out already, thanks to North Korea’s failed power grid.) For all their efforts, the Great Leader and the Dear Leader, as they insist on being addressed, have managed to build (depending on who you believe) somewhere between two and six fission bombs of 1945-era design. This is, of course, two to six more than they should have and a grave threat. But consider this: if we take a higher-end estimate of five bombs as accurate, then even a single nuclear test by North Korea would reduce their total arsenal by 20%. In one great flash of glory to the Dear Leader, North Korea’s mindless belligerence will have done more to reduce their own arsenal than the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter combined have managed to do since they first announced their “success” in preventing North Korea from building atomic bombs ten years ago. For me, the only question is how do we goad the imbeciles into testing two bombs? After the first test, perhaps we should issue statements along the lines of “probably just seismic activity,” “people that short can’t possibly have made more than one bomb,” or “Whoops! Wasn’t looking. Can you do it again?” I’m not just joking. Underneath it all, I am quite serious. Why, exactly, is one less atomic bomb in the hands of the psychopathic head of the Stalinist Lollipop Guild such a bad thing? The only possible danger the test poses to the rest of the world is limited fallout, which — falling mostly locally as it does — would not be the best way to keep 1.3 billion Chinese on the fence regarding North Korea’s possible need for a new leader. When China decides to end the annoying Gulag state to its South, it will end very quickly indeed. Simply closing the border would potentially be a deathblow at this point. Listening to the anti-testing crowd, you would think that the problem is not that irrational North Korea has atomic weapons, but that it might set one off in a big hole. Why? Because it would remove the last shred of doubt from the issue and force the apathetic and self-interested proponents of “stability” to actually do something? It’s as if the international community suffers from a collective psychosis of willed denial — one that permits its adherents to live with any problem, however threatening or serious, as long as it’s not actually in their face, as long as there is even the slimmest possibility that it might not really exist. Many institutions and leaders choose to live in a nuclear fantasy world, busily creating “plausible denial” scenarios designed to fool only themselves. Perhaps North Korea’s claims to have the bomb are just propaganda. Perhaps oil-rich Iran really does want expensive nuclear facilities only to generate electricity. Perhaps we can continue to freely sell nuclear technology year after year and nothing bad will ever happen. Such fantasies need to be blown apart. It’s better they be blown apart by a bomb at the bottom of a lifeless hole, than by a bomb in midtown Manhattan or downtown Seoul. Fear the looming test if you want. But me, I’d be happy to attend it in person — carrying a cooler, a lawn chair, and a really thick pair of welding glasses. Boom: one less bomb! Now let’s order Chinese and talk about what needs to be done: cutting off all charity and blackmail payments to North Korea and allowing it to collapse under its own rotten weight.
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