New Castle News

All About You ...

April 15, 2013

Mitchel Olszak: North Korea tests the limits of international diplomacy

NEW CASTLE — If you ever wanted a crash course in the complexities of foreign policy, North Korea provides a great example.

Here is a small nation that gets far more than its share of attention. It does so by issuing declarations that are — by any reasonable measure — insane.

How else would you describe the rantings from a tiny nation that include threats to attack the most powerful nation on the planet? The United States is more than capable of wiping North Korea off the map if it comes to that.

But America does no such thing. Instead, this country responds with relative restraint, issuing no threats of its own, while urging North Korea to end its hostile rhetoric and deal with its problems constructively. At the same time, the U.S. military quietly takes steps to counter any aggressive missile launch coming out of North Korea.

The lack of aggressive response from the U.S. can be attributed to several factors. First, it’s generally believed North Korea has no real intention of attacking America or its allies. The general perception is that threats from that nation are mainly for internal consumption, to allow its young leader, Kim Jong Un, to act tough.

But at the same time, no one can be completely sure about the intentions of North Korean officials. They may be as delusional as they sound. And while a war would lead to the destruction of North Korea, a lot of people — including a lot of Americans — would die in the process.

Meanwhile, America is looking for some leadership from North Korea’s neighbor China in this matter. Beijing is North Korea’s only real ally in the world, and by all accounts, China is frustrated with that arrangement and would like an easing of tensions.

However, China is reluctant to take any steps that would undermine North Korea. For one thing, it doesn’t want to see the North Korean government collapse because that would put a unified Korea allied with the United States on the Chinese border.

And if there is a war, China fully expects hundreds of thousands of Korean refugees to flood across that border, producing economic and social havoc.

So China’s approach has been one of hoping for the best where North Korea is concerned. An uncomfortable status quo is preferable to a chaotic war.

And for the most part, that’s where the rest of the world stands regarding North Korea. Let its leaders jabber, so long as no real harm is done.

Unfortunately, geopolitical calculations with North Korea include a nuclear component. How much patience do the United States and other nations have with a country that’s threatening to launch nuclear-tipped missiles?

When you look closely, it’s hard to imagine the current regime in North Korea has much of a future.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
All About You ...
  • Ramsey.jpg Dave Says: Problems with no credit score?

    “Dave Says” is a weekly column featuring financial advice from nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey. His column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual letters and calls on Ramsey’s radio progam, “The Dave Ramsey Show.”

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brothers.jpg Lori Brothers: Play with names — not with your food

    Do you remember being told, “don’t play with your food” when you were a child?  Or maybe you’ve said this to your own children or grandchildren. I’ve heard stories about kids slipping food under the table to the dog or stuffing Brussels sprouts into their pockets to get out of the pain of eating them.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • stright.jpg Sarah Stright-Hartley: A T-shirt dress can be a three for all

    I love finding pieces that can be worn for just about every portion of my life.  From daytime, to work, and then on a date with my husband, I like pieces that can go the distance.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ivy_bday.jpg Kali Davies-Anderson: Happy birthday, Miss Ivy!

    This week I would like to take time out of my usual ramblings to wish my second born daughter, Ivy, a very, very happy first birthday!

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Olszak.jpg Heartbleed raises the stakes on Internet security

    My column last week dealt with Internet and related scams, along with steps people can take to protect themselves. Today’s column could be termed Part 2 of that topic, albeit from a different angle.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Lugene Hudson: Celebrate Easter like Helen Martin

    What’s cookin? That’s one of our favorite questions at Culinary Conversation. We love when readers share some of their favorites. This week, Helen Martin of New Castle stepped up to the plate to answer that question regarding Easter dinners.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ramsey.jpg Dave Ramsey: You can’t borrow way out of debt

    “Dave Says” is a weekly column featuring financial advice from nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey. His column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual letters and calls on Ramsey’s radio progam, “The Dave Ramsey Show.”

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brothers.jpg Lori Brothers: Wellness a growing trend among those over 50

    The power of choice that the explosion of Internet information has generated is moving us as a culture in a direction to examine who we are and what we really value.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • stright.jpg Sarah Stright-Hartley: Some perfect fits for heading back to work

    I'm heading back to work soon and I've really been thinking about my work wardrobe — especially because I'm hoping most of it still fits my post-baby body.

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kali.jpg Kali Davies-Anderson: It’s one of those days — and sometimes that’s OK

    Today, I am distracted. I had a long weekend. I am kind of in a bad mood. My daughter is playing with a toy with multiple musical buttons and keeps interrupting the playing song to start it over again.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

Are you concerned enough about the Heartbleed bug on the Internet to change all of your social media and website passwords?

Yes. It’s always a good idea to change passwords regularly anyway. I just have so many, I’m not sure where to start.
No. From what I’ve read, companies are still trying to figure out how to fix the flaw. The bad guys will just have access to my NEW passwords, too.
Not sure, but I blame Al Gore. He invented the Internet, right? How’s he going to get us out of this mess?
     View Results