Russia: Lending North Korea a nuclear helping hand

If it weren’t for the fact that Russia lent similar help to Iraq shortly before and after the 2003 invasion, I’d say that this story is unbelievable. Unfortunately, it’s all too believable:

Russia faces criticism following a report it secretly offered to sell North Korea technology to protect its nuclear stockpiles and safeguard weapons secrets.

“Protect,” mostly like from airstrikes. “Safeguard,” from similar harm. Russia has Kim Jong-Il’s back, in other words, no matter what he does. Just like Russia had Saddam’s back before the war.

The Sunday Telegraph of London says Russian officials privately touted the technology in Pyongyang as recently as two weeks ago — just days before the communist state caused an international alarm by launching short- and long-range missiles into the Sea of Japan.

Aleksei Grigoriev, deputy director of Russia’s Federal Information Technologies Agency, said privately North Korea planned to buy equipment for the safe storage and transportation of nuclear materials, the Telegraph said.

He also said — evidently unaware that an Itar-Tass news agency reporter was taking notes for publication — that Moscow wanted to discuss “future cooperation” with Pyongyang, the newspaper reported.

The problem is, only the US and maybe UK, Australia and Japan might stand up to Russia on this. The rest of the world will whistle past the graveyard. And the crisis will worsen until we either get a war or until we see nuclear states popping up like mushrooms all over Asia to counter Pyongyang’s threat. Which in turn increases the chances of nuclear wars breaking out as Asian states collide with one another. The long-term implications of Russia’s duplicity are staggering.

Russia is responsible for a great deal of misery in the world; propping up Kim Jong-Il and helping him pester us is merely Russia’s latest crime. Leftwingers like to point at this or that in American history and condemn us as evil for all time, but won’t cast the same critical gaze on Russia, for 70 years a Communist imperial menace and for the past several years a spider working with the world’s worst regimes against the world’s freest. If we’re going to start isolating states on the basis of bad international behavior, Russia might be a good one to start with.

What this points to, in the final analysis, is that the United Nations will be of no use in dealing with North Korea. Russia holds a veto on the UNSC, as does China, and both will block any resolution dealing with North Korea that has any teeth. China has its own reasons for not wanting a war in Korea, mostly having to do with the massive humanitarian crisis that is guaranteed to follow Kim’s collapse and that will spill over into China in the form of millions of starved, brainwashed Koreans. Russia, however, seems to playing a very dangerous game of realpolitik, selling weapons expertise to whoever wants it, no matter the long-term harm done, and all in the name of increasing Russia’s influence while denting ours.

The fact that Russia is also linked to the Proliferation Security Initiative, the John Bolton creation intended to cage Kim’s weapons trafficking, means the PSI may be compromised as well.