The relative ease with which Libyan air defenses were taken down has not been lost on the Hermit Kingdom:
As they have watched the attacks in Libya this week, senior North Korean leaders “must feel alarmed, but also deeply satisfied with themselves,” said Rüdiger Frank, an adjunct professor at Korea University and the University of North Korean Studies, writing on the Web site 38 North. North Korea is believed to have 8 to 12 nuclear weapons and last year disclosed a new uranium-enrichment plant.
Mr. Frank said that the Libyan situation was “at least the third instance in two decades that would seem to offer proof that they did something right while others failed and ultimately paid the price.” He said North Korea would probably see object lessons in the Soviet Union’s decision to end the arms race and to “abandon the political option to use their weapons of mass destruction,” and in Iraq’s agreement to accept United Nations nuclear inspectors and monitors. And now, Libya.
“To put it bluntly,” Mr. Frank said, “in the eyes of the North Korean leadership all three countries took the economic bait, foolishly disarmed themselves, and once they were defenseless, were mercilessly punished by the West.”
“It requires little imaginative power to see what conclusions will be drawn in Pyongyang,” he said, adding that anyone in the senior leadership who favored denuclearization “will now be silent.”
So long to the Six Party Talks. Stand by for more saber rattling and provocations.