THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO “HMMM….”: Given South Korea’s extreme reluctance to confront North Korea, willingness to ignore recent North Korean provocations, and borderline-delusional faith in Pyongyang’s ability to reform, I’d been trying to figure out what the South Korean position was on Iraq. Somewhat to my surprise, this Reuters report suggests they are staunchly ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO "HMMM....": Given South Korea's extreme reluctance to confront North Korea, willingness to ignore recent North Korean provocations, and borderline-delusional faith in Pyongyang's ability to reform, I'd been trying to figure out what the South Korean position was on Iraq. Somewhat to my surprise, this Reuters report suggests they are staunchly pro-U.S.: "The United States and Britain picked up support for a tough position against Iraq among U.N. members on Wednesday, although a substantial majority in a two-day debate opposed an invasion of Iraq.... on Wednesday, Macedonia, Albania, Uzbekistan, Iceland, Serbia and Montenegro, Latvia, Nicaragua and South Korea, sharply criticized Iraq and said it had to comply or face tough action." I wonder if this is a simple case of NIMBY politics, or if the South Koreans genuinely believe that Iraq is flouting the nonproliferation regime but North Korea is not. Marcus Noland makes a decent case that it's NIMBY.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO “HMMM….”: Given South Korea’s extreme reluctance to confront North Korea, willingness to ignore recent North Korean provocations, and borderline-delusional faith in Pyongyang’s ability to reform, I’d been trying to figure out what the South Korean position was on Iraq. Somewhat to my surprise, this Reuters report suggests they are staunchly pro-U.S.: “The United States and Britain picked up support for a tough position against Iraq among U.N. members on Wednesday, although a substantial majority in a two-day debate opposed an invasion of Iraq…. on Wednesday, Macedonia, Albania, Uzbekistan, Iceland, Serbia and Montenegro, Latvia, Nicaragua and South Korea, sharply criticized Iraq and said it had to comply or face tough action.” I wonder if this is a simple case of NIMBY politics, or if the South Koreans genuinely believe that Iraq is flouting the nonproliferation regime but North Korea is not. Marcus Noland makes a decent case that it’s NIMBY.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner

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