Monday, April 6, 2009

Obama in Turkey

In his first trip to an Islamic nation since becoming President, Obama has visited Turkey and explained he does not wish to continue the principles of the past administration, but wishes to extend talks with Armenia, Iran and Turkey, and supports Turkey's joining of the UN. I believe this is a huge step forward for international diplomacy and truly extends a hand from America and the European nations to middle eastern countries. The goal is, of course, to create allies and a safer, more stable global collaborative, and this is another huge step in that direction.

North Korea, on the other hand, is a different story. By launching their rocket and attempting to place a satellite into orbit, (they are exercising their rights to peaceful space exploration, and did warn countries what it was doing, when, how long it would take, the route of the rocket, etc.), they could be testing the waters to see what the retaliations and sanctions will be for such a move. I think it will be swift, yet succinct. (After all, there's still a discrepancy about whether a satellite even reached space, or whether all of it fell into the Pacific, as our radar shows it most likely did. What does this mean? They have the ability and guidance for a rocket to reach 2/3 of the way to America, and may be able to put a satellite into orbit...but not yet.)

Perhaps a press conference, some menial sanctions, and some back-channel telephone calls will be the only repercussions to come out of this. Nothing serious, especially since there's no way to prove something malevolent one way or another. What this does, however, is essentially prove that North Korea (and Iran before it) should be considered (and should have been considered for years) serious players in the global community. And what will come out of this is a more serious position. I think this qualifies them for a spot at the discussion roundtables, which is a rightful spot for them. Promote peaceful discussions and talks, not public scoldings while being privately silent or non-communicative.

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