North Korea's detonation of a nuclear bomb has been the big news since I last wrote to all of you. And now, as I write this morning, there are strong rumors that a second bomb could be set off by the Stalinist Asian regime of Kim Jong Il. Headlines ask, "Who Can Stop Him Now?" Now that we know they have nuclear devices, we ask, "What does this mean?"
The 4.2 magnitude blast on Oct. 9 lifted the poor North Korean state into the exclusive nuclear club. The nuclear test was in blatant defiance of world opinion and broke its promise made several years ago not to develop nuclear technology. The result is a scary new world that has sent diplomats into scramble mode. It took several days for the United Nations Security Council to impose more sanctions that included a ban on "luxury goods." As if limiting sales of Louis Vuitton handbags in Pyongyang will change their present course!
The great fear is that other nations, Iran being first in line, will push forward with plans to develop the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. Reports speculate that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey may decide they have no choice but to push ahead with plans to develop a nuclear bomb. One former U.S. Defense Department official says, "The North Korean test blew a hole in the nonproliferation regime of Northeast Asia. I think this is bad news for the country, bad news for the region, bad news for the world" (Time Magazine, Oct. 23, 2006, p. 32).
Of immediate concern is the reaction of South Korea and Japan. For decades both nations have enjoyed safety, peace and economic security under the protective umbrella of American military force. Will this development push forward any plans they have for nuclear development? U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spent this week in Japan and South Korea reaffirming the strategic relationship and promise of American protection. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso said that Japan "is absolutely not considering a need to be armed by nuclear weapons." This stance may be altered if the growing nationalistic feelings within Japan continue to rise. Newly installed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leads a new breed of leaders who are not shackled by feeling of war guilt.
The key to the immediate crisis is the U.S. nuclear umbrella and the perception of American power to hold together the world as we know it. If this begins to unravel, there will be a vacuum that will encourage further nuclear proliferation and danger to international security. Nations around the world have already seen American military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq as opening a window of opportunity for other powers to flex their muscles and political will. This is what North Korea has done in recent days.
Russia is doing the same in actions it has recently taken against the Republic of Georgia, a U.S. ally on the Black Sea. Russia blockaded air, rail, sea and postal services over a series of espionage allegations. While this may seem small, it illustrates Russian boldness in the face of American preoccupation in Iraq. Russia does not fear America right now. That is a critical matter on the world stage. Russia feels it can move at will to secure its own interests, which are not always the same as those of the United States. The net effect is a weakening of American power.
Add to this the prospect of President George Bush becoming hamstrung by domestic political issues resulting from this November's midterm election. Should Democrats win control of both houses of Congress, they could prevent President Bush's foreign policy goals by using their budgetary control. Even gaining control of one chamber could frustrate White House initiatives, resulting in gridlock. Seeing this, other nations would have a green light to push their agendas in critical regions of the world.
Are we seeing a decline in American power? I have been writing on this subject in recent issues of World News and Prophecy. What is the solution? Is it more "guns" or "butter"? Will changing the political leadership alter the fortunes of the nation? Sadly, the answer is no. The problems are spiritual in nature, requiring a radical departure from our current moral course. Regardless of the outcome of the November elections, we will see this trend of shifting power take place in the world. The results will be a far different world than you and I have come to know.
Bible prophecy shows a coming time of trial for America, Great Britain and other English-speaking nations who have received great material blessings. Our great national sin of ingratitude has led us to forget that the God of Abraham has provided us the material blessing we have. America has a veneer of spirituality, but God's Word tells us that is not enough to merit continued protection and blessing.
What does North Korea's nuclear bomb blast mean? It means the world situation is heating up and we are living in momentous times. Other nations see gray hairs upon the American Empire and are relentlessly moving to change the course of modern history. I will be writing more on this in the November issue of World News and Prophecy. In the meantime, continue checking WNPonline for updates to the blog and podcasts on this and other subjects.