North Korean Fireworks
This week was the Fourth of July in the United States and, as usual, we had a lot of fireworks. At Cape Canaveral the space shuttle Discovery lifted off and displayed a lot of fireworks itself! North Korea decided to create its own fireworks with the anticipated launch of several of its missiles. Though much anticipated, the display fizzled—for now.
Thus far, over two days, seven missiles have been launched. Six were smaller one stage rockets capable of shorter (1,000-4,000 kilometer) distances. The one Taepodong-2 missile capable of reaching the western coast of America fell into the Sea of Japan less than a minute after launch. No doubt this will give North Korea's neighbors some small comfort, seeing that the technology needs some fine-tuning.
What North Korea wants from this exercise is not clear. In the past such tests have brought attention from the United States and the promise of development aid and technology. Is this another attention grab by President Kim Jong Il? Or perhaps this is a legitimate missile test done with the implied consent of China to stir the pot of Asian relations. No Western observer knows for sure, as many of the news articles indicate.
What is important to watch for is the response China takes and the diplomatic language it uses at the United Nations and elsewhere. China's long-term goal is to diminish the influence of the United States in the region. This is a complex and multifaceted subject, but ties into the larger geopolitical influence America holds on the world scene. China is a key trading partner for the United States, but its larger policy serves only its own interests (as do the policies of most nations).
Blessed by God…
America occupies a major role in today's world affairs. Because of its size and dominance, it attracts praise, criticism and envy. What most do not understand, including most Americans, is the revealed truth that its blessings and influence are the result of God's blessing and His faithfulness to promises made anciently to the biblical patriarch Abraham. It is not "American exceptionalism," only the faithful blessing of God to the descendants of Abraham. The story is told in our booklet, The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy. When we see efforts to undermine America's role in the world, we are seeing the "archers" shoot their "arrows" at Joseph, as Jacob long ago predicted (Genesis 49:22-23).
Like it or not, and many people today don't, America plays a large and vital role in world affairs. When the day comes that it doesn't, it will be missed, but by then it may be too late for you to make the needed personal changes.