Well, I'm not trying to stereotype, but when I was in Japan and China, (lived in Beijing for 2 months), I did notice that both the Chinese and Japanese are very much into "saving face". I would assume that the Koreans, both north and south are into this as well. What I mean is (at least in China), they do not like to be proven wrong. They like to show they are the toughest nations and their way of life will stand. Japan, is not so much this way, but pride seemed prevalent when I was there. Does anyone remember the rhetoric going around during the EP3 spy plane incident? A lot of hot air floating around on the press, the Chinese not willing to say it is their fault, (Im sorry, a prop-driven plane is not match for a fast chinese mig, loaded with arms). Then the Chinese want an apology from the US claiming that the incident was entirely the fault of the US. (Again, saving their own asses). Anyway, pride, especially national pride is a big issue to them. The more unified and strong their words are, the better and stronger they look in the world of international politics. Honestly, I think They want in bed with the US more than anything, and they are using their nukes to sort of tool to do so.
Iraq is a much different situation than North Korea. First of all, NK is much closer to the US, and they HAVE obtained the nuclear technology to build a bomb, or what have you. Secondly, N. Korea shares many cross relationships to other countries of which the US has relationships with, (both good and strained). What some of you forget to think about, is that most of what you hear from news sources, (i.e. political speeches from president Bush and his staff, or of other world leaders), is primarily abrasive rhetoric to show their strength. So, even though you may think Bush is stupid, and going to get us into WWIII, most of what he says is harsh rhetoric to scare the enemy. Also, the US, I can 99.9% assure you, will not strike first with nuclear arms in a war with Iraq. The US, as well as other nations, including Russia, have their nuclear arsenal more as a means of deterrant, and this is why Bush said he would use nukes if need be. (That occurring if Saddam uses chemical or biological weapons on US forces.) Therefore, by saying his statement, he raises the stakes to Saddam in hopes that Saddam will back down, be scared and not use his WMD on our military.
People, politics is 75% rhetoric (usually abrasive) and 25% policy. What we comprehend as politics (for those of us who are the average Joe), is 99% what the media reports, and 1% of what actually occurs.
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way