Now, this is what we call a punch, a solid punch with return in real time, a move that produces result quickly.

If the matter is a hotly debated international issue, involving two countries, who have been historical opponents, a response, that talks of a ‘sort’ of resolution, within 24 hours, should be seen as a quick enough result.

That is exactly the situation of ties between the United States of America and North Korea, the two sworn enemies of decades, in the context of the escalating tension between the two nations, two extremes, with ‘Sony Hack’, the cyber-assault on Sony that forced the company to pull ‘The Interview’, a satirical movie on the third supreme ‘Kim’ of the ‘Kim’ nation, out of the market as the theatre owners chickened out.

See the words and the tone of Barack Obama on December 19: “Imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended. That’s not what America is about. We’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose. It’s not something that I will announce here today at a press conference.”

The North Korean response was swift and framed menacingly.

On December 20, The Independent quoted statement of an official of the North Korean Foreign Ministry that says: “As the United States is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation with it into this incident. We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as what the CIA does. The US should bear in mind that it will face serious consequences in case it rejects our proposal for joint investigation and presses for what it called countermeasures while finding fault with.”

And see the change after it, within a day, in just 24 hours. Yesterday, Barack Obama had to come out and clarify that ‘Sony Hack’ was not ‘an act of war’ after John McCain, the next chief the Senate Armed Services Committee, declared so.

Yesterday, Barack Obama said it was not an ‘act of war’. He termed it a costly act of ‘cybervandalism’. Clearly, he was trying to play around with words saying he was exploring options to see if North Korea could be put again on the list of nations sponsoring terrorism but such decisions could not be based on ‘just news of the day’. He said in a CNN interview: “We’ve got very clear criteria as to what it means for a state to sponsor terrorism. And we don’t make those judgments just based on the news of the day. We look systematically at what’s been done and based on those facts, we’ll make those determinations in the future.”

From ‘an act of war’ and ‘we’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose’ to ‘ we don’t make those judgments just based on the news of the day’ – it seems the wind has swiftly realized its ‘northward’ course.

Now, it may take time for the US to review the ‘list’ for North Korea and even may not happen at all, but, North Korea has effectively put America on the job.

But even this didn’t make the third supreme ‘Kim’ happy as the follow-up developments indicated, vocally.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –

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