Well, the Taliban seem to be doing OK without allies, and they aren't even a standing army.
Oh, and the Iraqis
Americans know that the United States has no intention to invade North Korea, but North Korea doesn't know that. ... Fundamental to the American view is that North Korea cannot be trusted to honor bilateral and multilateral commitments. That it initiated the uranium enrichment program in violation of agreements it made with the United States in 1994 is typically cited to support this view. Yet the specific provisions for the 1994 agreement were for the suspension of the North's plutonium production facilities, and those provisions had been honored. Moreover, the United States itself failed to honor key provisions of the deal. The promised installation of 2,000 megawatts of nuclear powered electric generation capacity by 2003 has not been delivered, nor has the "full normalization of political and economic relations" nor have the "formal assurances against the threat or use of nuclear weapons by the United States" been made. Thus, in the eyes of the North Koreans, while the United States got what it wanted up front - namely, the suspension of the North Korean plutonium program - North Korea got mostly empty promises.
Moreover, when confronted with US knowledge of the enriched uranium program by Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly during his visit to Pyongyang in October 2002, the North Koreans offered to shut down the program in return for a US commitment not to attack and to go ahead with the promised normalization of relations. But Kelly told them they had to halt the program, period, and that there would be no negotiations. What North Korea wants most, according to South Korean negotiators, is US recognition and a non-aggression treaty to end the war. The South doesn't see why that is so difficult in view of the fact that virtually every country in the world, except for the United States, Japan and France, recognizes North Korea. The South believes Washington's policy is driven by hard-line ideological hawks who want to bring about the collapse of the North and maintain hostility in order justify broader US deployment in the Pacific. Thus, in the view of many South Koreans, the United States is as much an obstacle to resolution as the North.
Suppose instead of snubbing [then] South Korean President Kim Dae-jung we had invited him to Washington and asked his advice on how to deal with the North. Suppose instead of calling North Korea part of "the Axis of Evil", the president had maintained contact with North Korea's Kim Jong-il, and assured him delivery of the promised electricity- generating equipment. Suppose we had finally negotiated a peace treaty to finally end the Korean War, and had offered diplomatic recognition to North Korea as we promised, and hadn't made such a big deal about deploying a National Missile Defense Shield ro defend against "rogue nations like North Korea". Would we have a Korea crisis on our hands?
Ordinary kimchi is teeming with microbes, like lactic acid bacteria, which help fermentation. On Earth they are harmless, but scientists fear they could turn dangerous in space if cosmic rays cause them to mutate. Another problem is that kimchi has a short shelf life, especially when temperatures fluctuate rapidly, as they do in space.
"Imagine if a bag of kimchi starts fermenting and bubbling out of control and bursts all over the sensitive equipment of the spaceship," Lee said.
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