Following an underground nuclear test on January 6 this year, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched a satellite on February 7. Responding to these events, many nations, including the United States, condemn the acts and intensify sanction policies. But the crucial point lies in attempts in which nations around the world abandon a nuclear deterrence policy.
FAREWELL TO NUCLEAR DETERENCE IS SOLUTION
The DPRK authority announced that it had launched an earth observation satellite, while the alliance of US-South Korea-Japan accuses it as a missile. Though there are differences between a satellite and a nuclear warhead, a rocket is used as a means of transportation for both cases. What is mounted in the rocket may be a point, but it is clear that DPRK has developed technology to launch a long-range ballistic missile.
Therefore, the US condemns and insists sanctions on DPRK on the ground that the mainland should be covered within the range of a weapon system of the latter. Meanwhile, the Japanese government told to take more rigorous sanction policies and tighten besiegement network. Both of the Lower and Upper Houses approved a condemnation resolution. DPRK, in turn, announced abrogation of the comprehensive investigation efforts to find out Japanese citizens, including those specified as missing, stipulated in the Stockholm Agreement.
The US and the Republic of Korea have started talks to deploy Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense missiles (THAAD), while China expressed concerns over deployment in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, emphasizing a solution through dialogue.
What has happened after US President’s speech in Prague?
The triple alliance of the US, Japan and South Korea are hasty to build up military and economic containment networks, while DPRK is ready to cope with new, changing situations. The critical point lies in absence of a peaceful exit. The essence of the issue goes back to a rule of military deterrence established after the World War II on the basis of monopoly of nuclear arms.
President Obama made a speech in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2009, saying: … I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons’. People around the world hailed and applauded. But the reality today is far from his determination.
The United Nations adopted in 1996 a treaty, the CTBT ? Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits all types of nuclear tests and explosions, but countries including US, China, Egypt, Iran and Israel have not yet ratified it. India, Pakistan and DPRK have not signed, nor ratified. The treaty does not take effect.
The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force in 1970: all the nations, excluding the five permanent members of UN Security Council, were banned to possess and gain nuclear weapons. India, Pakistan and Israel, on account of rejection of nuclear monopoly by the five, do not join the treaty. Meanwhile, DPRK, once a member, expressed withdrawal in 1993, and the stance remains the same today. These four countries, though they are not members, are de fact nuclear powers.
There exists strong reaction behind the today’s scene to nuclear deterrence initiative based on the monopoly system of the five. It is because power diplomacy still dominates the world in which the nuclear nations, taking advantage of their potential, attempt to rule over countries which rely on different values from their own ones.
End ‘Armistice’ in the Korean Peninsula
The Korean Peninsula is still divided on the north latitude 38 degree line. What should be done at the moment is not to punish and encircle the DPRK. The US should stop its hostility to DPRK and propose a venue of peace talks to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
One more point is that the US should make a break with double-standard diplomacy. Nuclear arms of the nuclear nations, including the United States, and those of DPRK must be evenly eliminated.
February 23, 2016