Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nuclear Test in North Korea Tests Commitment to Peace

US President has called North Korea´s latest detonation of an atomic weapon a ¨provocative act¨ and a threat.

What Obama seems to be missing is that for a nuclear deterrent to work, the weapons have to be functioning and seen to be functioning, and the owners of the weapons have to be seen to have every intention to use them, should the occasion arise. Without these deterrence won´t work. This is true of every nation that possesses nuclear weapons, and I see no reason to expect anything different from North Korea. North Korea, in acquiring nuclear weaponry, has simply put itself on a par with the other nuclear nations. The threats and provocations from North Korea are no different from those of any of the nuclear nations that wish to maintain a credible deterrence.

We see much speculation in the press on how China is finally going to be forced to reign in North Korea. This has been going on for almost a decade now, and North Korea has in this time developed nuclear weapons and gained the ability to launch satellites into space. With the recent election in Japan of the most bellicose government in decades, a government that is directly provoking China herself over the issue of the sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands, Korea seems destined for the back burner, at least as far as China is concerned. Nevertheless, after the test, China released a statement calling for peace and stability and a denuclearized Korean peninsula. I think these sentiments might be closer to the hearts of North Korea than the USA and allies.

We might not have noticed, but the week before this test the USA and South Korea were engaged in military exercises in the waters of the peninsula´s east coast. These exercises are routinely held and essentially they are preparing to attack North Korea. Imagine a bunch of guys parked on the street outside your home and going through a dry run on burning down your house and killing you. Most of us would react, and the North Koreans are no different. Last week they condemned the exercises and said they were open to peace talks. No response. This week nuclear tests.

I have to agree with both the Chinese and the North Koreans here. There should, at long last, be peace talks on the Korean peninsula. The Korean war has gone on long enough, and continuing it serves no purpose I can see. It´s a shame that Obama and the USA can´t endorse this idea.

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