Tuesday, October 10, 2006

North Korea

North Korea may or may not have performed a nuclear explosion in the last couple of days, but the much maligned "blame game" is in full gear. There are those who argue that Clinton is to blame, he was "dubed" by the North Korea, and his "agreed Framework" was a total failure. Then there are those who argue that Mr. Bush's bravado and unwillingness to hold bilateral talks is to blame for North Korea's apparent thirst for nuclear weapons.

As is usual, both sides bring forth some valid points, the "Agreed Framework" did manage to freeze North Korea's plutonium based program. But, the North Koreans did have a secret Uranium enrichment program. It is also true that North Korea felt threatened after the "Axis of Evil" speech and the Iraq war.

These arguments center on what America did and focus little on the role of the other nations around North Korea. Laura Ingraham (appearing on the O'reilly factor) was right, as long as, South Korea and China, believe that coddling North Korea is in their interest, then their is nothing much that the U.S. can do to North Korea.

Maybe this event (or nonevent) will provide the necessary push to convince China and South Korea to "do more than rebuke North Korea"
The U.S. could potentially sway the decision, by (as O'reilly suggested) privately threatening to curtail economic ties with China [economics of which seem unlikely] or giving a wink and a nod to Japan's development of Nuclear weapons (a good old nuclear arms race) or defensive and offensive military capabilities (China and South Korea have nightmares about Japan's bellicose past).

Japan and the U.S. seem to support a very harsh response to the situation, but China's view (concrete and not rhetorical) has yet to be seen. Much deepends on where she sees here interests.


Blogger Gathara said...

Why should we tolerate a world where only a few countries are allowed to posess and continue to develop nuclear weapons with which they threaten the rest of us? The US can hit any country in the world with its nukes yet gets upset when others develop the capability to hit them.

Just look at how they reacted in 1962 when the USSR tried to put nukes in Cuba all the while conveniently ignoring the fact that the US had similar weapons in Turkey facing the Soviets!

As I've argued, for as long as any country continues to hold these weapons, others will seek to develop theirs as a deterrent. It is strange for the West to say that their WMD pose no threat to anyone but that the same weapons in other countries' hands pose a threat to them.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Githush said...

I agree that nations shall always look for nukes, especially when other regional powers are armed with the nukes. Most of the current nuke nations, developed programs to balance a regional power India/China, Pakistan/India, China/Russia, Russia/U.S. Iran/Iraq and Israel. etc...

However, when most nations acceded to the NPT, they agreed that a world with more nukes wasn't the answer to security dilemmas. Most signatories to the NPT have adhered to the letter and spirit of the NPT.

At the moment the only signatory that seems to be having issues is Iran.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Gathara said...

The NPT also required that the nations with nuclear weapons take steps towards eliminating them. When India raised this question at the UN, Bill Clinton told them to be "realistic."

Almost all nuclear powers are in violation of the NPT. Why should the rest of us be bound by it?

The fact that a few nations wish to enjoy the benefits of possessing WMD, and also wish to deny the same to everyone else, is the main factor driving proliferation.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Gathara said...

By the way, the list of countries that have pursued the nuclear weapon in spite of the NPT is by no means limited to Iran. Iraq, Israel, South Africa, South Korea, North Korea, India, Pakistan, Taiwan have all at one time or another had (some still continue to have) a nuclear weapons programme.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Githush said...

It is true that the fact that nuclear members of NPt have not lived up to their disarmament obligations. However, signatories to the NPT should not use this as an excuse not to abide by their obligations. The U.S. is not disarming is not a very strong case for ignoring the treaty.

Moreover, if a nation wants to abandon the NPT, it is free to do so. Nations that want to pursue nukes should withdraw from the NPT and move on with their plans. Pursing them while a party to the NPT weakens it a great deal

As for the nations mentioned: Israel, Pakistan and India have never been party to the NPT. North Korea (nominally) withdrew. Taiwan - though a initial signatory - is technically not part of the U.N. and thus not bound by the treaty, though she has no active program. I am not sure of South Korea and South Africa was not a signatory when it pursued the program, and actually ended its weapons program under the auspices of the NPT.

The NPT - as with many treaties - is a voluntary one, if a nation wishes to withdraw and pursue weapons, she can do so. There shall obviously be repurcussions, but they are free to do so.

5:41 PM  

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