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Trying to implode North Korea « Previous | |Next »
July 13, 2003

This old article from the Japan Times makes two interesting comments in the light of the Howard Government saying that a planned international operation to intercept its vessels could be a precursor to "other action" against the rogue state. This opens up the option of Australia going to war against North Korea.

The first comment is that North Korea is not as much of a military threat as the hawks have made out. It military machine has pretty rudimentary training. It is unlikely the regime has a large arsenal of usable modern missiles that are capable of presenting a long-term threat to regional peace.

And the second comment is that the aim of the hardline, neo-con strategy (that Australia has just signed up to) is to implode North Korea. The result would that the North Korean people would starve to death. But it would also achieve the required regime change.

Japan is quite nervous about the trip wire strategy. Reasonably so.

It seems to me that economic aid is what is required, coupled with dialogue and economic development. It is better than beating the war drum in response to North Korea playing the nuclear card for international assistance.


As Glen Milne asks:

"What's wrong with North Korea's offer to de-nuclearise in return for US guarantees of its sovereignty? Why is Australia supporting Washington's refusal for bilateral talks aimed at defusing the growing crisis in the Korean peninsular?"

Reasonable questions.

Beating the war drum on North Korea by the Howard Government involves raising the spectre of nuclear war. The spin is to let Australians know that in Howard's judgment, nuclear war in our region may happen, and that Australia may be involved. The ante on the 'world is a dangerous place' script for domestic politics keeps on getting raised. Nuclear war is a long way from Tampa.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:51 PM | | Comments (1)


"What's wrong with North Korea's offer to de-nuclearise in return for US guarantees of its sovereignty?"

The obvious answer would be: they tried that already, and NK still developed weapons despite promising they wouldn't. Why would you trust them?