June 17, 2003
DPRK NUCLEAR CRISIS: 'WAR OF WORDS' IS ESCALATING
** The DPRK's
"odious government" is using "plain blackmail" to save its
** Rhetoric about
"tough measures, including sanctions" may lead to increased tensions.
** A diplomatic solution
can be found through a "multilateral forum."
** South Korean papers
are divided on how best to arrive at a "peaceful solution."
Pyongyang's nuclear threat seeks to 'bluff Washington' into a
bargain-- Kim Jong-il's
"paranoia" explains his quest for the "status of a nuclear
power." A Hong Kong writer said
that Pyongyang "wants to be recognized as a nuclear power," not just
use its nuclear program as a "bargaining chip." Euro papers dismissed the North's claims that
nuclear weapons would more efficiently utilize military spending; Belgium's
independent De Morgen blasted the "Stalinist club of old men"
who only create "famines." South Africa's Sowetan reflected
leftist sentiment that the ongoing crisis poses an "intangible
challenge" to U.S. foreign policy.
Concern rises over the U.S.' 'increasingly threatening
language'-- Dailies warned that
"U.S. rhetoric" could lead to "military activity." Germany's right-of-center Die Welt
stated that U.S.-led "sea blockades and economic sanctions," as well
as a "preventative strike against the nuclear reactor at Yongbyan,"
are possible. India's nationalist Hindustan
Times cited "recent U.S. unilateral behavior" to explain
Pyongyang's decision to seek nuclear weapons.
Given North Korea's "escalating potential as a nuclear power,"
a Belgian writer noted, "Washington could not dream of a better chance to
go to war somewhere again."
The key to solving the crisis is 'diplomacy, not force'-- Euro and Asian writers emphasized international
cooperation, no matter how "slow, tedious and expensive." Hong Kong's independent South China
Morning Post opined that a "multilateral approach will convince North
Korea that its erratic, dangerous policies cannot be tolerated." Alluding to U.S. unilateralism, Britain's
independent Financial Times termed the current multilateralism a
"welcome guarantee" the U.S. will not "rush a
solution." Japan's moderate Yomiuri
hailed the regional "consensus on the need to prevent the DPRK" from
attaining nuclear weapons.
ROK outlets are split over the need for a 'hard-line
policy'-- Leftist papers urged the
U.S. to begin "engaging the North in dialogue" and cease its
"heavy pressure." Hankyoreh
Shinmun termed recent moves by the U.S. and Japan "too harsh" and
inimicable to "a peaceful and diplomatic resolution." More conservative dailies were critical of
Seoul's "extremely conciliatory attitude" and demanded a "concrete
vision of a solution," not just adherence to the "principle of a
peaceful resolution." Dong-a
Ilbo noted the "international community's firm resolve" and
backed South Korean participation in U.S. and Japanese
EDITOR: Ben Goldberg
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis was based on 27 reports from 13 countries over 3 - 17 June 2003. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
An editorial in the independent Financial Times read
(6/11): "Pyongyang claimed its
nuclear deterrent was not to blackmail others but to reduce conventional
weapons and thereby divert money and human resources into economic development. But could the admission of economic needs be
the first sign that US pressure is working?....
The US is right to pursue a multilateral approach. Pyongyang was a headache for the region, as
well as the US, long before President George W.Bush took office, though by
bracketing it with Iraq and Iran in his "axis of evil" he exacerbated
tensions. Washington would like to involve China, South Korea and Japan so as
to bring maximum regional pressure to bear and to underwrite any negotiated
solution. A regional settlement would minimize the loss of face for the Bush
administration in making concessions to North Korea. A multilateral approach is also a welcome
guarantee that the US will not try to rush a solution to North Korea, as it did
in Iraq and sometimes seems tempted to do over Iran."
GERMANY: "War Of Words
Dietrich Alexander judged in right-of-center Die Welt of
Berlin (6/10): "Kim Yong-il loves
the bomb.... With it, the autist in
Pyongyang extorts an inappropriate high attention. In his paranoia, Kim feels threatened by
the United States, but in reality, the threat emanates from him.... Washington is now distancing itself from the
dictator and is withdrawing its 37,000 soldiers from the de-militarized zone to
protect them from North Korean artillery fire.... President Bush leaves no doubt that he wants
to counter terrorist regimes with military means. Scenarios of aggression against the 'axis
power of evil' are likely to have been developed in the planning departments of
the Pentagon, for Washington cannot allow Kim the production of nuclear and
other weapons of mass destruction, since it would otherwise lose its
credibility and remain susceptible to blackmail. Sea blockades and economic sanctions are
thinkable--or a preventive strike against the nuclear reactor in Yongbyan. A scenario, which the protagonist of the
hawks, Richard Perle, openly mentions.
The war of words is escalating."
"Kim's Aggressive Intentions"
Karl Grobe said in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau
(6/10): "The timing for the North
Korean regime to attract attention could hardly have been better. South Korea's President is in Tokyo, Japan
only recently adopted a series of defense and emergency bills, and the United
States is seriously considering transferring its forces out of the reach of
North Korea's artillery.... The Kim
dynasty in Pyongyang is now announcing with a majestic gesture that it will
build the bomb. In its bizarre logic,
the Kim regime feels right, since the DPRK cancelled the agreements with the
IEAE and the NPT.... This is why
Pyongyang has the same status as the United States and all other nuclear powers
with respect to nuclear détente.
Pyongyang has not yet announced that it has the bomb, but only the
intention to build it. This is a
qualitative step. It is difficult to
believe the version that Kim Yong-il only wants to force talks by making
threats. The way, in which evidence is
presented, points to different, namely aggressive, intention. Those who refer to the law of the jungle will
also use it. Like--and in this respect
Kim is right--the United States."
Ousts Moscow From Korean Peninsula"
Vasiliy Golovnin wrote in reformist business-oriented Kommersant
(6/11): "Clearly, Washington does
not feel like seeing Moscow getting involved in solving the North Korea problem
soon. It just does not see much sense
in that. The Russian leadership must be
upset, especially because it has sought to use the North Korea case to score
more diplomatic points and demonstrate its new role in international
politics. No one can blame Russia for
inaction. Last January Deputy Foreign
Minister Aleksandr Losyukov, Russia's chief expert in Asian affairs,
went to North Korea with a package of proposals on a
settlement. It was a mistake right from
the outset. Moscow hastened to declare
that after Pyongyang, Mr. Losyukov would go on to Washington to explain the
terms of reconciliation, on a mission that was supposed to consolidate his
position as a mediator. Washington's
reaction was killing: the Americans pretended not to see the fine implications
of the diplomatic game. The mediator
quietly returned to Moscow to find out later that the Americans did not need
his good services. After the failed mission
to Pyongyang Moscow lost all sway in Korean affairs.... Getting Seoul and Tokyo to join the talks is
understandable. They are the United
States' closest allies in Asia, so ignoring their wishes would be
"We're Just A Fragment Of What Once Instilled Fear In
Valeriy Panyushkin opined in reformist business-oriented Kommersant
(6/11): "Russia has no reason whatsoever to mediate between America and
Korea except that it is dying to mediate between the Americans and somebody
else, no matter who. We can think up a
million reasons why we should do so--we a Far Eastern power in the Pacific; we
have a large Korean community; former communists ourselves, we know how to deal
with our Korean brethren--but all those are just cheating. Cheating bespeaks weakness. True enough, because
of its geopolitical position, Russia may call itself an Atlantic nation to try
for NATO membership, it may call itself a European nation to gain admission to
the EU, it may claim to belong in Asia to deal with its satraps there, or refer
to our borders in the Pacific in the Far East to become a party to dividing
Korea.... In fact, Russia is just a
fragment of what once instilled fear in all and what now instills fear in no
one. The United States has no reason to
be involved with North Korea either except that no one will dare deny it that
privilege. Assuming that politics is
like the game of cards, it is hard to tell which is worse, being a strong
player like America or a weak player like Russia. On reflection, you may find that it is best
to be like Switzerland and not to be humiliated by threats to expel you from
geopolitics for the simple reason that you never asked to be in it."
"N. Korea Builds Bomb To Cut Army"
Katerina Labetskaya and Aleksandr Lomanov held in reformist Vremya
"Redistributing the meager resources of the ineffective economy
won't solve North Korea's problems. That
country badly needs foreign investments and technologies. The status of a nuclear power, rather than
benefiting it, will cost it a lot by making it even more isolated
internationally. Pyongyang risks losing
all humanitarian assistance from South Korea and international
organizations. By having openly
acknowledged its nuclear ambitions, Pyongyang seeks to bluff Washington into a
bargain.... North Korea's actions make
its neighbors nervous. Seoul and Tokyo
favor a peaceful solution to the crisis, but they condemn North Korea's nuclear
plans. Beijing and Moscow are not happy
about Pyongyang's striving for nuclear weapons either."
Korea’s Nuclear Weapons"
Frank Schloemer maintained in independent De Morgen (6/10): “The North Korean Stalinist regime believes
that it has two reasons to produce nuclear weapons. First, it feels compelled to build a nuclear
arsenal because the country is threatened by the United States. It is a fact that the U.S. has been present
with an impressive military power in South Korea and George W. Bush is speaking
increasingly threatening language to North Korea which, in his eyes, is a
‘rogue state.' With seldom seen cynicism
a second reason for the production of nuclear weapons was given. Allegedly, they are cheaper than traditional
arsenals and the Korean people would profit from the money thus saved. All of a sudden the gerontocrats in Pyongyang
are thinking about their own people.
Miracles exist. That Stalinist
club of old men--who have a tradition of organizing famines for their
people--now want to make the world believe that they need nuclear weapons to
give the people more food. A schoolbook
example of political perversity. Be
certain that those same rulers will not hesitate to use those weapons,
preferably against archenemy South Korea and, implicitly, against that other
archenemy, the United States.... One may
wonder what inspired those North Korean rulers to give George W. Bush such an
open chance. He invaded Iraq for fewer
reasons. Washington only vaguely
suspected Saddam Hussein of possessing a biological arsenal--and that was
sufficient to send hundreds of thousands of troops to Iraq. Iraq always denied that it had such weapons,
but that suspicion was enough for Bush and Blair to invade the country.... The U.S. wants to keep the club of nuclear
nations as small as possible and even deplores that France and Russia have that
kind of stuff. It is not really clear why
North Korea has such a big mouth now, but Washington could not dream of a
better chance to go to war somewhere again.”
SAUDI ARABIA: "Plain
Jeddah's English-language pro-government Arab News
(6/10): "North Korea is not quite
the paranoid, soulless state that is thought, and the tragic truth for most
North Koreans is that their service in, and subsequent control by, the armed
forces is what keeps their odious government in place. The North Korean threat is plain blackmail.... Blackmail was a tactic that worked before,
ten years ago when Pyongyang first threatened to abandon the nuclear
non-proliferation treaty. But the
economic crisis was not then anything like as bad as it is today.... It would be nice to believe that the Bush
administration will not duck the issue of a nuclear Korea but we should not
hold our breath. The U.S. will talk
tough, do nothing in the Far East, and stick instead to its Zionist-inspired
intervention in the Middle East."
AUSTRALIA: “Words Not Guns
For North Korea”
An editorial in the liberal Sydney Morning Herald read
(6/13): “The present North Korean crisis
goes back to the 'axis of evil' comments by the United States President, George
Bush, last year. Those harsh words undermined years of painstaking diplomacy
which had reopened communication between the Clinton administration and that of
Kim Jong-Il.... Mr Bush, impatient with
such trade-offs, replaced rewards with abuse, and North Korea responded with
threats. Now, the US proposes to intercept North Korean ships and wants
Australia to join it in the enterprise....
While Canberra rightly shares Washington's goal of achieving security in
North Asia by dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear program, this does not mean
Australia should automatically join such a US operation.... Australia must remember that it is a
middle-ranking nation with a small--though effective--military. It must not overplay its hand as it spreads
its very limited armed forces through the region and beyond. Let Washington
play the bad cop with North Korea. Australia can stand back from US rhetoric
(axis of evil and all that) as well as staying out of any military
activity.... Australia's influence on
the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula should be via diplomacy, not force.”
“War Of Words On North Korea”
The liberal Melbourne-based Age observed (6/11): “What is clear is that North Korea's
escalating potential as a nuclear power is causing serious alarm, especially in
the region.... Although North Korea was named
as part of the 'axis of evil' by President George Bush, it is extremely
unlikely that the US would embark upon a program of regime change as it did in
Iraq. There can be none of the games of brinkmanship that prefaced the invasion
of Iraq. There is no way of knowing how a country still nominally led by a dead
man--the Eternal Leader Kim il-Sung--would respond. The key still lies in
multilateral diplomacy--slow, tedious and expensive though that may eventually
turn out to be."
CHINA: “The U.S. Is Preparing
To Attack DPRK"
Xu Baokang commented in official Communist Party-run international
news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao) (6/16): “Recently, there are two noticeable messages
going around on the DPRK issue: one is that a representative of the U.S. hawks
claimed that the U.S. should bomb the DPRK nuclear facilities when ‘necessary’;
another is that the U.S. government transmitted its will to ‘hold 5-way talks’
to China’s Foreign Ministry through the U.S. Embassy in China and asked China to
pass the message to DPRK. Observers
think, the two methods, one ‘bombing’ and one ‘talking’ showed the ‘offensive
realism’ policy that the U.S. is using against DPRK has primarily been
shaped.... Observers indicated, on the
DPRK issue, the U.S. and its allies started to adopt the strategy of both
‘dialogue and blockade’ and is preparing for ‘a preemptive strike’ at any
time. There are many changes in the
development of the Korean peninsula issue, and it is not optimistic.”
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):
"United Effort Will Make North Korea Take Heed"
The independent English-language South China Morning Post
editorialized (6/15): "On Friday,
the U.S., South Korea and Japan agreed after two days of talks in Hawaii to
work together to stop North Korea's weapons proliferation and bring stability
to the Korean peninsula through peaceful means.
Their joint statement expressed concern about 'illegal activities by
North Korean entities, including drug running and counterfeiting.' Individually, the efforts of the three had
done nothing to prevent Kim Jong-il's Stalinist regime from taking its own
course to solve its economic and humanitarian problems. Security in northeast Asia worsened as a
result of their efforts. But Friday's
agreement offers a new hope. Working
together, and bringing North Korea's closest allies China and Russia to the
table, will provide a powerful reason for Pyongyang to take heed. Such a multilateral approach will convince
North Korea that its erratic, dangerous policies cannot be tolerated."
Frank Ching remarked in the independent English-language South
China Morning Post (6/5):
"North Korea is playing a dangerous game, saying different things
to different people with the idea of dividing the international
community.... North Korea also keeps
changing its position, so that it becomes extremely difficult to pin it
down. Even on the issue of whether the
North insists on bilateral talks with America or whether it is willing to hold
talks in a multilateral format, North Korea's position is ambiguous. In April, the North Koreans announced that
'we will not stick to any particular dialogue format,' clearing the way for
three-way talks in Beijing. However, the
North is again insisting on bilateral talks with the U.S., saying they must
precede any multilateral negotiations.
It is also unclear what North Korea's ultimate intentions are. For a while, it seemed the North wanted to
use its nuclear weapons program as a bargaining chip for security guarantees
and badly needed economic aid. Now,
however, its statements increasingly suggest that it wants to be recognized as
a nuclear power, and that what it is offering is not the dismantling of its
nuclear program but rather its exercise of self-restraint in not exporting its
nuclear weapons, technology and missiles.
North Korea should realize, whatever game it is playing, that the stakes
are extremely high. It would do well to
remember that people who play with fire are likely to get burned."
JAPAN: "Gaps Between
Japan And South Korea"
An editorial in top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri noted
(6/8): "Saturday's talks between
Prime Minister Koizumi and visiting South Korean President Roh raised
uncertainties over whether Japan and South Korea would really be able to
cooperate closely on North Korean policy. Koizumi and Roh agreed not to
tolerate the development of nuclear weapons by North Korea. But while Koizumi
reiterated Japan's 'dialogue and pressure' policy toward the North, Roh
stressed that he would place greater emphasis on dialogue with
Pyongyang.... The joint statement,
issued by Koizumi and Roh, used less specific wording on ways to deal with the
North's nuclear issue than those used in the U.S.-South Korean summit talks, or
in the U.S.-Japan summit talks recently....
Trilateral talks between the U.S., North Korea and China have been
initiated. South Korea needs to narrow the gap with the U.S. and Japan to allow
the trilateral talks to become multilateral, with Japan and South Korea being
admitted to the table."
"World Community Should Join Hands to Press DPRK to Stop
Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (6/3): "Through the Evian G-8 summit, the world
community has reached a consensus on the need to prevent the DPRK from going
ahead with its nuclear arms development. The challenge that lies ahead is
whether the international community will be able to act in concert in taking
tough measures, including sanctions, against the North, if its actions warrant
such punitive steps.... North Korea
should take such an international warning seriously and abandon its nuclear
development program completely and promptly in a verifiable and irreversible
manner. The only way the world community can show North Korea that it means
business is to make it plain to Pyongyang that both dialogue and pressure will
be used as required."
SOUTH KOREA: "It Is
Time For Pyongyang To Exercise 'Flexibility'"
Yoon Kuk-han wrote in nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh
Shinmun (6/17): "In a situation
where the Bush Administration shows no sign of dropping its hard-line policy
and engaging the North in dialogue, the only way for Washington and Pyongyang
to return to the U.S.-DPRK joint statement penned during President Clinton's
tenure is for Pyongyang to change itself.
If it is true, as many experts say, that the North wants nuclear weapons
to revive its shattered economy, it is really important for Pyongyang to
accurately assess the current U.S. mood.
Further delays in nuclear talks resulting from Pyongyang's taking issue
with the dialogue format will severely increase the North's burden and
"Cooperation To Impose Sanctions On North Korea Starts To
Independent Joong-Ang Ilbo editorialized (6/16): "At the recent TCOG talks, the ROK, the
U.S., and Japan agreed to counter North Korea's illegal activities, virtually
establishing a de facto basis for sanctions against the North. Even though on the surface the agreement was
targeted at Pyongyang's drug trafficking and money counterfeiting, it is a
warning that international pressure on the North will intensify.... Meanwhile, the two Koreas held ceremonies to
re-link cross-border railroads in the eastern and western sections of the
DMZ. In addition, another round of
separated family reunions is scheduled at Mt. Kumgang at the end of this month. Unless the North gives up its nuclear
ambitions, such inter-Korean exchanges will inevitably face problems. Pyongyang must not make light of this
"Pyongyang Should Keep In Mind Messages Of Cooperation
Between The U.S., ROK and Japan"
Independent Dong-a Ilbo opined (6/16): "The ROK's participation in U.S. and
Japanese efforts to pressure Pyongyang represents a significant departure from
its previous insistence on a peaceful resolution to the North Korean nuclear
issue. It can be said that the focus of
North Korea policy sought by the three countries has changed from dialogue to
pressure. Pyongyang should take note of these changes of heart by the U.S., the
ROK and Japan...and adopt a forward-looking attitude by accepting multilateral
nuclear talks including the ROK and Japan.
It is time for Pyongyang to drop any expectation that it can use the
ROK's conciliatory attitude toward it to avoid hard-line responses from the
U.S. and Japan."
"North Korea Should Turn Its Nuclear Strategy Into A Peaceful
Nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun observed
(6/16): "With the North Korean
nuclear issue stirring up serious confrontation, the ROK needs to attach as
much importance to inter-Korean dialogue and efforts to bring Pyongyang to the
dialogue table as cooperation with the U.S. and Japan. Even though inter-Korean relations have
further soured recently due to strengthened U.S.-ROK cooperation and an
investigation into allegations that Seoul secretly provided money to Pyongyang
ahead of the inter-Korean summit in June 2000, continued inter-Korean dialogue
is indispensable at this critical moment....
North Korea, for its part, must quit calling for national cooperation
alone.... Cooperation for peace and
reconciliation is meaningless without trust between the concerned parties. We strongly urge Pyongyang to immediately
abandon its nuclear programs and to turn its nuclear strategy to a peaceful
"International Pressure on North Korea is Beginning to Take
Independent Dong-a Ilbo contended (6/13): "With the international community
ratcheting up efforts to blockade North Korea's illegal activities such as drug
trafficking, an international conference opened in Madrid, Spain, yesterday to
discuss ways to preclude the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
(WMD).... In particular, the U.S.,
backed by Japan and Australia, is said to lead talks on setting maritime
traffic rules to halt the North's illicit trading and weapons proliferation and
on levels of sanctions [if the North violates such rules].... We urge Pyongyang to accurately read the
international community's firm resolve to no longer condone its illegal
trafficking in drugs and counterfeited money and the spread of WMD.... Regarding the ROK's failure to attend the Madrid
conference, we suspect that the ROKG's extremely conciliatory attitude toward
the North might have triggered its exclusion from the international
coalition. It might very well be that
leading countries of the conference--notably the U.S.--thought the ROK would
become an obstacle to such discussions. "
"Hasty Discussion Of Imposing Sanctions On North Korea"
Government-owned Daehan Maeil declared (6/13): "We are deeply concerned about recent
moves by the U.S., Japan, and Australia to blockade North Korea, because they
contradict the principle of a peaceful resolution to the North Korean nuclear
issue agreed to by the leaders of the U.S., ROK and Japan. We believe that the 'further steps' or
'tougher measures' mentioned in the U.S.-ROK and U.S.-Japan joint statements
should be implemented if Pyongyang crosses the 'red line,' for instance, by
reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods.
Any hasty discussion of imposing sanctions on the North could become an
obstacle to another round of nuclear talks, which are currently shaping into a
"ROK Stays Out Of U.S.-Japan Cooperation On North Korea's
Conservative Chosun Ilbo argued (6/12): "We worry about the way the ROKG is
handling the North Korean nuclear issue.
With the U.S. and Japan starting to put pressure or impose sanctions on
North Korea and Pyongyang declaring possession of a 'nuclear deterrent,' and
alluding to a 'world war,' the ROK seems to be staying on the sidelines of this
urgent situation.... For now, it is more
important that the ROKG present a concrete vision of a solution to resolve the
nuclear issue peacefully than that they simply cling to the principle of a
'peaceful resolution'.... Washington and
Tokyo might proceed with policies to pressure the North without Seoul's
"The Need To Put The Brake On U.S. And Japan's Move To
Blockade North Korea"
Nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun held
(6/12): "Tensions are mounting on
the peninsula as the U.S. and Japanese governments start to apply 'heavy
pressure'--almost equal to a 'blockade'--on North Korea.... This U.S.-Japanese move contradicts the
principle of a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue agreed
upon by the leaders of the U.S., Japan and the ROK... and is too harsh to
regard as 'pressure for dialogue'....
Knowing that Pyongyang is eager to talk to the U.S., this sort of U.S.
and Japanese 'blockade' of the North will aggravate the situation rather than
elicit change from the North. It is high
time for the ROKG to exert every possible diplomatic effort to halt the two
countries' attempt to blockade the North and to revive the momentum for
THAILAND: “Those On The
Pichien Kurathong commented in elite, Thai-language Matichon
(6/5): “South Korea and Japan are most
likely to be on the firing line. The new
president of South Korea in particular will have to find a way to avoid his
nation from being a nuclear arms base.
Falling too much into the role of a Superpower’s puppeteer may intensify
South Korea’s confrontation with DPRK.
At the same time, if the new president is to use the same compromising
means as did the former president with the States, Washington won’t take it,
either.... For the time being, we’ll
have to keep an eye on the Chinese stance after Hu Jin Tao’s discussion with
President Bush at the G-8 summit.
Conclusions of their discussion would signify how critical South Korea is
on the firing line.”
INDIA: "Dealing With
The Hidden Kingdom"
The nationalist Hindustan Times opined (6/13): "It's a hopeful sign that North Korea's
stated desire to have nuclear weapons hasn't set off panic in the West. US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said
that the development did not mean 'we are on our way to war'.... President Bush also believes that there is an
opportunity for a diplomatic solution, but one that lies through a multilateral
forum. This attitude appears to have become something of a sticking point.
Pyongyang has for long suggested that it wishes to engage the Americans in
direct talks, probably wishing for direct economic assistance. The US, however,
prefers a regional dialogue.... The US
refusal to engage Pyongyang one-to-one is played up by the Kim Jong-II regime
as hostile American intent which it cites as a motivation to acquire the
nuclear deterrent. This is downright irresponsible behavior.... Recent US unilateral behavior, especially on
the Iraq issue, may have prompted the thought among some that only possessing a
nuclear deterrent can save them in the final analysis. To prevent
miscalculations, Washington would need to show greater diplomatic initiative
PAKISTAN: "Growing WMD
Shireen M. Mazari wrote in the centrist national English-language News
(6/11): "The North Korean challenge
to the nonproliferation regime is extremely timely. And the almost total lack of response to its
declaration of nuclear intent shows that the whole WMD issue is a farce and
merely a pretext to use against Muslim states that the US views with
hostility!.... The principle of
nonproliferation has already been gradually undermined by the U.S. itself. After all, apart from keeping Israel out of
the nonproliferation ambit, the use of this issue as a pretext for preemptive
military intervention in Iraq and possibly, in the future, in Iran has
undermined the credibility of the supporters of nonproliferation. The case of Iraq has actually undermined the
very rationales the U.S. and Britain gave for invading Iraq in the first
place. For one, it is now clear that
there were no substantive stocks of any kind of WMD being held by Iraq--and
worse still, both Bush and Blair knew this to be the case!"
SOUTH AFRICA: "North
Korea Has Card Up Its Sleeve"
Natashia Chiba writes in the pro-government, Afro-centric Sowetan (6/5):
"The hunt for WMD continues amid global concern that the U.S. may
have set a dangerous precedent in Iraq....
Could North Korea be next on the agenda?
North Korea has for decades presented successive US administrations with
what could best be described as an intangible challenge to American foreign
policy.... It is no surprise that North
Korea has on several occasions tried to gain the world's attention by using its
trump card: its nuclear weapons program....
More significant was the open declaration in April 2003 that it did
possess nuclear weapons. The timing of
these revelations proves significant for two reasons. Firstly the international community
preoccupied itself with the war in Iraq and America's largely defiant
actions.... North Korea's
revelation...constituted a clear violation of the various treaties and
multilateral processes acceded to by that government. Again this raised questions about the
efficacy of the multilateral process.
Secondly, the revelation...emerged at a time when many observers began
to fear that America had set a precedent in Iraq.... On June 1 Bush together with...Putin issued
strong statements condemning Iran and North Korea for their nuclear weapons
program.... For two powers that
collectively harbor the world's largest stockpile of conventional and nuclear
forces, calling on countries such as Iran and North Korea to curb their
possession of such weapons does not gain credibility in the eyes of the