North Korea and the missile threat
North Korea has again launched a missile. Several of the previous launches have malfunctioned and whether any of the successful ones have achieved the intended distance and accuracy is unknown. But with enough missiles, reliable or not, and several sufficiently lightweight and sturdy nuclear charges, a bomb might, in the future, reach Okinawa or Alaska, or even further.
Such a nuclear attack from North Korea would mean the end of the country itself. The land would again be laid to ashes. Ashes to the ashes from the war in the 1950s. Was any country so thoroughly destroyed as North Korea? Next time will be worse. The North Korea leaders know this. Be assured, they want to survive, but were they to use nuclear weapons they would not.
What has DPRK – North Korea – done to deserve the condemnations of the UN Security Council? The country left the Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT, in order to develop its nuclear weapons program. The Security Council has prohibited launches by DPRK of missiles that may be part of a nuclear weapons program. When other nuclear weapons countries who are not members of the NPT—that is India, Pakistan and Israel—launch missiles that are certainly capable of carrying nuclear weapons, no protests are heard from the Security Council.
The nuclear-weapons states who are members of the NPT—Russia, the USA, the UK, France, and China—pledged in 1968 to negotiate the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. So far, after almost half a century, these negotiations have yet to begin. Russia and the USA keep nuclear weapons ready for launch within minutes, making the risks of destruction of our world by mistake a reality.
In order to stop the nuclear weapons program in North Korea, renewed and tougher sanctions are proposed. There is no evidence the present sanctions have had any effect on the DPRK military development. On the contrary, the political leaders can blame underdevelopment and recurring starvation on the enemy.
In a conflict it is always important to listen to the other side, even if that side is as abominable as the North Korean despots. The US and the DPRK have never resolved the state of conflict that has existed between them since the 1950s. The leaders in Pyongyang want negotiations of a peace treaty. They also want a nuclear-weapons-free Korean peninsula. That would probably include an end to the extended deterrence arrangement between the US and South Korea. The enormous US superiority in conventional weapons means that the security of South Korea would not be diminished if Korea became a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.
Negotiations should be tried.