North Korea in the corner
Published on October 27 2006
Putin: Don't back North Korea into corner - CNN.com
SEOUL, South Korea (Reuters) -- North Korea should not be backed into a corner over its nuclear test if the global community wants to resolve the crisis over the North's atomic ambitions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. Putin, referring to six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, said one of the reasons Pyongyang had resorted to conducting the test was that "not all participants in negotiations were able to find the correct tone..." "You must never push one of the participants in talks into a corner and place it in a situation from which it can find no way out other than boosting tension," he said answering questions on live television. The U.N. Security Council voted on October 14 to impose financial and arms sanctions on North Korea after it staged the nuclear test, but just what those sanctions meant and how they would be implemented was still a matter of debate. North Korea warned its neighbor against imposing sanctions. "South Korea, forced by the United States, has already halted inter-Korea humanitarian projects and is moving to stop cooperation in other areas. The South is even revealing an intention to join U.S.-led military operations aimed at blockade against us. "South Korea's participation in the U.S. racket to put pressure upon the North...is a serious provocation leading to a crisis of war on the Korean peninsula," a spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland was quoted by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying. "If South Korea joins the U.S. ploy to pressure us, we will consider it as a declaration of a showdown and take corresponding actions," the spokesman added. North Korea blamed the United States for creating the crisis. "... the world has been pushed into the vortex of nuclear arms race by the nuclear strong-arm policy of the U.S. based on double standards," said the Communist Party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun. "Its grave policy of nuclear threat is the main factor that pushed the DPRK to access to nukes," KCNA said, using the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The United States, which as one of the five recognized nuclear states maintains a massive nuclear arsenal, has promised that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula and has also said it has no intention of attacking North Korea. China voted in favor of the sanctions but both Beijing and Seoul fear that if they squeeze the impoverished North too tightly it could ruin ties and risk the North's collapse, sending waves of refugees into China and threatening regional turmoil.Another good article at CFR. Reading some of the news reports brought to mind the questions on this subject that I had to answer for IR class last year. In fact, I was working on the questions at the same time I was partying down at the last reunion. (Hotel wireless is so cool! Yes, I am a hick, as a matter of fact!) So I dug around in my notebook to find my answers--seems like things haven't changed all that much in a year. The problem hasn't changed. I still am so intrigued-- and impressed-- watching these kinds of negotiations and considering all of the myriad factors involved. I always end up with more questions than answers studying these ideas. Since it looks as if I'll be taking basically the same course over again beginning in December, I'm hoping maybe I'll understand a little more about it this time around. To me, it looks more like China has been put in a corner, rather than NK. What does China do next?? because, as much as NK rants and raves about the US, the power they *really* need to worry about it China. And I think that is why the US doesn't seem to have done much--at least not as much as some factions in this country think we should do--about the DPRK. In some strange way, we realise that NK is more China's baby than ours. Section 5 questions
- If you were the head of state for South Korea, what particular aspects of North Korea's weapons technology would you find most troublesome?
If you were among the top officials of the U.S. government, what particular aspects of North Korea's weapons technology would you find most troublesome? Explain the difference in perspective.
If you were among the top officials in China, would you apply negative pressure on North Korea, or implicitly support their policies? Why?