Sunday, July 16, 2006

Stop North Korean Missile Diplomacy and Nuclear Proliferation to The Axis of Evil

Finally, North Korea has fired ballistic missiles on the 4th of July. The vital issue is to stop North Korean missile diplomacy, and prevent nuclear proliferation to “the axis of evil”, such as Iran and terrorist organizations. The Resolution has been approved at UN Security Council on July 15, but it remains to be seen whether the global community can act unanimously or not.

Experts on Korean Peninsula have been critical that the Bush administration has not committed sufficiently. A dovish opinion leader like Wonhyuk Lim, Nonresident Fellow at the Brookings Institution advocates bilateral talks with North Korea, instead of “malign neglect” and hostile attitude against this country. This idea is widespread among liberals such as Senator Christopher Dodd and Senator Barbara Boxer. Another criticism comes from hawkish side. Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute says that the Bush administration has been using empty rhetoric, without trying to resolve crisis in the Peninsula.

While doves insist on bilateral talks, this approach is dangerous for the United States. North Korea can cheat the agreement. Nicholas Eberstadt explains Kim Jong Il’s predatory security strategy as follows.

North Korea's rulers have concluded that it is safest to finance the survival of their state through the international export of strategic insecurity and military menace. Consequently, the leadership, as a matter of course, strives to generate sufficiently grave international tensions, and present sufficiently credible security threats, to wrest a flow of essentially coerced transfers from neighbors and other international targets sufficient in volume to assure the continuation of what Pyongyang describes as "our own style of socialism."

In order to prevent defrauding, any agreement must bind China and Russia as Henry Kissinger mentions in his article contributed to the Washington Post. The UN resolution will be a pressure for North Korea to come back to the Six-Party talk. Unlike bilateral agreements with the United States, the dictator cannot cheat easily, because Big 2 sponsors, China and Russia, are involved.

In multilateral negotiations, perception gap is a problem. Though China and Russia want to denuclearize Korean Peninsula, they do not worry North Korean missile test so much as the United States and Japan. Daniel Pinkston and Andrew F. Diamond, both at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, explain this as the following.

While China certainly wants to see a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, it will not risk causing the collapse of Kim Jong Il's regime by cutting off shipments of oil or food. Such a collapse, while a desired outcome for many in the U.S., is undesirable to the Chinese and South Koreans. A North Korean collapse would almost certainly cause a massive influx of North Korean refugees and potentially disrupt China's economic growth, which is a primary goal of the leadership in Beijing.

Furthermore, they say

Collapse or instability would also introduce uncertainty over the control of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which could be transferred through China or to non-state actors that could use the weapons against China or others in the region. A U.S. military strike against North Korean WMD facilities could be equally disastrous for China, while South Korea's capital Seoul, within range of North Korea's artillery, would be devastated if Pyongyang were to retaliate.

While South Korea still continues appeasement policy to the North, the Korea Times criticize President Roh Moo-hyung’s sunshine policy. This is a good trend.

In dealing with China and Russia, Republican Senator John McCain suggests as follows.

Beijing's handling of North Korea would be a "defining issue in our relations with China." … If China continues to "vacillate" in the United Nations, "there are consequences in our relationship."

North Korea can be allied with rogues like Iran and Al Qaeda, which poses serious threat to the whole globe. A well-known blog, called “Regime Change Iran” reports that Iran and North Korea have close ties in missile diplomacy.

UN resolution was adopted. However, what Kim Jong Il does is unpredictable. The United States and the global community must give them hard lessons that missile diplomacy shall never pay. This lesson is not only for North Korea but all proliferators and rogues.