News
 International
   Global Views
   Asia-Pacific
   America
   Europe
   Middle East & Africa
 National
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Business
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Taekwondo
 Media
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 Cartoons/Comics/Humor
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Life
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Housing
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 Job
 English Teaching
 Translation/Writing
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Business
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Entertainment
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Community
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 PenPal/Friendship
 Volunteers
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
  Asia-Pacific
Letters from Tokyo
Nuclear Test by North Korea and Need for a Quietist Japan
By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent
North Korean nuclear test site

North Korea is once more being deemed to be involved in international brinkmanship according to reports that stress that this nation successfully carried out a nuclear test underground. This will be the third nuclear underground test in total. Therefore, this reality highlights the need to forge a genuine dialogue between all vested parties rather than sabre rattling. After all, the one reality which emanates from the elites in Pyongyang is that they refuse to bow down to international pressure, irrespective of the rights and wrongs of their actions.

Of course, the point of view coming from North Korea is that this nation is acting defensively. Also, political elites within the military of North Korea know full well that no nuclear power in history was ever attacked by major military powers. Not only this, if you focus on the reality of Northeast Asia then clearly the issue is much more complex.

The nuclear dynamic of Northeast Asia is a reality because America (with military bases in several nations throughout the region), China, North Korea, and the Russian Federation, are all nuclear powers. America may not belong to Northeast Asia in geographic terms but clearly the “nuclear umbrella” belongs to its allies in Japan and South Korea respectively, irrespective of what politicians say. Also, the American military bases in Japan and South Korea are aimed at “alleged enemies” and from the point of view of Pyongyang this means that North Korea faces a combined threat. In this sense, the two non-nuclear power nations of Japan and South Korea are involved in the “nuclear theatre by stealth” because of their respective policies towards America.

This reality isn’t blaming either Japan or South Korea but it highlights the fact that you have two opposing camps when it comes to North Korea. China is seen to be more sympathetic towards North Korea even if the “nuclear angle” worries the elites in Beijing. Similarly, it is clear that China will put limitations on its “friendship” towards North Korea and this applies to unwarranted military posturing. The Russian Federation is much more of an “honest broker” because this nation does not favor any side directly. Instead, political leaders in the Russian Federation want to contain all negative forces and to lay the foundation for greater economic, political and energy activity between all nations throughout Northeast Asia.

KCNA (http://www.kcna.co.jp/), North Korean media agency, stated before the third nuclear underground test that “The South Korean “Ministry of Defense” recently called for

“developing concrete, substantial and definite strategy” to cope with the “the North’s potential nuclear threat” and declared that the conception of “pre-emptive attack” would be included in the “strategy of nuclear deterrence against the north” to be worked out with the U.S.”

“Jong Sung Jo, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, blustered in case of “any sign of the North’s nuclear strike,” the South Korean military would “mount a pre-emptive attack on it even though it might lead to a war.”

The same article also pointed out that “The South Korean regime has stepped up the development and deployment of ballistic missiles with a firing range of 800km capable of striking the entire region of the DPRK (North Korea) as well as the deployment of Aegis destroyers ship-to-ground cruise missile with a firing range of 500km and a long-range air-to-ground missile for fighters.”

Japan should not only be raising important questions towards the posture of North Korea but also challenge South Korea for its statements aimed at North Korea. It should be remembered that recently South Korea made extremely hostile comments aimed at Japan over the territorial dispute. Japan therefore should take an even-handed approach to both parties on the Korean peninsula. After all, a protracted military war between both North Korea and South Korea would also threaten Japan if America became involved. Therefore, it is essential that the Abe government in Japan puts the people of this nation first rather than taking sides and antagonizing relations between Japan and North Korea.

In fairness to America, it is clear that Washington is trying to dampen the territorial dispute between China and Japan. This is based on many important factors related to the need to prevent a major conflict between regional powers. Also, the economic linkage of America, China and Japan is a reality therefore these three powerful economic powers have a genuine mutual interest in preserving the status quo. Indeed, the military constraints which are enshrined in the Constitution of Japan also suits Beijing. After all, this means that China can modernize its military capability without the fear of Japan responding to the same degree thereby avoiding a military arms race.

Therefore, for Japan it is clear that the recent territorial postures of China and South Korea have been much more negative than the posture of North Korea towards Japan. Given this reality, the new Abe government should not openly become involved in sabre rattling towards North Korea. Of course, Japan will rightly condemn the underground nuclear test by North Korea because nobody knows the full consequences of this development in the long-term. However, Japan must remain firmly focused on preserving its territorial integrity and focusing on revitalizing the economy.

President Obama of America rebuked the underground nuclear test by North Korea. Obama stated that “North Korea announced today that it conducted a third nuclear test. This is a highly provocative act that, following its December 12 ballistic missile launch, undermines regional stability, violates North Korea’s obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation. North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region.”

“These provocations do not make North Korea more secure. Far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.”

“The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies. We will strengthen close coordination with allies and partners and work with our Six-Party partners, the United Nations Security Council, and other UN member states to pursue firm action.”

Overall, it is essential for Japan to adopt a “quietist policy” because current tensions over territorial disputes with China and South Korea respectively, points to the need to focus on these issues. North Korea is the “regional bogeyman” but military elites in this nation are focused on the political and military postures of America and South Korea. Therefore, Japan can afford to “slip under the radar” despite being rightly concerned about developments in North Korea by rebuking the recent test in a more mild manor. After all, sabre rattling against North Korea doesn’t work and it is better to bring this nation in “from the cold” and into the “economic light” rather than military confrontation.

If South Korea and North Korea can’t avoid confrontation then this issue is internal and outside the remit of Japan. Of course, America will more than likely become embroiled in any clash between both Korea’s but for people residing in Japan – and with the nuclear cloud hanging over any possible clash – then clearly it is in the interest of Japan to remain at a distance. In the past both Korea’s have vamped up the military angle but nothing really amounted to much for many decades. Therefore, it is hoped that China and the Russian Federation can bring a semblance of normality to procedures in order to reduce the sabre rattling, irrespective of where the sabre rattling is emanating from.

The above article was written by Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker.
leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

The above story is from Modern Tokyo Times.
http://moderntokyotimes.com



Related Articles
    Drugs Crisis in Iran Emanating from Afghanistan
    Mexico Resembles a Civil War: Three Murders ...
    "Door Remains Open," French President Says
    President Trump and Ousted FBI Chief Comey: ...
    Moon Jae-in to Become President of South ...
    America, China, Russia Should Work Together on ...
    The Fading Spirit of Kano Chikanobu Awakened ...
    Japanese Poetry of Kakinomoto no Hitomaro: ...
    Trump Offers China Economic Inducements If ...
    Syria & Khan al-Assal Massacre: Western ...
    United States Botanic Garden and Stunning Art ...
    Syria: FSA and Al-Qaeda in Power Struggle
    Syria and the Sponsored Revolution Costing ...
    South Korean Fashion and Kpopsicle: Summer ...
    Syria and Shia Massacred by al-Nusra: Gulf and ...
    Turkey & Discontent towards Premier Erdogan: ...
    UK, MI5 and Syria: Hypocrites, Somalia and ...
    Christian Clergy in Syria Held Hostage by the ...
    China and Japan Play Cat and Mouse over ...
    Cameroon and Nigeria: French Hostages Released ...
    Alyse Radenovic, Bratunac and Srebrenica: Art ...
    Japanese Art and Bunjinga: Tani Buncho, Power ...
    Italian Fashion and Simonetta Sala: Adorable ...
    France, UK Want to Send Military Arms Directly ...
    Political Crisis in Tunisia after Belaid ...
    World of Art: Yuzo Saeki and Alyse Radenovic ...
    Israel Violates the Sovereignty of Syria
    Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood: President Mursi ...
    Japan Art: Erotic Art, Sexuality and ...
    Algeria Hostage Crisis: Japan Needs to ...
    Syria and Bashar al-Assad Addresses Powerful ...
    US, France, UK Support Islamism
    LDP Wins Election in Japan
    FSA Islamists in Syria threaten to kill ...
    Syria Needs Support to Defend Itself against ...
    Egypt, Jordan and Turkey: Political Crisis and ...
    Japanese Art, Culture and the Yamabushi: ...
    Israel, Gaza and Doha: The Sham of the Western ...
    Syria & New Charade: Gulf Nations Should ...
    Japan and South Korea Relations: Comfort Women ...
    Tokyo Fashion and the Exquisite Boutique ...
    Sudan, South Sudan Crisis & Int'l Community
    Claude Monet Was Smitten by Japanese Art: ...
    Japan Tourism and Fukushima: Abukuma Cave, ...
    Japanese Art and Saburosuke Okada: the Power ...
    Japanese Art and Tosa School: Tosa Mitsunobu ...
    Syria and Terrorist Threat from Opposition: ...
    Russian Federation Lambasts Anti-Syria ...
    Syria: Outsiders Support Terrorism and US & ...
    Japanese Art and Bunjinga (Nanga): the ...
    Ontoshiki Is a Stunning Photographer in Tokyo: ...
    Japanese Art and Van Gogh: Japonisme, Ukiyo-e ...
    Associated Press Opens a Bureau in Pyongyang
    Fashion in South Korea: Kpopsicle & the trends ...
    Japanese Buddhist Art at the National Museum ...
    Japanese tourism: Jigokudani Monkey Park in ...
    South Korean Fashion: Kpopsicle, International ...
    BoA Releases Stunning New Song "Milestone"
    K-Pop and New Mini-Album Called "Snow Pink" by ...
    La Carmina and Tokyo: Alternative Fashion, ...
    K-Pop and T-ara in Japan: Stylish, Energetic ...
    Kanstyle Magazine to Open Up South Korean ...
    Tokyo Fashion: Jiyugoaka Is Trendy and a Great ...
    Korean Pop Music Continues to Hit Heights in ...
    Yoshihiko Noda to Become New Prime Minister of ...
    Japan and the Political Farce: The Race Is On ...
    Tokyo tourism: Mount Takao-san Is a Stunning ...
    Ryo Ishikawa: Near to Making a Breakthrough at ...
    Lindsay Ann Hawker: Verdict Is Life in Prison ...
    Hokusai & Hakone: Ukiyo-e & Stunning Scenery
    Lindsay Ann Hawker: Does the Joji Obara/ Kim ...
    Burma (Myanmar): Free Burma Rangers update
    Japan & Child Abduction: Interview with Sonia ...
    Novak Djokovic Beats Rafael Nadal to Claim ...
    Kawanabe Kyosai: the Underworld and the ...
    Tatsuya Ichihashi Admits to Killing Lindsay ...
    Utagawa Kuniyoshi: Tranquil Art and Natural ...
    Southern Thailand and Islamization
    Islamic Terrorism: Afghanistan to Bosnia and ...
    IslamicJihad within the Territory of Russia
    Muslims Burn a Christian Alive in Pakistan
    Radical Islam and Terrorism in the Balkans
    Pakistan and Ongoing Christian Persecution
    Turkey Is Trying to Dictate to Armenia
    Bosnia and Clinton's Radical Islamists
    Iraq's Jewish Identity Faces Extinction
    Muslims Slaughter Christians in Egypt
    Somalia and the Reality of Radical Islam
    Racist Ishihara Fails to Get 2016 Olympic Games
    Daily Life in Japan and Isolation
    USA and the Internal Islamic Threat
    Indonesia and Ba’asyir, the Preacher of Hate
    Nigeria and Christian Martyrs
    Indonesia and Islamic Terrorism
    Aceh in Indonesia Passes Stoning to Death Law
    2016 Olympic Bid and Racist Governor of Tokyo
    Randy Collins and Child Abduction in Japan
    Islamic Militants Target Buddhists in Thailand
    Bangladesh Destroys Hinduism, Buddhism
    Child Abduction in Japan: Shane Clarke Case
    Islamic Ramadan Begins, Blood Keeps Flowing
    Kosovo and Ongoing De-Christianization
    USA Appeases Islam under President Obama
    Somalia, UK, and Killing of Christians
    Buddhists Fear to Walk in Southern Thailand
    Pakistan Must Abolish the Blasphemy Law
    Pakistan and Burning Alive of Christians
    Nigeria Challenged by Radical Islamists
    Somalia and Christian Martyrs Killed by Muslims
    KOSOVO & Systematic Persecution by KLA
    Japan Ignores Child Abduction because of Racism
    Japan Allows International Child Abduction
    Ethiopia Continues to Develop under EPRDF
    Saudi Arabia and Why Child Marriage Is Allowed
    China Faces a Fresh Bout of Ethnic Hatred
    Islam and the Myths of Unity and Peace
    IRAN Enters a Political Minefield alongside ...
    Islam Needs to Be Challenged by True Democracy
    North Korea's Point of View
    Myanmar: Ethnic Minorities & Aung San Suu Kyi
    Colombia and Extrajudicial Killings Scandal
    IRAQ and the Destruction of the Mandaean ...
    Non-Arabs of the Middle East and Persecution
    USA Is Worried about Events in Pakistan
    USA, CIA Created Sunni Islamic Terrorism
    Pakistan Faces Internal Threat
    N. Korea Pulls Out of 6-Party Talks because of ...
    Japan under Ishihara Must Not Be Given the ...
    USA Is Looking at Plan Colombia in Order to ...
    MYANMAR – Karen Christians Face Joint ...
    Bolivia under Morales and the Indigenous Issue
    Mexico -- Drug Cartels and the American Market
    Saudi Arabia Allowing 8 Year Old Girls to ...
    USA -- Bail Outs Must Be Questioned after AIG ...
    Ethiopia under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
    Europe Is Facing a Real Economic and Social ...
    USA is Deeply Concerned about Pakistan and ...
    USA -- Obama Is in Free Fall at the Moment
    Japan Must Not Be Rewarded the 2016 Olympics ...
    China, Russia Rebuke America at World Economic ...
    PAKISTAN -- Radical Sunni Islamists Are Now ...
    EU Is Alarmed by Gas Dispute between Russia ...
    USA -- Obama Faces Major Internal and External ...
    Zimbabwe Now Faces Cholera Epidemic alongside ...
    Pakistan and the Persecution of Ahmadiyya ...
    USA -- President Bush Is Trying to Contain ...
    India Becomes Yet Another Major Victim of ...
    Japan Needs to Create an Independent Foreign ...
    Mongolia and The Importance of This Nation to ...
    Islamic Radicals Support Stoning Women, ...
    Inflation Threatens to Engulf Vietnam and The ...
    Turkey and The Secular Card, Myth or Reality?
    Ethiopian Ambassador to Japan and Third ...
    SOUTH AFRICA, Race Attacks and Underlying ...
    EGYPT -- Coptic Christians Are Still ...
    Ethiopia Needs International Support to ...
    Armenia and Azerbaijan Are Still in Dispute ...
    Kosovo and the Crisis of Ignoring ...
    The UN Is Undemocratic and Manipulated, So ...
    America Is Seeking to Contain the Russian ...
    Iran Is a Stabilizing Power in Afghanistan and ...
    Venezuela -- Chavez the Enigma, a Great or ...
    Lebanon Needs to Dismantle the Armed Forces of ...
    Iraq and Destruction of Christianity since ...
    Bolivia Is Facing Meltdown So Can a Solution ...
    Macedonia Could Become the Next Balkan ...
    Russia Faces Many Security Concerns
    State Intervention Versus Globalization and ...
    Ethiopia and Its War against Radical Islam and ...
    PM Fukuda of Japan Resigns and This Nation Is ...
    Japan Needs Stability in a Time of Urgency
    Russia Responds to America's Intimidation
    Russian Federation & Next Stage of Development ...
    Market Confidence Remains Extremely Mixed
    Why China Needs to Modernize Her Armed Forces
    MEXICO -- President Calderon Is in a Flux ...
    Iran and America, Friends or Foe
    Georgia Took a Huge Gamble in South Ossetia ...
    Japan and the Suicide Problem
    Zimbabwe: Can Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur ...


Lee Jay Walker serves as Tokyo Correspondent of The Seoul Times. He specializes in int'l relations and geopolitics. He is also involved in analyst work and research on business. After finishing BA degree in East European Studies at the University of London, he earned MA degree in Asia Pacific Studies at Nottingham Trent University. His website is at http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com

 

back

 

 

 

The Seoul Times Shinheungro 25-gil 2-6 Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 02-555-6188 Email:seoultimes@gmail.com
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange