North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un with troops, location undisclosed.
U.S. Should Keep its Nuclear Weapons Away from Koreas (Huanqiu, People’s Republic of China)
Would a decision by Washington to redeploy nuclear weapons to South Korea make matters there go from bad to worse? This editorial from China’s state-run Huanqiu warns of the unintended consequences of pointing nuclear weapons in North Korea’s general direction.
Translated By James Chen
May 15, 2012
According to South Korean media reports, some U.S. Congress members plan to call for redeploying nuclear weapons in the country. It would be a step clearly aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, but the practical effect would be hard to predict.
At the peak of the Cold War, Washington deployed over 900 strategic nuclear weapons in South Korea. During the 1990s, the number gradually diminished. If the United States decides to redeploy such weapons to the Korean Peninsula, Beijing and Moscow will have to respond, although given North Korea’s nuclear plans, with some restraint.
On the issue of nuclear weapons, Pyongyang's irrational approach has raised tensions. If the South responds with irrational fear and seeks desperately to create its own source of nuclear “security,” the confrontation will only escalate into further rounds of confrontation.
North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons may be unpopular, but the outside world has yet to find an effective way to dampen its ambitions. Opposition to the North's nuclear plans remains unchanged, and the new leader in Pyongyang [Kim Jong-un] has yet to formulate his own national security strategy. The question is, how will he balance the possession of nuclear weapons with the need to develop his nation?
If U.S. nuclear weapons are redeployed to the South, then the forecast can clearly be seen: efforts to inhibit the North’s possession of nuclear weapons would completely collapse, possibly triggering an open arms race on the Korean Peninsula.
Pyongyang will feel pressured by redeployment, but it is unlikely that the pressure will produce the desired effects.
Right now, the two Koreas target one another with artillery. But if the U.S. redeploys and the South has U.S. nuclear weapons pointed at the North, Pyongyang will more vigorously pursue nuclear testing. The consequences for Seoul would be unpredictable, perhaps resulting in events similar to previous “accidents” – but this time involving nuclear weapons.
Posted by Worldmeets.US
The security situation on the Korean Peninsula is like a muddy pond - and the feet of the parties in Northeast Asia are soiled with this mud. This is the curse of the Korean peasant. Given the situation now, the peasant is more than likely to just blow off steam, and unless something else intervenes, wait until the mud dries. But if there are new sanctions or a redeployment of U.S. nuclear weapons, it will be like stepping back into the muddy lake all over again.
Even if the U.S. decides not to redeploy, it could still strike the North with a nuclear weapon in an instant. U.S. nuclear redeployment would be nothing but a psychological comfort to the South. Seoul should bear in mind that its new sense of “complete security” would constitute yet another threat to the North, and Pyongyang would definitely take action to counter this, accelerating its strategic posture.
In fact, all countries in Northeast Asia share a sense of insecurity. China is concerned about pollution brought on by the North's nuclear tests. The Korean Peninsula still lives under the shadow of the Cold War - and all neighboring countries feel it.
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Normal life in Northeast Asia has been greatly disturbed.
History has been frozen on the Korean Peninsula, the last Cold War line of
demarcation. The Chinese people well understand this. But South Koreans seem to
think that this Cold War remnant needn’t have an impact on their enjoyment of
the fruits of modern civilization. They take great pride in the difference in
living standards between themselves and those in the North, and believe they
need not pay attention to price for this tremendous disparity. This alone cannot prevent North Korea from possessing
nuclear weapons. And of course, nothing can prevent South Korea and Japan from considering
acquiring their own nuclear weapons. If the situation on the Peninsula further deteriorates,
China can and must reexamine its own nuclear strategy and ensure the high-quality
of its nuclear deterrence capability. In his era of globalization, the whole of the Asia Pacific,
even the entire world, cannot remain completely aloof to the chaotic situation
on the Korean Peninsula. No one should gloat or believe they benefit from this
Taiwan News, Taiwan: Taiwan Leader Welcomes American Weapons Deal
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Normal life in Northeast Asia has been greatly disturbed. History has been frozen on the Korean Peninsula, the last Cold War line of demarcation. The Chinese people well understand this. But South Koreans seem to think that this Cold War remnant needn’t have an impact on their enjoyment of the fruits of modern civilization. They take great pride in the difference in living standards between themselves and those in the North, and believe they need not pay attention to price for this tremendous disparity.
This alone cannot prevent North Korea from possessing nuclear weapons. And of course, nothing can prevent South Korea and Japan from considering acquiring their own nuclear weapons.
If the situation on the Peninsula further deteriorates, China can and must reexamine its own nuclear strategy and ensure the high-quality of its nuclear deterrence capability.
In his era of globalization, the whole of the Asia Pacific, even the entire world, cannot remain completely aloof to the chaotic situation on the Korean Peninsula. No one should gloat or believe they benefit from this mess.
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[Posted by Worldmeets.US May 16, 10:19pm]