So the North Koreans finally tested their nuclear bomb and the inevitable finally took place. The Far East is now faced by a ‘threat’ and the peace of the region is at stake. This is what you will hear on almost all news channels these days. But the question is: Is a nuclear North Korea a threat to global security?
I believe that the international community, especially the Japanese and the South Koreans, are paranoid about another nuclear attack on their soil to the extent that the Japanese constitution states that Japan cannot pursue the research and development of nuclear weapons. This is further exaggerated by the fact that the West fears the rise of another Hitler in the world. One must remember the fact that Hitler was a man who wanted to achieve dominance in Europe, and the West sees the rise of North Korea’s military as one parallel to that of Hitler’s Germany.
What most people fail to understand is the fact that Germany was a military and industrial powerhouse at the time of Hitler. It had the capacity to fight a long and grueling war, and yet it failed to win because the international community united to fight against it. On the other hand, North Korea, despite having substantial military capabilities, does not have the economic or industrial power to fight a war against the international community. Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, was a country that wanted dominance in the Middle East, but it took the world forces, led by the US, just one week to drive his forces out of Kuwait. So is there a real threat coming from North Korea?
The nuclear bomb that North Korea now possesses is like a deterrent that gives it an equal footing in diplomatic matters. The threat of North Korea using the bomb will be used to negotiate with other nations on an equal footing, and it will reduce the North’s reliance on China and Russia in international matters.
While it is inevitable that North Korea will be hit by sanctions that will hurt the country significantly, I believe that sooner or later the international community will learn to live with a nuclear North. In fact, I think that a nuclear North will reduce the risk of conflict in the near future, since an immature action from the North Koreans will result in a major military operation against the country.
Many believe that the bomb test will spark off an arms race in the region. That, I think, is not a possibility at all. While Japan and South Korea will try and contain the threat by building up their military forces, they will be supported by the US. The US will sort of agree to protect them from an invasion by North Korea. Moreover, an invasion by North Korea will prove futile since it will further isolate the country so much so that even China may stop supporting them.
I believe that the tests pose no threat to global peace. In fact, in the long term, the Far Eastern bloc may learn to negotiate with North Korea on an equal footing. This may well lead to an improvement in relations between North Korea and its counterparts.
Uzair M. Younus SY-L