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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 8 - 14  > Cool-headed diplomacy is essential to deal with reckless N. Korea
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2017 March 8 - 14 [WORLD]
column 

Cool-headed diplomacy is essential to deal with reckless N. Korea

March 9, 2017
Akahata ‘current’ column

Watching four missiles being fired off into the sky, North Korea’s supreme leader was all smiles. This unnerving photo was uploaded on the website of the Rodong Shinmun, the Workers’ Party of Korea’s official newspaper.

North Korea is trying to present itself as a military power by threatening neighboring countries with its nuclear weapons and missile programs. Clearly this is part of its efforts to sustain the dictatorship. Such a ridiculous display of military might undoubtedly troubles the general public.

In 2016 alone, the autocratic regime launched 20 ballistic missiles, the cost of which is not disclosed. However, given that a single launch of Japan’s H2 rocket costs around 10 billion yen, North Korea’s missile program imposes a terrible financial burden on its people who are already suffering from severe food shortages.

Pyongyang hinted at a missile attack on U.S. military bases in Japan. This shows that Japanese people’s peace and safety are under threat. Most U.S. bases are located next to residential areas and even the most advanced ballistic missile could miss a target by a few kilometers.

The North Korean leadership is ready to do anything to maintain the regime and does not hesitate to get other countries involved in a confrontation. The best way to deal with such a “morally hazardous country” is to maintain a cool-headed and logical attitude. Members of the international community, including China, should join hands and implement strict economic sanctions against North Korea as well as pressure the country to abandon its nuclear weapons program through diplomatic negotiations. In order to achieve this, it is important to bring about a success of the UN conference on a nuclear weapons ban treaty which is scheduled to start on March 27.

On the other hand, war hawks in Japan are trying to use the North Korea risk as a pretext to highlight the need for a military buildup. They even claim that Japan should possess the capability to attack enemy bases. This is an extremely worrying move. Taking a “military-to-military” stance will only deepen the vicious cycle of tension and is no different from the actions of North Korea.

Past related articles:
> Shii explains to press JCP proposal on North Korea issue [February 20, 2017]
> Shii protests North Korea’s missile launch [February 14, 2017]
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