FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Tensions in Korean peninsula: Cool minds
Posted:Apr 14, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
With tensions in the Korean peninsula continuing to escalate, Beijing took the rather extreme step on Friday of warning that something needs to be done to wind down the U.S.-North Korea confrontation, saying the “the storm is about to break”. The heightened rhetoric of recent days follows Washington’s display of naval power with the despatch of a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group to the waters off the Korean coast. Though U.S. officials described the move as merely cautionary, President Donald Trump, who has made North Korea a key foreign policy concern of his administration, used the word “armada” somewhat ominously. For their part, the North Koreans have threatened nuclear retaliation in the event of any attack. In late March, the U.S. had commenced installation of the so-called Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea in response to missile tests by the North. The agreement, in the works since last year, has already increased regional tensions, entangling China as well. Washington and Seoul have emphasised that intercepting the North’s advanced development of inter-continental ballistic missiles was the real objective behind the new system. But apprehensive that its own nuclear infrastructure would be inevitably exposed to snooping by the THAAD radar, Beijing has sought to counter Seoul with trade and tourism boycotts.
 
Mr. Trump’s threat of unilateral action against Pyongyang in the event that China fails to rein in North Korea may partly echo the mood in Washington after the recent missile strikes in Syria. If the Chinese government views Pyongyang’s growing nuclear capability with concern, as it professes to, then it must do much to use its leverage effectively. Merely stressing the need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict is not enough. Japan, Washington’s important regional ally, would view with no less consternation any potential threat to stability in its neighbourhood. American air strikes in Syria last week have raised very valid concerns about their legitimacy under international law. But they also indicate that the Trump administration may be shifting politically from a populist-driven isolationism to more conventional interventionism. His latest observations on China point to a shift from open confrontation to a possible constructive engagement. Notable here, for instance, is a willingness to eschew the previous rhetoric on China as a currency manipulator. Against this emerging backdrop, a return to a reasoned and nuanced approach on North Korea would be a most positive development in these volatile times. That would, however, require a spectacular roll-back by Pyongyang of its current nuclear capability, which includes long-range missiles that can reach targets in the Pacific. As well as sustained cooperation between China and the U.S., it is time for cooler minds to weigh in — there is nothing to be gained by aggressively staring down adversaries.
 

Source: The Hindu, April 15, 2017

 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Relations between India and Morocco go back a millennium with the first recorded links dating to the 14th century, when the famous traveller and writer from Tangier, Ibn Batuta, travelled to India.
 
read-more
Stepping up action against terrorists attacking India, President Donald Trump's Administration has declared Hizb-ul Mujahideen (HM) a “global terrorist organisation” in an attempt to choke off financial and other support to it.
 
read-more
On 14 August 1947 Pakistan, consisting of East and West Pakistan, celebrated its independence. The 14th was chosen for the ceremony because Lord Mountbatten who came to Karachi as the Chief Guest had to later leave for Delhi where ot the midnight stroke India was to declare its independence.
 
read-more
The Doklam stand-off and a variety recent opinion pieces in magazines and newspapers draws attention to the poor state of defence policy preparedness and the lack of meaningful higher defence control in India. 
 
read-more
The two ideologically divergent ruling partners - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - in Jammu and Kashmir are headed for a showdown as the debate over the abrogation of Article 35A of the Constitution of India heats up.
 
read-more
At the root of the present Doklam crisis is China’s intrusion into Bhutanese territory for its road building projects. These connectivity projects are integral to President Xi Jinping’s dream project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India and Bhutan were the only two countries that did not participate in the first forum
 
read-more
It wasn’t so long ago that the whole world watched as Donald Trump sashayed on to the Riyadh red carpet and stole the show with his tough talk on Iranian-sponsored terrorism.
 
read-more
A vehicular attack to maximise casualties and spread panic is now a well-tested terrorist strategy in European cities.
 
read-more
It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.
 
read-more
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Column-image

This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
Column-image

History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
Column-image

Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive