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North Korea should stop military adventurism

Thursday, December 7, 2017

How should the Korean peninsula issue be resolved? The situation is often compared to a chicken game in international politics between North Korea and the international community, including the United States and South Korea as main actors. It looks similar in the logical formality but it’s not just a chicken game. The issue is too complex to be applied to a theory or model easily, in that it has long undergone transformation itself, and has correlation with the destiny of the people in the region. In that sense, we need creative collective wisdoms as well as resolutions together to address the issue.

North Korea is ultimately pursuing the goal of being recognised as a nuclear weapon state. On the other hand, the international community does not want the nuclear non-proliferation regime to be shaken by North Korean provocation, and especially the people of neighbouring countries such as South Korea, Japan and the US do not want to live under a dangerous situation where they are always threatened by North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

North Korea, which had been quiet for a while, fired a long-range ballistic missile again on November 29. This is the 17th missile launched by North Korea this year and, reportedly, capable of reaching anywhere in the US mainland. The situation on the Korean Peninsula is rapidly regressing to a tense phase.

The international community has again started strong condemnation against this act. If North Korea’s ballistic missile system enters into its final phase of completion, sanctions and pressures from the international community will be further strengthened.

From the viewpoint of South Korea, it is most worrisome that North Korea might misjudge the situation and threaten us with nuclear weapons.

North Korea is not stopping military adventurism. It is a fatal mistake for North Korean leadership to believe that they can sustain this dangerous route forever. Not long ago, a North Korean soldier fled to the South over the Demilitarised Zone. We watched his breathtaking escape plot through the video publicised later. His brave action implies to us that he desire for freedom and a better future was worth risking his life.

Likewise, the majority of North Korean residents have a hard time living. These facts indicate that the North Korean regime is very weak and vulnerable. In the midst of this, it is very absurd and dangerous for the North Korean regime to devote its entire assets solely to the development of missiles and nuclear weapons. Moreover, the sanctions and pressures imposed by the international community are increasingly intensifying, blocking North Korea from accessing most of the resources and funds from the outside world.

North Korea is desperate to challenge the international community with dangerous weapons, which will result in the alienation from the rest of the world. In doing so, its people has been seriously victimised.

North Korea should focus strongly on the reality of the now, and the future of the Korean Peninsula, and stop the military adventurism with sincerity. If North Korea chooses to stop this, the international community will undoubtedly support its decision to take the right path for the sake of its people, as well as the peace and prosperity of the entire region.

North Korea should stop taking an uncertain dangerous path.

Lee Dooyoung

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea


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