- The escalating conflict between US and North Korea could be turned into a diplomatic opportunity.
- Washington leaves no stone unturned to get the Americans free from their detention in North Korea.
Trump and North Korea
- The Korean crisis has worsened since President Donald Trump took office early this year.
- Even after repeated warnings, North Korea test-fired a number of missiles in defiance of international pressure.
- Trump had put pressure on Beijing to rein Pyongyang in, and even praised it for its efforts.
- But the pressure does not seem to be working, with North Korea continuing with its nuclear missile programme.
- Because China is not completely on board or it is simply reluctant to use its leverage over North Korea.
- This whole chronicle serves as the backdrop to the release of Otto Warmbier.
- Warmbier was arrested in Pyongyang in January 2016.
- He was later sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for the “hostile act”.
- Within a few days of his release he died. The fallout in the U.S. is predictably charged.
- The Trump administration has accused the North Korean regime for Warmbier’s death.
- But three other Americans are still imprisoned in North Korea which stopped short of calling for more sanctions or issuing new threats.
- Prior to this, an American citizen was detained while attempting to leave North Korea through Pyongyang.
- Even though it’s not a favorable time to talk about diplomacy but it is worthwhile for Washington to ask whether its hostile policy towards North Korea has produced any positive revert.
- For Washington’s priority for now is to secure their release.
- Neither the mere approach of the sanction nor using force or attempting a regime change seems to make any difference, for North is endowed with an unpredictable nuclear power.
- On the contrary, the longstanding hostility and Washington’s repeated threats have turned the Kim dynastic regime so paranoid that it doesn’t spare even American tourists visiting North Korea.
- Thus, in order to come on a diplomatic offensive conclusion, Officials from Washington and Pyongyang had established low-level contact for the release of Warmbier and the other three Americans who are still in North Korean custody.
- Experts said they believed the series of detentions may be an attempt at “hostage diplomacy” on the part of North Korea.
India and North Korea
- India is a critic of North Korea’s nuclear proliferation record.
- India has voiced concerns over its military relationship with arch-rival Pakistan and North Korea’s support towards Pakistan on the Kashmir conflict.
- India has repeatedly condemned North Korean nuclear tests and views its nuclear programme as a threat to regional security.
- India strongly supported UN resolutions and military operations against North Korea during the Korean War.
- Although in 2015, India abstained from a vote on a U.N. resolution condemning human rights abuses committed by the North Korean regime.
- Moreover, India has officially published an order saying it will comply fully with U.N. Security Council’s harsh economic sanctions due to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
- Indian government has announced that it is halting all trade from April, 2017, except for food and medicine, as tension mounts on the Korean peninsula.
- The halt brings India into line with United Nations sanctions on North Korea.
- As part of the new ban, all military, police, scientific and technical is barred.
- India said it will also freeze all funds and financial assets held on its territory by the North Korean government.
North Korea and its effect on other Asian countries:
- As tension over North Korea weigh on Asia’s growth outlook, Japan and China agreed to strengthen economic and financial cooperation.
- The two countries agreed to launch joint research on issues of mutual interest – without elaborating – and to report the outcomes at the next talks, which will be held in 2018 in China.
- Kim Jong-un, supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), regularly threatens Japan, seen as one of the country’s biggest enemies, promising several times this year to reduce Tokyo “to ashes”.
- North Korean state media accused China of a “betrayal” following the introduction of coal imports to the country which seems to emerge as a direct for China as well.
- The final result will have to be at least a freeze on North Korean nuclear and missile programs with an aim of its abolition, not necessarily to insist on its immediate disarmament.
Would China-Japan dialogues over North Korea be fruitful?
- It is to be noted that this partnership takes on an especially symbolic importance given the dark history of Sino-Japanese relations, highlighted by the ‘Rape of Nanking’ in 1937.
- An atrocity committed by Japan which left hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians dead.
- The Nanking Massacre was an episode of mass murder and mass rape committed by Japanese troops against the residents of Nanjing (Nanking), then the capital of the Republic of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
- The massacre is also known as the Rape of Nanking or, using Pinyin romanization, the Nanjing Massacre or Rape of Nanjing.
- The massacre occurred over a period of six weeks starting on December 13, 1937, the day that the Japanese captured Nanjing.
And in 2014 a poll revealed 90 per cent of Chinese people polled expressed a negative view on Japan, while 85 per cent of Japanese people concerned disputes between the two nations could lead to another war.
- Recent tensions between North Korea and the U.S. have escalated to the point where any military action on either side would likely lead to another all-out war on the Korean Peninsula.
- Conclusion of a peace agreement could be the first step in terms of withdrawal of U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK, but never be the last step.
- But however, North Korea’s both internal and external policies are hostile as well as inhuman to an extent.
- A reconciliation, on part of North Korea to provide with basic human rights to its own citizen; is an immediate as well as a necessary condition.
- Even if the state of war comes to an end through the conclusion of a peace agreement, dangers of a nuclear war could not be eradicated completely as long as the U.S. hostile policy and its ambition for world domination remain unchanged.