IS NUCLEAR WAR BETWEEN THE USA AND NORTH KOREA IN THE MAKING?

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Korea is divided into north and south as a result of a civil war. The United States now has a military base in South Korea which is positioned to defend the south, Japan and other occupied territories and spheres of influence of the USA. On the other hand, North Korea is so geopolitically linked to China that any annihilation of the country through the use of nuclear weapons would undoubtedly affect China.

Hence the security of the countries is irretrievably linked. The United States of America has made it a policy to hold military exercises with South Korea as a means of containing any aggressive military behaviour from North Korea. North Korea has also been using the testing of missiles and nuclear weapons as a means of demonstrating its invincibility.

It is therefore important for the situation in that region to be put in its proper perspective. The north cannot afford to annihilate the south and the south cannot afford to annihilate the north. The two are destined to live together in peace. The external factors should therefore be managed in such a way that the realities of the two countries would not lead to military confrontation.

The situation in that part of the world is worsening and overreaction would have disastrous consequences. The international community should be guided by the realities of the two Koreas rather than the actions of one of them. The fact that the US and South Korean forces are having military drills in the south without any direct attack by North Korea tends to give the impression that North Korea is not prepared for war but is simply displaying its defence capacity through the show of nuclear might. The world simply needs to evaluate whether it has capacity through sanctions to deter North Korea from attaining nuclear might or determine how to react in a sustainable manner if that nuclear might is already a reality. That is the task before the United Nations.