Sun, Sep 21, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Unite against North Koreans, academic says

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan must cooperate with other Asia-Pacific democracies to form a defense network to prevent North Korea from importing weaponry, due to the possibility of that country becoming a major source of chaos in Asia, a senior scholar of a US think tank said in Taipei yesterday.

"It is necessary to overthrow North Korea's autocratic government and it is also necessary to put pressure on China not to continually nurture the North Korean government," said Max Boot, an Olin Senior Fellow of National Security Studies in the US-based Council on Foreign Relations.

Boot was invited to speak at the first annual meeting of the Democratic Pacific Assembly (DPA), which was launched on Friday. He put forward his point of view about Taiwan's role in the Asia-Pacific rim during a session entitled "major threats to human security."

The assembly was set to discuss how to integrate all democracies of the Asia-Pacific rim into an organization and a mechanism to enhance regional security, as well as how to effect the liberalization of non-democratic nations.

Boot first praised Taiwan's democratic achievement and said that Taiwan's experience can affect China's democratization.

Noting that North Korea refused to accept the international nuclear weapon agreement, Boot said that the country will cause turmoil in Asia and therefore the international community have to adopt effective measures against this possible development.

He stressed that WMD such as nuclear and biochemical weapons pose the most severe threat to human society as a whole, and Taiwan, Japan and the US are countries specifically threatened by missile attacks from North Korea.

"For this reason those countries have to spend much more resources to enhance their defensive abilities," Boot said.

Nations which develop nuclear weapons, such as Russia, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea have been monitored, but some of them still refused to obey international nuclear-weapons agreements, Boot said.

"They should be more strongly pressured," he said, "for example, the international community can facilitate cooperation between Taiwan, Japan, the US, Australia and South Korea to completely cut the supply of weaponry to North Korea."

Boot said that the US government will not ignore a nation's security suffering under a neighbor's threat, and "if China's government continues to support North Korea in developing nuclear weapons, the US government must implement a policy to pressure against China."

"Moreover, to defend the threat from North Korea, all democracies in the Asia-Pacific region should unite, and, if necessary, overthrow the current autocracy in North Korea," he said.

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