It has become increasingly apparent that North Korea has no intention of giving up its aspirations for nuclear arms no matter what concessions the US, South Korea and Japan offer, a conclusion with which many analysts in the US intelligence community concur. \nOnce this realization has sunk in, policymakers in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo will be required to forge new foreign policies and security postures to cope with a nuclear-armed North Korea. What's more, China will be forced to exert whatever influence it can over its roguish ally in Pyongyang. \nFor weeks, the North Koreans have grasped every opportunity imaginable to assert that they will not return to the six-party negotiations in Beijing led by China and including, besides North Korea, the US, South Korea, Japan and Russia. \nAmong its latest pronouncements, a spokesman for Pyong-yang's foreign ministry asserted that the "hostile policy" of the US was to blame for a stalemate in the negotiations. He said that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) "felt no need to explain what it [hostile policy] meant." \nA diplomat in North Korea's mission at the UN contended that the US was scheming to overthrow his government. \n"We can't talk with the United States," Han Song-ryol said, "whether it's in the six-nation talks or a bilateral dialogue." \nIt does not matter to Pyong-yang who wins the US election in November -- President George W. Bush, the Republican who continues to advocate engaging North Korea through multinational talks, or Senator John Kerry, the Democrat who argues that the US should negotiate with North Korea in bilateral talks. \nAs the Korean Central News Agency says: "The DPRK does not care who becomes president in the US." \nLiving with a nuclear-armed North Korea will have immediate, mid-term and long-range consequences. \nIn the immediate future, the US will still be capable of massive retaliation should North Korea launch a nuclear or conventional attack against US forces in Asia or its allies in South Korea or Japan. In that event, US doctrine under both Republican and Democratic administrations has long called explicitly for the destruction of the North Korean regime. \nPolitically, North Korea will have lost the bargaining leverage that its nuclear programs have provided, as negotiations will have ended. Pyongyang will not get the diplomatic recognition from the US that it urgently desires, and probably not from Tokyo. Reconciliation with Seoul may be set back. \nEconomically, sanctions against Pyongyang will remain in place and the aid and trade that it desperately needs for its starving people will not be forthcoming from the US or Japan. \nIn the mid-term, the international nuclear non-proliferation endeavor intended to prevent the spread of nuclear arms will be dealt another blow. Israel, Pakistan and India have already damaged that effort; Iraq's nuclear plans, whatever they were, have been stopped, but Iran's are believed to be moving ahead. \nSouth Korea, which sought nuclear arms in the 1970s but was dissuaded by the US, may reconsider. A dozen years ago, when North Korea's nuclear plans became known, senior South Korean officials said, as one put it: "If they have them, we must have them." \nNuclear arms in North Korea will undoubtedly stimulate more discussion in Japan about obtaining nuclear arms, but that's as far as it is likely to go since the nuclear allergy that is the legacy of World War II is still strong there. Moreover, basing such weapons, most likely at sea, would be difficult and costly. \nThe key element in precluding Japan from going nuclear is the US umbrella designed to protect Japan. The US may need to reassure the Japanese that they will be secure without their own nuclear arms. \nThe long-term consequences of a nuclear-armed North Korea are the most frightening, as Pyongyang could easily find a market for those weapons in terrorist networks in the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia and maybe Latin America. \nTracing and deterring sales shipments would be harder than discouraging a North Korean attack on South Korea. Targets in North Korea are known and have been marked; discovering air or sea shipments of the components of a nuclear weapon would be next to impossible. \nCoping with that threat will be more a chore for China than the US and its allies. No more than the US, South Korea and Japan do the Chinese want to see terrorists allied with pirates in the South China Sea endangering their oil lifeline from the Middle East or shipping lanes to export markets everywhere. \nRichard Halloran is a Hawaii-based journalist.
Far from signaling the end, a grim new consensus between Taipei and Washington must now spur a new beginning that ensures Taiwan’s survival. Military leaders in Taipei and Washington now agree there is a growing chance that by the middle of this decade the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership may decide to use its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to attack, or even invade, Taiwan. On October 6, 2021, Taiwan Minister for National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) told members of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, “By 2025, China will bring the cost and attrition to its lowest. It has the capacity now, but it will
Oppression is painful, and not being able to express it increases the pain 10-fold. This level of pain is something that Uighurs, Tibetans and Mongolians understand all too well. A question often posed to Uighurs in the international arena is: “You say you are facing genocide, but why don’t we see corpses, like in Rwanda and in Bosnia?” If you were a Uighur, what would you say? What if you replied: “The source of the problem is your lack of vision. It’s an indication of your weakness and China’s strength, and it is not a matter of our sincerity.” Such a harsh response would
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Double Ten National Day address has attracted a great deal of analysis and many different interpretations. One core question is why Tsai chose this occasion to discuss Taiwan’s national status. What was her main motive and what effect did she intend to have? These are issues that clearly need further clarification. The section of Tsai’s speech that attracted the most attention internationally was, not surprisingly, the part where she laid out “four commitments” that she said should serve as common ground for all Taiwanese, regardless of political affiliation. The commitments were to liberal democracy and constitutional government; that the
Ever since former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was recalled last year, “Han fans,” as well as the KMT hierarchy, have made pro-Taiwan lawmakers their enemy No. 1, and Taiwan Statebuilding Party Legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟) has been on top of that list (“Recall part of ‘generational war’: expert,” Oct. 19, page 3). Chen has always been one of Han’s harshest critics, and Han fans have vowed revenge. Former legislators Yen Kuan-hen (顏寬恆) and Yen Ching-piao (顏清標), being such sore losers, were not amused about losing to Chen democratically and have amassed significant resources backed by