Tuesday, December 11, 2012

North Korea missile test

From my perspective, the latest North Korean missile test raises three immediate points.

1) North Korea's decision to fire the missile over Okinawa is a deliberate challenge to the United States (the US has a major military presence on the island). The US response must be clear and robust. While it is likely that this test is partly the result of Kim Jong Un's desire to flex his muscles and in so improve his credibility with the North Korean generals, it's also important that consequences follow this provocation. As such, the United States should summon a UN Security Council meeting to condemn North Korea and to begin moves to tighten international sanctions against the regime. The North Korean leadership must be made to understand that every action like this one, drives them further away from a detente with the international community. A detente that North Korea desperately needs in order to strengthen their presently shambolic economy.

2) North Korea's ballistic missile capability is improving. The regime's paranoia and predictably unpredictable behavior mean that North Korea will become an increasing international security challenge in at least the near-medium term future. The United States and the international community must ensure that we do not neglect the need to be vigilant in the face of increasing North Korean aggression. International security does not begin and end in the Middle East.

3) Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their destructive enabling components (for example ballistic missiles) presents the key security concern of our age. As I've noted with regards to other parts of the world, we must be attuned to this threat.

No comments:

Post a Comment