North Korea

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  • North Korea keeps the SPT members confused

    The developments in the Korean peninsula indicate that the East Asian states are not really in tune with each other on North Korea’s recent missile launches. Most of these states have their national priorities while dealing with the North.

    June 06, 2013

    The Korean Imbroglio

    North Korea’s uranium enrichment programme has made the US jittery and is not totally confident of reopening the six-party talks. Washington needs assurances regarding North Korea’s future nuclear programmes and the key to finding a solution to the present stalemate lies with Beijing.

    April 25, 2013

    Jagdish asked: How is the relationship between India and North Korea and what are the implications of change of North Korean leadership for India?

    R.N. Das replies: There has been continuity in relations between India and North Korea, irrespective of change in leaderships. Peace and stability in the Korean peninsula has always been a matter of abiding interest to India. It may be recalled that a special session of Indian Parliament was convened on July 31, 1950 to discuss the Korean crisis. Drawing the attention of the House, the then President Dr. Rajendra Prasad had noted that Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru has appealed to the Russian Prime Minister Joseph Stalin and to the US Secretary of State Dean Acheson that the authorities of these two great countries should use their influence to localise the armed struggle in Korea, and break the dead lock in the UN Security Council over the admission of the People’s Republic of China, so that the present international tension might be eased and way is opened up for the resolution of the Korean problem by discussion in the Security Council.

    India was appointed as Chairman of the 9-member UN commission to hold elections in Korea in 1954. After the Korean war of 1950-53, India had played an important role as the chairman of the NNRC (Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission). Consular relations with DPRK were set up on March 1, 1962 and full diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on December 10, 1973. Relations between India and the DPRK have been generally characterised by friendship, cooperation and understanding. India has been extending humanitarian assistance to the DPRK, which has suffered from food shortages during the last few years as a result of natural calamities. The DPRK authorities have expressed their gratitude for India’s humanitarian assistance to them from time to time.

    Ajai Vir asked - How do you view the nuclear stance of Iran and North Korea? Is it similar in the context of geopolitics?

    S. Samuel C. Rajiv replies: Iran and North Korea have presented significant challenges to the international non-proliferation regime. Both countries face difficult regional security situations. However, there are differences in the two cases which make their respective nuclear stances also different.

    Iran is a regional power in its own right – a huge country (Robert Kaplan calls Iran ‘the greater Middle East’s universal joint’), significant population, massive natural resources, among other strengths. The only claim to fame for North Korea is its dubious nuclear status. While Iran is a theocracy with democratic elections, the other is an authoritarian state based on a personality cult.

    As regards their interactions with the non-proliferation regime, North Korea is no longer part of the NPT, while Iran had threatened in the past that it will quit the treaty if pushed to the wall. However, all of Iran’s ‘declared’ nuclear activities continue to come under NPT/IAEA safeguards. While Iran has not followed through on IAEA/UNSC resolutions since September 2005 urging it to stop its uranium enrichment activities among other requirements, North Korea has indulged in a series of nuclear and missile brinkmanship and has been unpredictable in its nuclear stance.

    North Korea’s Rocket Fails

    Without getting into any a debate about whether the satellite launch was actually a missile test or not, the US should make an offer to help North Korea launch a satellite in order to foster sustained engagement with Pyongyang

    April 16, 2012

    The Poor Prospects of the CTBT Entering Into Force

    While Indonesia’s ratification has given a boost to the CTBT, the positions of the other hold-out countries do not show any promise of forward movement.

    January 09, 2012

    North Korea after Kim Jong-Il: Implications for East Asian Security

    The demise of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il on December 17, 2011 has introduced a new dimension to the security situation in Northeast Asia. The future of East Asian security would largely be shaped by developments that unfold in the Korean peninsula.

    January 02, 2012

    Kim Jong-Il’s Death - A prospect for change or instability?

    Kim Jong-Il’s death on December 17, 2011 has not only provoked concerns regarding security and stability on the Korean peninsula, but has also raised hopes of improved engagement with North Korea’s new leadership.

    December 21, 2011

    South Korea relives the Yeonpyeong attack by North Korea

    The people of Yeonpyeong Island remember with trepidation the devastating attack of November 2010. Since the Cheonan incident in March 2010 and chastened by the attack last year, South Korea has beefed up its military arsenal and strengthened its defence preparedness.

    November 29, 2011

    Six-Party Talks: Geneva meeting shrugs-off “strategic patience” but parsimoniously

    Not engaging North Korea is no more seen as an option even as it continue to build its nuclear capabilities.

    November 13, 2011