The on-going tension between the Washington and Pyongyang is not the first of its kind. Both the United States and North Korea have come this far back in 1994 when the North Korean government had refused to grant permission to international inspectors for the inspection of nuclear facilities of the state. But this time the position of North Korea is not that which she had back in 1994. The country has now acquired nuclear status by detonating its first nuclear device in October 2006. Due this reason it is necessary both for the United States and its allies to take the issue towards a peaceful solution instead of going for war. There are many reasons behind the need of a diplomatic solution to the problem. Some of them have been discussed below.
Can United States Afford Another War?
One of the most basic reasons for avoiding war with North Korea is this simple question that ‘‘Can USA Afford Another War’’ for now? And the answer is for sure ‘‘NO’’, she cannot afford a new war when her army is already busy in fighting against militants in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Not only this, she is also spending billions of dollars in these war torn countries while she herself is a victim of natural disasters that cost millions of dollars to her every year.
Another major reason due to which America and her allies should avoid waging war is the nuclear capability of the North Korea. In case of war, if North Korea could not hit back United States’ mainland, she at least can easily hit her allies such as South Korea and Japan plus some of the military bases of the USA in the surrounding area. This could cause a huge loss to United States. Third reason is that USA for sure would not want to face the panic of a nuclear attack in the shape of nuclear-tipped missiles being fired off towards it.
Reasons of North Korea Hunger For Nuclear Power
North Korea, which is officially called as Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea (DPRK) is a small country of East Asia with an estimated population of 25,368,620 which make it 48th populous country of the world. Notwithstanding small size, population and Gross Domestic Production (GDP) the country has world fourth largest army which shows its hunger for military power in the international arena. One of the main reasons behind North Korea military and nuclear hunger is that the supreme leader of the country considered it as an assurance of the existence of his regime. The brutal collapse of the Saddam Husain and Muammar Gaddafi’s regimes by the west has made Kim Jong-un belief in military power even more strong. To satisfy the illicit hunger for nuclear power the country has developed an efficient missiles technology. The name and range of some the well know missiles of the North Korea are given below.
- Nodong – 1,300 km
- Musudan – 3,500 km
- Hwasong-12 – 4,500 km
- Hwasong-14 – 8,000 km
- KN-14 – 10,000 KM
- KN-08 – 11,500 KM
In the above mentioned missiles, the last two are under development.
The above facts shows that North Korea is also not willing to go to war with USA, only if not pushed to fight by the later, because the leader of the state want the existence of his regime. And in such case he will not risk the survival of his regime by waging war.
If both the countries do not want war then why they are provoking each other for a fight? According to analysts United States want to pressurize North Korea so that she stop her missiles tests and could not achieve the capability Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) technology because if she acquired this capability, it could pose a new threat to the USA security. On the other hand many think tanks believe that North Korea would not stop its nuclear tests unless she attained the power of hitting USA mainland.
In such circumstances the international community should play role because in case of war between the two countries, the whole world will suffer.
A Way Forward To The Crisis
Economic Sanction: Solution or Problem
Russia and China have repeatedly denied the adaptation of new economic sanctions against North Korea as they believe it is worsening the situation. Similarly some political analysts also believe that economic sanctions is not the permanent solution to the problem
Another option that some politicians recommend for subduing this rouge nation is her social and political containment but we have seen that since 1953 the country is facing isolation in one or another form but still she has managed somehow to keep her economy running and successfully perused her illicit ambitions. So this means it is also not a wise option for bring the issue to a permanent end.
Some factions in the United States military support the idea of pre-emptive strikes to destroy the nuclear facilities of the country which, they believe, will ultimately lead to the North Korean government surrender to the will of the west. In reality this idea as a whole is disastrous because no one can exactly estimate how much damage the US will face when the North Korean government will retaliate in return of pre-emptive strikes. Perhaps US may survive the strike but her allies, South Korea and Japan may not and may face huge loss both in terms of infrastructure and human lives.
Diplomatic solution is the only reliable way left to solve this fuss. It may seem difficult but it is not impossible. We have seen that in past the two countries have solved some their issues on bilateral bases especially the unofficial meeting of Americans and North Koreans in Oslo in May 2016 that was conducted for the release of a US citizen, Otto Warmbier. The same channels can be used again this time to force Korea and bring her to negotiation table. US must keep in mind that negotiation is as important for USA as it is for North Korea because some analysts of South Korea believe tha the government of North Korea seems not interested in negotiation with the west unless she acquired the capability of hitting all the states of USA. Due to this reason, United States should be more interested in composite dialogue than Korea.
For Diplomatic solution, United States can seek help of China. Unlike any other country, China has relatively more influence over North Korea. She is North Korea only reliable ally and also only accessible market. According to an estimate, in 2016, North Korea has concluded 92% of its trade with China, which means that China is not only her reliable friend but also her only source for economic survival.
Another player that can play major role in bringing North Korea to the negotiation table is Russia. North Korea due to socialist form of economy has close relations with Russia. Many think tanks believe that Russia, after China, stands second in her influence over North Korea. Russia has some political and economic ties with Korean government. Recently, when the west is trying to isolate North Korea and to force her to freeze her nuclear programme, one of the Russian telecommunication companies has signed an agreement of providing new internet connection to the country. This shows clearly how Russia, after China, is important for her.
The leaders of both the countries should put their differences aside and should come to negotiation table for solving this dilemma as this is the only way to avoid any catastrophic accident that may result an unexpected damage to the world and for which then our later generations may not excuse us. It is also necessary that international community in general and China and Russia in particular should play a role in bringing both the countries to common terms.