North Korea simply sees nuclear weapons as essential for its survival
“At the end of the day, the North Koreans believe that their nuclear weapons are too foundational to their survival and to the survival of their regime.”
Another factor that has added pressure to the situation is the political turmoil in South Korea.
The US made a deal with South Korea to place a powerful anti-missile system in the country that could intercept and destroy missiles fired from North Korea.
But this deal was placed under a cloud earlier this year when then-president Park Geun-hye was impeached for corruption and then removed from office.
The man seen as a frontrunner to replace her, Moon Jae-in, does not seem supportive of continuing with the deal, and said he wanted to review the decision. While the presidential race has since narrowed, if Moon was elected on May 9, it could weaken the US bargaining position.Moon has said he wants to met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang as a priority over going to Washington, indicating he favours working with the dictator.
This may calm tensions in the area but could allow North Korea to continue developing its nuclear weapons.
With South Korea currently under interim leadership favourable to the US, Prof Blaxland said there was a “certain moment of opportunity” for the US to act.
Last month the US started installing its advanced missile defence system called THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) in South Korea, despite some saying it should wait until the presidential elections were held.
US President Donald Trump has also ordered a naval strike group, led by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, to the region, though the vessels remain a long way from the peninsula………
CAN CHINA HELP? Many countries have been looking to China to try and solve the impasse, saying it should exert its influence over North Korea to get it to fall in line. But Brad Glosserman said the belief the Chinese could force an outcome in Pyongyang was a mistake.
He pointed to the US relationship with Israel as an example, saying despite all that America does to help the Jewish state, it is unable to force Israel to do what it wants. “The problem with North Korea’s relationship with the world, is the North’s relationship with the US,” he said.
“What China believes is that if there is to be a resolution, it must be a resolution between Washington and Pyongyang. “Beijing’s only real role is to facilitate that task, the idea that they can put the screws on … and deliver North Korea is something that the Chinese don’t believe and I don’t believe.”
SHOULD NORTH KOREA BE ALLOWED TO HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS?
If the US did become open to the idea of a nuclear-armed North Korea, Mr Glosserman said this would place stress on the US relationship with South Korea and also with Japan.
“It undermines the integrity of the non-proliferation treaty,” he said.
“I believe North Korea went nuclear because Pakistan went nuclear and got away with it. And I’m willing to bet that if North Korea goes nuclear, Iran will go nuclear and if Iran goes nuclear who knows what other dominoes will fall?.
“If North Korea is allowed to become a nuclear weapons state, I would suggest South Koreans might be encouraged to do the same and the Japanese will actively be pushed to do the same.
“There are a number of nuclear dominoes that have the potential to fall.”
HOW CAN WE STOP THEM?
According to the New York Times, the US has been trying to sabotage North Korea’s development of missile program using cyber and electronic strikes.
This may even have been why a ballistic missile launched on Saturday was unsuccessful. Lately, President Donald Trump is reportedly considering “utterly destroying” Kim Jong-un’s nuclear sites using pre-emptive strikes.
But Mr Glosserman said he didn’t think the US knew where North Korea’s warheads or missiles were located.
“The idea that we can intimidate the North Koreans strikes me as being a bit of a stretch,” he has previously said.
But while it may be hard for the US to take out North Korea’s weapons stockpile if it doesn’t know where to target, the use of a military option was still a possibility………
Mr Glosserman said the countries involved needed to be very careful as diplomacy was everyone’s preferred outcome.
Unfortunately Mr Glosserman said he didn’t think a deal could ultimately be brokered.
He said the US was demanding that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons but this is something they were not willing to do. The Chinese have asked for a freeze in activity but this doesn’t get rid of what the weapons they have already got.
“At the end of the day, the North Koreans believe that their nuclear weapons are too foundational to their survival and to the survival of their regime.,” he said.
“No one has come up with good terms by which we can at least begin a process to cap then roll back North Korea’s nuclear weapons.”http://www.news.com.au/technology/why-its-so-important-for-north-korea-to-develop-nuclear-weapons/news-story/ae936c8099fdcfb137860260afcee844
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