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North Korea’s latest ICBM test has transformed the theatre of diplomacy and war: new thinking needed

N Korean missile crisis needs new kind of thinking, Today Online, By  KAUSHIK BASU, JULY 13, 2017  “…….The North’s latest ICBM test has transformed the theatre of diplomacy and war in Asia, and possibly the world, as it implies a level of nuclear risk witnessed only once before, with the Soviet Union in 1962. Indeed, we are now witnessing a slow-motion repeat of the Cuban missile crisis.

The North Korea crisis requires similar strategic thinking. Whether North Korea’s opponents have developed bigger weapons is no longer the issue.

North Korea’s nuclear capabilities are sufficiently developed that threats of military action, or even an attack, will not bring about the desired outcome — namely, that North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons……..

On the diplomatic front, it has often been suggested that China should use its considerable leverage to push North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons voluntarily. But it is not clear that China has the ability — or even the will — to do so.

China fears that if the North’s abandonment of its nuclear weapons led to eventual Korean reunification, US soldiers — of which there are now 28,500 in South Korea — would arrive at its doorstep.

As for North Korea, its leaders know that giving up their nuclear weapons, without safeguards, would be tantamount to suicide. They have in mind the fate of countries like Iraq, Libya and Ukraine. So, as in 1962, there is a need for a strategic solution…….

The North Korea crisis is not a classic “hawk-dove game” — or a game of chicken, which Bertrand Russell famously used to analyse nuclear strategy — in which the side that makes an uncompromising commitment to aggression wins.

The players in the North Korean nuclear game must pursue gradual de-escalation, characterised by mutual concessions. The US may not like the idea of rolling back some of its military presence in such a pivotal region, but it should not forget what Kennedy knew: There is no victor in a nuclear war. PROJECT SYNDICATE  http://www.todayonline.com/commentary/n-korean-missile-crisis-needs-new-kind-thinking

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kaushik Basu, a former chief economist of the World Bank, is Professor of Economics at Cornell University.

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July 15, 2017 - Posted by | North Korea, politics international

1 Comment »

  1. With Trump, standing down in Korea just doesn’t seem likely. Why is the obvious solution so difficult?

    Comment by GarryRogers | July 15, 2017 | Reply


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