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Thursday, November 30, 2017

NORTH KOREA: THE SURPRISING CASE OF SOVEREIGNTY GONE SOUR

Hello World,

SOURCE: http://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/stanford.ucomm.newsms.media/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/21140014/korea.jpg

North Korea, being a nation equipped with nuclear arsenal, is raising concerns through the missile development program which in essence, is expected to serve as the payload delivery mechanism capable of delivering warheads including the nuclear one. Economic sanctions have been imposed on North Korea multiple times and regional powers in the Asia Pacific region have been warned by the United States regarding the escalating security threat perception in the region, owing to North Korea’s repeated missile testing efforts in spite of warnings and sanctions.

To put things in perspective, any sovereign state is entitled to develop its own defence capabilities to protect its territories and interests, while complying with international law and agreements [varies from country to country]. From this perspective of ‘Rights of a Sovereign State’, North Korea is logically entitled to test and develop any military capability without violating any agreements it had signed in that regard.

However, the state of authoritarian administration in North Korea, driven by policies advocating ideologies what might be classified as ‘secluded nationalism’, presents the country in bad light. News reports alleging the North Korean government’s activities often going against its own citizens can be ignored however the economic situation of the citizens tend to substantiate such allegations presented by news reports. This has, over the long term, presented the North Korean administration as volatile in terms of response to issues, both internally and externally. The long-standing strained relationship with South Korea seems to be focal point of the volatility being attributed to the North Korean administration.

While conclusive evidences for violation of regional and global peace treaties [relevant to North Korea] and that of any alleged human rights violation within its borders is yet to be ascertained, the continued efforts to build warhead delivery mechanisms and test launches directed at and/or over regional neighbours tend to substantiate the allegation on the North Korean government’s intentions of building such military capabilities. The only consolation as of now is the South Korean administration’s declaration that no attack shall be carried out on behalf of South Korea without their prior consent. In essence, the regional peace, in this case, is being largely facilitated by countries that otherwise are facing threats from the military activities of North Korea. This calls for a situation, where regional powers, including North Korea will now have to go further with their efforts to develop suitable military deterrence capabilities, missile defence mechanisms being relevant to this situation. Since the recent missile tests by North Korea indicate its range covering its neighbouring countries, the United States military being present in those regions is facing the same security threats being perceived in the region.

Missile defence is gaining prominence as the post-cold-war era is fading out, evolving new territorial defence requirements. Modern defence requirements, unlike those from the past, do not hold air, land, sea and space as standalone territorial domains. The modern defence mechanisms are expected to be integrated and interoperable both across services and militaries at regional and global level. While building deterrence is primary requirement, it is also equally important for regional powers to negotiate their respective political stances, such that long term diplomatic frictions do not escalate into military conflicts, hurting the citizens and economies of those involved and their neighbours. Given the global circumstances, military conflicts in any regions will have its own repercussions across the globe. 

To put this in perspective, from where I come from, we might use the following adage:

“Sothuke singi, soriyardhuku saxophone kekutha?”

This translates into: When the world is struggling to feed all its citizens asking for a saxophone to scratch [an itch] is beyond stupidity. Meaning, why spend so much on military when there are other essential needs still standing unmet. Accidents and diseases kill more than terrorism and aggressor state activity and still we spend more against terror.

Yes, we have had world wars and we continue to spend more on defense than many other essential needs. Military deterrence is a need but honestly not as much as the growing defense budgets indicate. Besides, defence budgets allow the purchase and upkeep of defence capabilities. War funds are a whole different thing. Given today’s economic circumstances, there is no country in the world that can sustain a war economically. Also, given the same global circumstances, any war between any two entities, irrespective of how far they go to battle with each other, is bound to impact every citizen’s plate and what comes on to it, across the globe. 

From that perspective, given that in today’s time, everyone is aware of where every other one stands, it is in the benefit of all to simply have the military tails coiled up so the focus can be to feed the citizens who are hungry and employ those that are not. Enough of the territorial safety mirage and the associated spending to protect geographies where normal humans can’t survive. When one country builds something to defend itself, naturally others follow suit and it is beyond stupidity to call the followers 'aggressors.' We all have our own ways of interpreting our state’s sovereignty. When some believe in repeated missile tests, there is also a bafoon who believes in retweeting propaganda videos and engaging his own presidential press office to defend such nonsense.

I think I’ve made my point.


Best regards,