International mainstream media feel that the main cause of the Korean nuclear weapon problem is because North Korea wants to develop and own nuclear weapons. They say it is the fault of North Korea. Therefore, they feel the primary focus should be on solving North Korean's own domestic issues. It is time for us to change such perception.
Main Cause of North Korea's Nuclear Weapon Problem
The root reason why North Korea would want to develop nuclear weapons is due to its insecurity. First, the United States lists North Korea as one of the world three axis of evils. From time to time, the United States attacked the North Korean leader publicly. The United States tries to destabilize the North Korean regime either overly or covertly. Second, the United States maintains military alliance with Japan and South Korea military alliance.
There are tens of thousands of US troops station in South Korea and Japan. They hold regular joint military exercises aimed at North Korea. This is in addition to the fact that the United States has promised to cover Japan and South Korea with the US nuclear shield. Third, on argument of processing nuclear weapons and deserting of nuclear weapons, the use of pragmatism by the United States holds duel, triple or even quadruple standards.
US Nuke Policies
The US nuclear weapon policies toward North Korea and Israel are entirely different. The US nuclear weapon policies between Afghanistan and Pakistan also show obvious different. As such, in order to protect its national security, and in order to obtain equal status in the international community, the need for North Korea to develop nuclear weapon does posses a certain degree of rationality.
Along North Korea's nuclear weapon development path, North Korean's position on its nuclear weapon development has been uncertain and thus leading to the country drifting further away on not wanting to give up nuclear weapon development. This naturally is the ill-rational side of North Koreas and its leader. However, without any doubt, the wrong North Korean policy implemented by the United States, Japan and South Korea have also enhanced North Korean leader's risk-taking mentality. It has also led to the repeated broken off the North Korean Six-party Negotiation talks. On the other hand, Pyongyang's nuclear weapon policy also has its share of difficulties period. At one time, the denuclearization threshold for North Korea to walk through was just a stone's throw away as well. In 2008, North Korea even blew up the Yongbyon cooling tower, showing its denuclearization posture to the world. However, all effort did by North Korea did not gain the US fundamental change on its North Korean policy. The United States did not make reciprocal concessions. When the Pyongyang leader hoped that with the change of leadership in the United States, President Obama could make drastic change in the way the United States treats North Korea; however, in the end it was empty hope for North Korea again.
In theory, the Six Party Nuclear Weapon Talks should be a collective diplomatic effort from respective country representatives to negotiate for the end of North Korea's nuclear weapon development plan. The representatives should look into the 'cause' and 'end result" of North Korea's nuclear weapon development. But unfortunately, the Six Party Talks focused basically on wanting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapon development plan, which is the 'end result' of the 'cause.' They have totally avoided or ignored the "cause" of it. In other words, the reality is that North Korea's nuclear weapon plan was the result of the US hegemonic policy. The United States has forced North Korea to walk the nuclear weapon path.
US-Japan-South Korea Military Alliance Obsolete
At present, the main thought for the international community to resolve North Korea's nuclear weapon development issue is still focused on how they should make North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. They advocate that it is only when Pyongyang is willing to abandon its nuclear weapon program first before they can give them financial aid. They say that in order to allow North Korea to have normal ties with other countries, the prerequisite is for North Korea to discard its nuclear weapon development plan. In the past five or six years, the North Korean Six Party Nuclear Weapon talks were indeed allowing this thought to turn around. However, in the end, the result of these talks was fruitless. Therefore, if we really want to solve the North Korean nuclear weapon issue we must first break away from this cycle of unreasonable approach. The "contradiction theory" of Mao Zedong is useful to resolve this issue. Since the main contradiction of North Korea comes from the United States. We must resolve North Korea's nuclear weapon issue from the US end. The first reasonable thing for the United States to do is to adjust and abandon its outdated US-Japan-South Korean military alliance pack.
The Cold War has long ended. However, the United States, Japan and South Korea have continued to strengthen their alliance pack formed during the Cold War in conservative manner. This military pack among the three nations has fallen behind the current security situation in East Asia. This is among the reasons North Korea would want to process nuclear weapons for self-defense. North Korea can have the justification to do just that. Although President Obama has kept saying he would want to create change and reform the world, but unfortunately, the basic Asia Pacific military strategy of the United States under the Obama administration has remain unchanged. If the United States is unwilling to change this military strategy in Asia-Pacific, it will be difficult for the United States to settle the North Korean nuclear weapon issue.
In order to give North Korea the security assurance it needs, it is crucial for the United States to discard its Cold War mentality totally. This is because the obsolete US-Japan-South Korean military pact cannot catch up with the US military deployment in East Asia. The United States must stop military rehearsals with Japan and South Korea. The United States must also withdraw its obligation to provide nuclear defense shields for Japan and South Korea. The United States must revamp the current US-Japan-South Korea military agreement to give it a new meaning. When things become obsolete it must be thrown away. The world has witnessed the fall of Berlin Wall and the fall of former USSR. In making new adjustment toward East Asian development, the Japanese government led by Prime Minister Yokohama has the intention to relax and change the position of Japan in the US-Japan alliance status. If President Obama has the determination to change the world, then he must begin to make change through the elimination of US-Japan-South Korea military pack. The United States can work on the US troops now stationed in Japan and South Korea. President Obama can hold on to his Nobel Peace Prize's honor this way.
U.S. columnist Bill Carlson recently published an article advocating the invitation of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to the United States in order to improve US-North Korean ties. While we first heard about, it seemed like an Arabic Nights tale, but as we think it through, this might well be one of the best choices to resolve the US-North Korean issue.
It so happened that fifty years (1959 years) ago, former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev also acted in a similar way like today's Kim Jong Il brandishing nuclear weapons and threatening the blockade West Berlin. The stiff US-USSR relationship then was quite similar to today's US-North Korean ties. During that period, former US President Eisenhower took a surprise gesture by inviting Russian leader Khrushchev to visit the United States and to do a study tour of the United States. During that visit, in the end, Khrushchev and Eisenhower shook hands and celebrated their friendship with toast at Camp David. Khrushchev's trip to the United States achieved "miraculous" result. The visit by a Russian leader changed Khrushchev's perception and attitude about the United States. After Khrushchev retuned from the United States, he immediately decided to disarmament 1.2 million people from military force.
In fact, Kim Jong-Il's feeling toward the United States today is a lot more intense than that of Khrushchev's. If the United States then could invite Khrushchev to the United States and change a Russian leader's mind and perception about the United States, we trust the United States can do the same for North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il.
The North Korean nuclear issue has turned an impasse. Some observers described the condition as a "crashed computer" While no party has suggested that they should stage war against North Korea, the sanction acts taken by the relevant countries also yielded very little success. The Six Party Nuclear Weapon Talks seem to reach a dead end. In the author's opinion, inviting Kim Jong Il to visit the United States can be an icebreaking move. It might eventually turn the crashed computer into an active and workable one again. It is worth trying it.
Besides, the visit of Kim Jong Il to the United States can also trigger some special results that no other means can achieve. First, it can satisfy the North Koreans' pride and dignity that the people in North Korea are on equal footing with the people of the United States. This visit can also meet Kim Jong Il's desire to consolidate his political and personal prestige. If the visit of Kim Jong Il can be materialized, Kim knows that his name will be glorified and known to the world and that his three wishes can be achieved. Kim's wishes include getting economic aid, assurance of security and building diplomatic ties with the United States. History has shown that many international disputes that have been struggling for years can often be easily be resolved through the contacts and meeting between the top leaders of two nations.
People can clearly recall that before Obama became the US President, he did say he would want to have personal dialogue with the North Korea national leader. Obama also said he hoped to see the normalization of diplomatic ties with North Korea and the establishment of harmonious relationship with North Korea before the end of 2012. This is the time for President Obama to fulfill this international promise.
Convening Nuclear Weapon Safety Conference Early
Not long ago, President Obama proposed the idea of establishing a nuclear-free world, and planned that within a year he would host the World Summit on worldwide nuclear safety. This idea is no doubt a major adjustment of the US nuclear weapon strategy from the strategy formed during the former Bush administration. China should fully affirm President Obama's proposal and help to promote this world peace idea. It is of course not easy for President Obama to make such major strategic adjustments and put the changes into effect. But as long as the United States can take the lead to abandon its nuclear monopoly and hegemony policy, we trust President Obama's advocate for a nuclear free world can receive the support from majority of countries. With support and cooperation from the international community what President Obama intends to do to create a nuclear free world can indeed be achieved.
President Obama's new nuclear strategy will make North Korea losing its basic stand of processing nuclear weapons. North Korea has been reluctant to abandon its nuclear weapon program because it has the fear that the United States might use its nuclear threat against North Korea. North Korea also feels that the United States is using double standards in dealing with its nuclear weapon program. If the United States can take the lead to discard nuclear weapons, there is no reason why small country like North Korea will not abandon its pursuit for nuclear weapon ability. The key is that if the United States really wants to push forward a nuclear free world and not just putting its nuclear-free idea out on paper, the United States must at least make the following strategic choices:
First, the United States should take the lead to greatly reduce and finally give up its stocks on nuclear arsenals. Second, the United States must discard its double and multiple standards when dealing with the world's nuclear weapon processing countries. Third, the United States must develop a set of complete reduction of nuclear and nuclear plans with specific procedures to follow. If the United States can implement the above-mentioned suggestions, we believe effort taken by the United States to reduce world nuclear weapons can receive unexpected positive results.
Since the United States led by President Obama is bold enough to take the lead to push forward a nuclear free world and to abandon the US nuclear monopoly and hegemony, as long as the United States can take the lead in the abandonment of nuclear weapons we do not see why North Korea cannot change its stubborn stance.