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by Ethan Wells
Friday, Apr. 25, 2003 at 2:02 PM
The doctrine of pre-emptive war, coupled with the complete emasculation of the UN, makes the disarmament of North Korea impossible -- to the peril of the world.
Reuters has just reported that North Korea has admitted to having at least one nuclear weapon (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&ncid=578&e=2&u=/nm/20030424/ts_nm/korea_north_dc). We now get to see the pay-off of the pre-emptive war strategy, everywhere lauded in this country. But the praise sung today may very soon become a dirge. N. Korea vastly accelerated its nuclear program when it became clear that the US was going to attack Iraq, stop number one on the so-called axis of evil. Why? Because it was clear that the US was going to attack irregardless of whether or not the Iraqis co-operated with weapons inspectors and disarmed. Hence the North Koreans developed a deterrent as the only possible means of preventing a pre-emptive attack -- thereby contributing to what for sixty years has been considered the nightmare scenario, namely, nuclear proliferation.
What can we do now? Not much. There's no way North Korea will disarm under the auspices of the UN since the last country to disarm in such a fashion was then attacked by the US. Moreover, to disarm under the auspices of the UN not only does not mean that one won't be attacked; since the US used the UN inspections as a cover to collect information for its attack, it also means that one will be even more militarily compromised than by disarmament alone. The North Koreans would be nuts to agree to anything like what the Iraqis agreed to.
So where does that leave us? By completely discrediting the UN, there is today no organization in the world that can at once disarm a country and also guarantee its security. Without the latter guarantee, no disarmament is possible. Hence the one thing we know today is that if the North Koreans do have the bomb, they are not going to give it up. Which means either the US can capitulate and give in to the North Korean demands -- something that would be quite alien to the bellicosity of this administration -- or there will be a very serious war on the Korean penninsula in the near future.
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