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Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

June 17, 2003

June 17, 2003





**  The DPRK's "odious government" is using "plain blackmail" to save its "shattered economy."


**  Rhetoric about "tough measures, including sanctions" may lead to increased tensions.


**  A diplomatic solution can be found through a "multilateral forum."


**  South Korean papers are divided on how best to arrive at a "peaceful solution." 




Pyongyang's nuclear threat seeks to 'bluff Washington' into a bargain--  Kim Jong-il's "paranoia" explains his quest for the "status of a nuclear power."  A Hong Kong writer said that Pyongyang "wants to be recognized as a nuclear power," not just use its nuclear program as a "bargaining chip."  Euro papers dismissed the North's claims that nuclear weapons would more efficiently utilize military spending; Belgium's independent De Morgen blasted the "Stalinist club of old men" who only create "famines."    South Africa's Sowetan reflected leftist sentiment that the ongoing crisis poses an "intangible challenge" to U.S. foreign policy. 


Concern rises over the U.S.' 'increasingly threatening language'--  Dailies warned that "U.S. rhetoric" could lead to "military activity."  Germany's right-of-center Die Welt stated that U.S.-led "sea blockades and economic sanctions," as well as a "preventative strike against the nuclear reactor at Yongbyan," are possible.  India's nationalist Hindustan Times cited "recent U.S. unilateral behavior" to explain Pyongyang's decision to seek nuclear weapons.  Given North Korea's "escalating potential as a nuclear power," a Belgian writer noted, "Washington could not dream of a better chance to go to war somewhere again."


The key to solving the crisis is 'diplomacy, not force'--  Euro and Asian writers emphasized international cooperation, no matter how "slow, tedious and expensive."  Hong Kong's independent South China Morning Post opined that a "multilateral approach will convince North Korea that its erratic, dangerous policies cannot be tolerated."  Alluding to U.S. unilateralism, Britain's independent Financial Times termed the current multilateralism a "welcome guarantee" the U.S. will not "rush a solution."  Japan's moderate Yomiuri hailed the regional "consensus on the need to prevent the DPRK" from attaining nuclear weapons.


ROK outlets are split over the need for a 'hard-line policy'--  Leftist papers urged the U.S. to begin "engaging the North in dialogue" and cease its "heavy pressure."  Hankyoreh Shinmun termed recent moves by the U.S. and Japan "too harsh" and inimicable to "a peaceful and diplomatic resolution."  More conservative dailies were critical of Seoul's "extremely conciliatory attitude" and demanded a "concrete vision of a solution," not just adherence to the "principle of a peaceful resolution."  Dong-a Ilbo noted the "international community's firm resolve" and backed South Korean participation in U.S. and Japanese "pressure." 


EDITOR:  Ben Goldberg


EDITOR'S NOTE:  This analysis was based on 27 reports from 13 countries over 3 - 17 June 2003.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "Pyongyang Squeezed"


An editorial in the independent Financial Times read (6/11):  "Pyongyang claimed its nuclear deterrent was not to blackmail others but to reduce conventional weapons and thereby divert money and human resources into economic development.  But could the admission of economic needs be the first sign that US pressure is working?....  The US is right to pursue a multilateral approach.  Pyongyang was a headache for the region, as well as the US, long before President George W.Bush took office, though by bracketing it with Iraq and Iran in his "axis of evil" he exacerbated tensions. Washington would like to involve China, South Korea and Japan so as to bring maximum regional pressure to bear and to underwrite any negotiated solution. A regional settlement would minimize the loss of face for the Bush administration in making concessions to North Korea.  A multilateral approach is also a welcome guarantee that the US will not try to rush a solution to North Korea, as it did in Iraq and sometimes seems tempted to do over Iran."


GERMANY:  "War Of Words About Korea"


Dietrich Alexander judged in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (6/10):  "Kim Yong-il loves the bomb....  With it, the autist in Pyongyang extorts an inappropriate high attention.  In his paranoia, Kim feels threatened by the United States, but in reality, the threat emanates from him....  Washington is now distancing itself from the dictator and is withdrawing its 37,000 soldiers from the de-militarized zone to protect them from North Korean artillery fire....  President Bush leaves no doubt that he wants to counter terrorist regimes with military means.  Scenarios of aggression against the 'axis power of evil' are likely to have been developed in the planning departments of the Pentagon, for Washington cannot allow Kim the production of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, since it would otherwise lose its credibility and remain susceptible to blackmail.  Sea blockades and economic sanctions are thinkable--or a preventive strike against the nuclear reactor in Yongbyan.  A scenario, which the protagonist of the hawks, Richard Perle, openly mentions.  The war of words is escalating."


"Kim's Aggressive Intentions"


Karl Grobe said in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (6/10):  "The timing for the North Korean regime to attract attention could hardly have been better.   South Korea's President is in Tokyo, Japan only recently adopted a series of defense and emergency bills, and the United States is seriously considering transferring its forces out of the reach of North Korea's artillery....  The Kim dynasty in Pyongyang is now announcing with a majestic gesture that it will build the bomb.  In its bizarre logic, the Kim regime feels right, since the DPRK cancelled the agreements with the IEAE and the NPT....  This is why Pyongyang has the same status as the United States and all other nuclear powers with respect to nuclear détente.  Pyongyang has not yet announced that it has the bomb, but only the intention to build it.  This is a qualitative step.  It is difficult to believe the version that Kim Yong-il only wants to force talks by making threats.  The way, in which evidence is presented, points to different, namely aggressive, intention.  Those who refer to the law of the jungle will also use it.  Like--and in this respect Kim is right--the United States."


RUSSIA:  "Washington Ousts Moscow From Korean Peninsula"


Vasiliy Golovnin wrote in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (6/11):  "Clearly, Washington does not feel like seeing Moscow getting involved in solving the North Korea problem soon.   It just does not see much sense in that.   The Russian leadership must be upset, especially because it has sought to use the North Korea case to score more diplomatic points and demonstrate its new role in international politics.   No one can blame Russia for inaction.  Last January Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Losyukov, Russia's chief expert in Asian affairs,

went to North Korea with a package of proposals on a settlement.   It was a mistake right from the outset.   Moscow hastened to declare that after Pyongyang, Mr. Losyukov would go on to Washington to explain the terms of reconciliation, on a mission that was supposed to consolidate his position as a mediator.   Washington's reaction was killing: the Americans pretended not to see the fine implications of the diplomatic game.   The mediator quietly returned to Moscow to find out later that the Americans did not need his good services.   After the failed mission to Pyongyang Moscow lost all sway in Korean affairs....  Getting Seoul and Tokyo to join the talks is understandable.   They are the United States' closest allies in Asia, so ignoring their wishes would be inappropriate."


"We're Just A Fragment Of What Once Instilled Fear In All"


Valeriy Panyushkin opined in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (6/11): "Russia has no reason whatsoever to mediate between America and Korea except that it is dying to mediate between the Americans and somebody else, no matter who.   We can think up a million reasons why we should do so--we a Far Eastern power in the Pacific; we have a large Korean community; former communists ourselves, we know how to deal with our Korean brethren--but all those are just cheating.  Cheating bespeaks weakness. True enough, because of its geopolitical position, Russia may call itself an Atlantic nation to try for NATO membership, it may call itself a European nation to gain admission to the EU, it may claim to belong in Asia to deal with its satraps there, or refer to our borders in the Pacific in the Far East to become a party to dividing Korea....  In fact, Russia is just a fragment of what once instilled fear in all and what now instills fear in no one.  The United States has no reason to be involved with North Korea either except that no one will dare deny it that privilege.   Assuming that politics is like the game of cards, it is hard to tell which is worse, being a strong player like America or a weak player like Russia.  On reflection, you may find that it is best to be like Switzerland and not to be humiliated by threats to expel you from geopolitics for the simple reason that you never asked to be in it."


"N. Korea Builds Bomb To Cut Army"


Katerina Labetskaya and Aleksandr Lomanov held in reformist Vremya Novostey (6/10):  "Redistributing the meager resources of the ineffective economy won't solve North Korea's problems.  That country badly needs foreign investments and technologies.   The status of a nuclear power, rather than benefiting it, will cost it a lot by making it even more isolated internationally.  Pyongyang risks losing all humanitarian assistance from South Korea and international organizations.   By having openly acknowledged its nuclear ambitions, Pyongyang seeks to bluff Washington into a bargain....  North Korea's actions make its neighbors nervous.   Seoul and Tokyo favor a peaceful solution to the crisis, but they condemn North Korea's nuclear plans.   Beijing and Moscow are not happy about Pyongyang's striving for nuclear weapons either."


BELGIUM:  "North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons"


Frank Schloemer maintained in independent De Morgen (6/10):  “The North Korean Stalinist regime believes that it has two reasons to produce nuclear weapons.  First, it feels compelled to build a nuclear arsenal because the country is threatened by the United States.  It is a fact that the U.S. has been present with an impressive military power in South Korea and George W. Bush is speaking increasingly threatening language to North Korea which, in his eyes, is a ‘rogue state.'  With seldom seen cynicism a second reason for the production of nuclear weapons was given.  Allegedly, they are cheaper than traditional arsenals and the Korean people would profit from the money thus saved.  All of a sudden the gerontocrats in Pyongyang are thinking about their own people.  Miracles exist.  That Stalinist club of old men--who have a tradition of organizing famines for their people--now want to make the world believe that they need nuclear weapons to give the people more food.  A schoolbook example of political perversity.  Be certain that those same rulers will not hesitate to use those weapons, preferably against archenemy South Korea and, implicitly, against that other archenemy, the United States....  One may wonder what inspired those North Korean rulers to give George W. Bush such an open chance.  He invaded Iraq for fewer reasons.  Washington only vaguely suspected Saddam Hussein of possessing a biological arsenal--and that was sufficient to send hundreds of thousands of troops to Iraq.  Iraq always denied that it had such weapons, but that suspicion was enough for Bush and Blair to invade the country....  The U.S. wants to keep the club of nuclear nations as small as possible and even deplores that France and Russia have that kind of stuff.  It is not really clear why North Korea has such a big mouth now, but Washington could not dream of a better chance to go to war somewhere again.”




SAUDI ARABIA:  "Plain Blackmail"


Jeddah's English-language pro-government Arab News (6/10):  "North Korea is not quite the paranoid, soulless state that is thought, and the tragic truth for most North Koreans is that their service in, and subsequent control by, the armed forces is what keeps their odious government in place.  The North Korean threat is plain blackmail....  Blackmail was a tactic that worked before, ten years ago when Pyongyang first threatened to abandon the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.  But the economic crisis was not then anything like as bad as it is today....  It would be nice to believe that the Bush administration will not duck the issue of a nuclear Korea but we should not hold our breath.  The U.S. will talk tough, do nothing in the Far East, and stick instead to its Zionist-inspired intervention in the Middle East."




AUSTRALIA:  “Words Not Guns For North Korea”


An editorial in the liberal Sydney Morning Herald read (6/13):  “The present North Korean crisis goes back to the 'axis of evil' comments by the United States President, George Bush, last year. Those harsh words undermined years of painstaking diplomacy which had reopened communication between the Clinton administration and that of Kim Jong-Il....  Mr Bush, impatient with such trade-offs, replaced rewards with abuse, and North Korea responded with threats. Now, the US proposes to intercept North Korean ships and wants Australia to join it in the enterprise....  While Canberra rightly shares Washington's goal of achieving security in North Asia by dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear program, this does not mean Australia should automatically join such a US operation....  Australia must remember that it is a middle-ranking nation with a small--though effective--military.  It must not overplay its hand as it spreads its very limited armed forces through the region and beyond. Let Washington play the bad cop with North Korea. Australia can stand back from US rhetoric (axis of evil and all that) as well as staying out of any military activity....  Australia's influence on the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula should be via diplomacy, not force.”


“War Of Words On North Korea”


The liberal Melbourne-based Age observed (6/11):  “What is clear is that North Korea's escalating potential as a nuclear power is causing serious alarm, especially in the region....  Although North Korea was named as part of the 'axis of evil' by President George Bush, it is extremely unlikely that the US would embark upon a program of regime change as it did in Iraq. There can be none of the games of brinkmanship that prefaced the invasion of Iraq. There is no way of knowing how a country still nominally led by a dead man--the Eternal Leader Kim il-Sung--would respond. The key still lies in multilateral diplomacy--slow, tedious and expensive though that may eventually turn out to be."


CHINA:   “The U.S. Is Preparing To Attack DPRK"


Xu Baokang commented in official Communist Party-run international news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao) (6/16):  “Recently, there are two noticeable messages going around on the DPRK issue: one is that a representative of the U.S. hawks claimed that the U.S. should bomb the DPRK nuclear facilities when ‘necessary’; another is that the U.S. government transmitted its will to ‘hold 5-way talks’ to China’s Foreign Ministry through the U.S. Embassy in China and asked China to pass the message to DPRK.  Observers think, the two methods, one ‘bombing’ and one ‘talking’ showed the ‘offensive realism’ policy that the U.S. is using against DPRK has primarily been shaped....  Observers indicated, on the DPRK issue, the U.S. and its allies started to adopt the strategy of both ‘dialogue and blockade’ and is preparing for ‘a preemptive strike’ at any time.  There are many changes in the development of the Korean peninsula issue, and it is not optimistic.”


CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):  "United Effort Will Make North Korea Take Heed"


The independent English-language South China Morning Post editorialized (6/15):  "On Friday, the U.S., South Korea and Japan agreed after two days of talks in Hawaii to work together to stop North Korea's weapons proliferation and bring stability to the Korean peninsula through peaceful means.  Their joint statement expressed concern about 'illegal activities by North Korean entities, including drug running and counterfeiting.'  Individually, the efforts of the three had done nothing to prevent Kim Jong-il's Stalinist regime from taking its own course to solve its economic and humanitarian problems.  Security in northeast Asia worsened as a result of their efforts.  But Friday's agreement offers a new hope.  Working together, and bringing North Korea's closest allies China and Russia to the table, will provide a powerful reason for Pyongyang to take heed.  Such a multilateral approach will convince North Korea that its erratic, dangerous policies cannot be tolerated."


"Sowing Confusion"


Frank Ching remarked in the independent English-language South China Morning Post (6/5):  "North Korea is playing a dangerous game, saying different things to different people with the idea of dividing the international community....  North Korea also keeps changing its position, so that it becomes extremely difficult to pin it down.  Even on the issue of whether the North insists on bilateral talks with America or whether it is willing to hold talks in a multilateral format, North Korea's position is ambiguous.  In April, the North Koreans announced that 'we will not stick to any particular dialogue format,' clearing the way for three-way talks in Beijing.  However, the North is again insisting on bilateral talks with the U.S., saying they must precede any multilateral negotiations.  It is also unclear what North Korea's ultimate intentions are.  For a while, it seemed the North wanted to use its nuclear weapons program as a bargaining chip for security guarantees and badly needed economic aid.  Now, however, its statements increasingly suggest that it wants to be recognized as a nuclear power, and that what it is offering is not the dismantling of its nuclear program but rather its exercise of self-restraint in not exporting its nuclear weapons, technology and missiles.  North Korea should realize, whatever game it is playing, that the stakes are extremely high.  It would do well to remember that people who play with fire are likely to get burned."


JAPAN:   "Gaps Between Japan And South Korea"


An editorial in top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri noted (6/8):  "Saturday's talks between Prime Minister Koizumi and visiting South Korean President Roh raised uncertainties over whether Japan and South Korea would really be able to cooperate closely on North Korean policy. Koizumi and Roh agreed not to tolerate the development of nuclear weapons by North Korea. But while Koizumi reiterated Japan's 'dialogue and pressure' policy toward the North, Roh stressed that he would place greater emphasis on dialogue with Pyongyang....  The joint statement, issued by Koizumi and Roh, used less specific wording on ways to deal with the North's nuclear issue than those used in the U.S.-South Korean summit talks, or in the U.S.-Japan summit talks recently....  Trilateral talks between the U.S., North Korea and China have been initiated. South Korea needs to narrow the gap with the U.S. and Japan to allow the trilateral talks to become multilateral, with Japan and South Korea being admitted to the table."


"World Community Should Join Hands to Press DPRK to Stop Nuclear Development"


Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (6/3):  "Through the Evian G-8 summit, the world community has reached a consensus on the need to prevent the DPRK from going ahead with its nuclear arms development. The challenge that lies ahead is whether the international community will be able to act in concert in taking tough measures, including sanctions, against the North, if its actions warrant such punitive steps....  North Korea should take such an international warning seriously and abandon its nuclear development program completely and promptly in a verifiable and irreversible manner. The only way the world community can show North Korea that it means business is to make it plain to Pyongyang that both dialogue and pressure will be used as required."


SOUTH KOREA:  "It Is Time For Pyongyang To Exercise 'Flexibility'"


Yoon Kuk-han wrote in nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun (6/17):  "In a situation where the Bush Administration shows no sign of dropping its hard-line policy and engaging the North in dialogue, the only way for Washington and Pyongyang to return to the U.S.-DPRK joint statement penned during President Clinton's tenure is for Pyongyang to change itself.  If it is true, as many experts say, that the North wants nuclear weapons to revive its shattered economy, it is really important for Pyongyang to accurately assess the current U.S. mood.  Further delays in nuclear talks resulting from Pyongyang's taking issue with the dialogue format will severely increase the North's burden and suffering."


"Cooperation To Impose Sanctions On North Korea Starts To Materialize"


Independent Joong-Ang Ilbo editorialized (6/16):  "At the recent TCOG talks, the ROK, the U.S., and Japan agreed to counter North Korea's illegal activities, virtually establishing a de facto basis for sanctions against the North.  Even though on the surface the agreement was targeted at Pyongyang's drug trafficking and money counterfeiting, it is a warning that international pressure on the North will intensify....  Meanwhile, the two Koreas held ceremonies to re-link cross-border railroads in the eastern and western sections of the DMZ.  In addition, another round of separated family reunions is scheduled at Mt. Kumgang at the end of this month.  Unless the North gives up its nuclear ambitions, such inter-Korean exchanges will inevitably face problems.  Pyongyang must not make light of this international atmosphere."


"Pyongyang Should Keep In Mind Messages Of Cooperation Between The U.S., ROK and Japan"


Independent Dong-a Ilbo opined (6/16):  "The ROK's participation in U.S. and Japanese efforts to pressure Pyongyang represents a significant departure from its previous insistence on a peaceful resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue.  It can be said that the focus of North Korea policy sought by the three countries has changed from dialogue to pressure. Pyongyang should take note of these changes of heart by the U.S., the ROK and Japan...and adopt a forward-looking attitude by accepting multilateral nuclear talks including the ROK and Japan.  It is time for Pyongyang to drop any expectation that it can use the ROK's conciliatory attitude toward it to avoid hard-line responses from the U.S. and Japan."


"North Korea Should Turn Its Nuclear Strategy Into A Peaceful Strategy"


Nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun observed (6/16):  "With the North Korean nuclear issue stirring up serious confrontation, the ROK needs to attach as much importance to inter-Korean dialogue and efforts to bring Pyongyang to the dialogue table as cooperation with the U.S. and Japan.  Even though inter-Korean relations have further soured recently due to strengthened U.S.-ROK cooperation and an investigation into allegations that Seoul secretly provided money to Pyongyang ahead of the inter-Korean summit in June 2000, continued inter-Korean dialogue is indispensable at this critical moment....  North Korea, for its part, must quit calling for national cooperation alone....  Cooperation for peace and reconciliation is meaningless without trust between the concerned parties.  We strongly urge Pyongyang to immediately abandon its nuclear programs and to turn its nuclear strategy to a peaceful strategy."


"International Pressure on North Korea is Beginning to Take Shape"


Independent Dong-a Ilbo contended (6/13):  "With the international community ratcheting up efforts to blockade North Korea's illegal activities such as drug trafficking, an international conference opened in Madrid, Spain, yesterday to discuss ways to preclude the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)....  In particular, the U.S., backed by Japan and Australia, is said to lead talks on setting maritime traffic rules to halt the North's illicit trading and weapons proliferation and on levels of sanctions [if the North violates such rules]....  We urge Pyongyang to accurately read the international community's firm resolve to no longer condone its illegal trafficking in drugs and counterfeited money and the spread of WMD....  Regarding the ROK's failure to attend the Madrid conference, we suspect that the ROKG's extremely conciliatory attitude toward the North might have triggered its exclusion from the international coalition.  It might very well be that leading countries of the conference--notably the U.S.--thought the ROK would become an obstacle to such discussions. "


"Hasty Discussion Of Imposing Sanctions On North Korea"


Government-owned Daehan Maeil declared (6/13):  "We are deeply concerned about recent moves by the U.S., Japan, and Australia to blockade North Korea, because they contradict the principle of a peaceful resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue agreed to by the leaders of the U.S., ROK and Japan.  We believe that the 'further steps' or 'tougher measures' mentioned in the U.S.-ROK and U.S.-Japan joint statements should be implemented if Pyongyang crosses the 'red line,' for instance, by reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods.  Any hasty discussion of imposing sanctions on the North could become an obstacle to another round of nuclear talks, which are currently shaping into a five-way forum."


"ROK Stays Out Of U.S.-Japan Cooperation On North Korea's Nuclear Program"


Conservative Chosun Ilbo argued (6/12):  "We worry about the way the ROKG is handling the North Korean nuclear issue.  With the U.S. and Japan starting to put pressure or impose sanctions on North Korea and Pyongyang declaring possession of a 'nuclear deterrent,' and alluding to a 'world war,' the ROK seems to be staying on the sidelines of this urgent situation....  For now, it is more important that the ROKG present a concrete vision of a solution to resolve the nuclear issue peacefully than that they simply cling to the principle of a 'peaceful resolution'....  Washington and Tokyo might proceed with policies to pressure the North without Seoul's consent."


"The Need To Put The Brake On U.S. And Japan's Move To Blockade North Korea"


Nationalist, left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun held (6/12):  "Tensions are mounting on the peninsula as the U.S. and Japanese governments start to apply 'heavy pressure'--almost equal to a 'blockade'--on North Korea....  This U.S.-Japanese move contradicts the principle of a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue agreed upon by the leaders of the U.S., Japan and the ROK... and is too harsh to regard as 'pressure for dialogue'....  Knowing that Pyongyang is eager to talk to the U.S., this sort of U.S. and Japanese 'blockade' of the North will aggravate the situation rather than elicit change from the North.  It is high time for the ROKG to exert every possible diplomatic effort to halt the two countries' attempt to blockade the North and to revive the momentum for dialogue."


THAILAND:  “Those On The Firing Line”


Pichien Kurathong commented in elite, Thai-language Matichon (6/5):  “South Korea and Japan are most likely to be on the firing line.  The new president of South Korea in particular will have to find a way to avoid his nation from being a nuclear arms base.  Falling too much into the role of a Superpower’s puppeteer may intensify South Korea’s confrontation with DPRK.  At the same time, if the new president is to use the same compromising means as did the former president with the States, Washington won’t take it, either....  For the time being, we’ll have to keep an eye on the Chinese stance after Hu Jin Tao’s discussion with President Bush at the G-8 summit.  Conclusions of their discussion would signify how critical South Korea is on the firing line.”


INDIA:  "Dealing With The Hidden Kingdom" 


The nationalist Hindustan Times opined (6/13):  "It's a hopeful sign that North Korea's stated desire to have nuclear weapons hasn't set off panic in the West.  US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said that the development did not mean 'we are on our way to war'....  President Bush also believes that there is an opportunity for a diplomatic solution, but one that lies through a multilateral forum. This attitude appears to have become something of a sticking point. Pyongyang has for long suggested that it wishes to engage the Americans in direct talks, probably wishing for direct economic assistance. The US, however, prefers a regional dialogue....  The US refusal to engage Pyongyang one-to-one is played up by the Kim Jong-II regime as hostile American intent which it cites as a motivation to acquire the nuclear deterrent. This is downright irresponsible behavior....  Recent US unilateral behavior, especially on the Iraq issue, may have prompted the thought among some that only possessing a nuclear deterrent can save them in the final analysis. To prevent miscalculations, Washington would need to show greater diplomatic initiative and agility."


PAKISTAN:  "Growing WMD Imbroglio"


Shireen M. Mazari wrote in the centrist national English-language News (6/11):  "The North Korean challenge to the nonproliferation regime is extremely timely.  And the almost total lack of response to its declaration of nuclear intent shows that the whole WMD issue is a farce and merely a pretext to use against Muslim states that the US views with hostility!....  The principle of nonproliferation has already been gradually undermined by the U.S. itself.  After all, apart from keeping Israel out of the nonproliferation ambit, the use of this issue as a pretext for preemptive military intervention in Iraq and possibly, in the future, in Iran has undermined the credibility of the supporters of nonproliferation.  The case of Iraq has actually undermined the very rationales the U.S. and Britain gave for invading Iraq in the first place.  For one, it is now clear that there were no substantive stocks of any kind of WMD being held by Iraq--and worse still, both Bush and Blair knew this to be the case!"




SOUTH AFRICA:  "North Korea Has Card Up Its Sleeve"


Natashia Chiba writes in the pro-government, Afro-centric Sowetan  (6/5):  "The hunt for WMD continues amid global concern that the U.S. may have set a dangerous precedent in Iraq....  Could North Korea be next on the agenda?  North Korea has for decades presented successive US administrations with what could best be described as an intangible challenge to American foreign policy....  It is no surprise that North Korea has on several occasions tried to gain the world's attention by using its trump card: its nuclear weapons program....  More significant was the open declaration in April 2003 that it did possess nuclear weapons.  The timing of these revelations proves significant for two reasons.  Firstly the international community preoccupied itself with the war in Iraq and America's largely defiant actions....  North Korea's revelation...constituted a clear violation of the various treaties and multilateral processes acceded to by that government.  Again this raised questions about the efficacy of the multilateral process.  Secondly, the revelation...emerged at a time when many observers began to fear that America had set a precedent in Iraq....  On June 1 Bush together with...Putin issued strong statements condemning Iran and North Korea for their nuclear weapons program....  For two powers that collectively harbor the world's largest stockpile of conventional and nuclear forces, calling on countries such as Iran and North Korea to curb their possession of such weapons does not gain credibility in the eyes of the international community."


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