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Home > Media Reiews > News Review Last Updated: 14:52 03/09/2007
News Review #75: October 21, 2002

U.S., Japan Discuss N. Korean Nukes

Reviewed By Hitoshi URABE

"U.S., Japan Discuss N. Korean Nukes"
(by The Associated Press) Washington Post


Earlier in the month, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly visited North Korea and they confessed to their development of nuclear armaments. It was a clear infringement of the agreement established in 1994 to halt their nuclear-arms program in exchange for light-water nuclear reactors to be provided by U.S.

The divulgence came only a few weeks after Japan's Prime Minister Koizumi made a historical trip to Pyongyang on September 17, when their leader, Kim Jong Il, among other things, agreed to allow international inspectors to check its nuclear facilities.

The revelation by U.S. just before Mr Kelly's visit to Japan was apparently for them to send a warning, if not frustration, to Japan's officials being busy preparing for the normalization talks with North Korea scheduled to start on October 29. It was also when the five abductees, those only confirmed alive among at least 13 Japanese citizens who were kidnapped during the 1970s and 1980s by the North Korean government, to which Kim John Il unexpectedly admitted and apologized, were making an emotional visit to Japan after being held captive for quarter of a century. It could have been for U.S. to be concerned if Japan would be unduly lenient in the discussions with North Korea, due to either some sectors of the government being too eager to achieve tangible results, or Japan's people becoming softhearted for seeing the hostages returned.

It seems the nuclear arms development by North Korea did not surprise the Japanese people as much as U.S. had expected. People in Japan had become accustomed to North Korea to act differently from it says, so not many people in the first place did not believe that North Korea would not be up to anything malicious anyway. Kim's admission of the abductions did not soften the minds of Japanese people. On the contrary, it has reminded the people of the cold reality we are facing.

It was reported later that in her meeting with Assistant Secretary Kelly, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi explained that Japan would not go ahead with the normalization talks until the nuclear issue is cleared.

It is, however, still unknown whether Japanese people have grasped the implications of North Korea possessing nuclear bombs. They already have the vehicle to carry the bomb, as has been demonstrated by their shooting a missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean a few years back. In fact, they do not even need a rocket when they target Japan. All they need to do is to deploy a boat, like the one that attacked Japan's coast guard last year, to carry it to Japan's beaches, and ignite it. They could even just explode the thing in the neutral waters to the west of Japan. The explosion itself may not cause much damage, but the radioactive fallout would be carried by the westerlies over to Japan, which should destroy a significant portion of Japan's population.

North Korea could not be expected to observe the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In fact, they dropped out of it in 1993 so as to enable them to pursue their development. It is imminent that the bombs and the technology to fabricate them will be spread out to whomever North Korea feels it appropriate, and eventually, as a matter of course, to just about everyone who wants them.

This poses a severe strain on the security system of the world, from the international disputes to local crimes, not to mention the acts of terrorists.

Copyright © Japanese Institute of Global Communications