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Stern Reaction from the International Community

Posted February. 11, 2005 22:54,   


The mood is hardening around the world after North Korea on February 10 announced its possession of nuclear weapons and absence from the six-nation talks.

Raised Voices from Japanese Hard-liners-

The Japanese Diet decided to open a session of its House Budgetary Committee on February 14 to have intense discussions on the North Korean issue.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi tried to be cautious, despite the North’s announcement, saying, “Japan will continue to hold a “dialogue and pressure” stance. But cries for economic sanctions are getting louder.

Shinzo Abe, the Liberal Democratic Party’s acting general-secretary and leading hard-liner in regard to North Korea, claimed, “There is no need to refrain from imposing economic sanctions. The conditions are ripe.”

Tatsuo Kawabata, the Democratic Party’s general-secretary, too, joined the forces calling for action, saying, “North Korea’s statement is a grave threat to the global security.”

The Japanese press predicted that due to the North’s declaration of its nuclear capability, public opinion will tilt more toward sanctions and the Defense Agency, which is seeking a missile defense (MD) system, will get a boost in its efforts to expand its arsenal.

However, some in Japan were disappointed that the conciliatory and less-hostile mood created after the preliminary match with North Korea for the World Cup Finals held on February 9 has disappeared thanks to the incident.

Russia’s More Accusatory Attitude-

Russia, one of the major allies of North Korea, turned tough, too.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, who is on a visit to France, criticized the North on February 10, saying, “If the North Korean leadership indeed attempts to drop out of the six-party talks, it is wrong.”

A Russian daily, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, and other media outlets joined to denounce North Korea, analyzing, “North Korea’s radical action wiped out the hope for an early settlement of the peninsula’s nuclear issue. North Korea’s nuclear possession will cause a “nuclear domino,” which will induce South Korea, Japan and Taiwan to go nuclear.”

According to analyses, Russia’s reaction reflects its sense of betrayal underneath. Russia has prided itself on the fact that it has a hotline with the North and that it is better informed of its moves. But this time it proved false.

Similar Reaction from the World-

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is visiting Britain said, “I hope this is not North Korea’s definite position,” adding, “I expect it to return to the negotiating table with neighboring countries’ concerted efforts,” asking for such efforts.

The UN High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Javier Solana issued a statement and urged, “North Korea should reconsider its decision and come back to the negotiating table.”

British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw also joined in the blame, saying, “North Korea has made a grave mistake.”

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer commented, “The German government wishes North Korea to return to the negotiating table and implement the provisions of the non-proliferation framework completely and verifiably.”