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“NK’s Statement of Nuclear Weapons, a Pre-emptive Strike on China?”

“NK’s Statement of Nuclear Weapons, a Pre-emptive Strike on China?”

Posted February. 16, 2005 22:51,   


Was North Korea’s declaration of its nuclear activities and suspension of involvement of the six-party talks a “pre-emptive strike” on China?

A U.S. official concerned with the Korean Peninsula told a reporter in a telephone conversation on February 15, “North Korea’s February 10 declaration was a form of pre-emptive strike on the Chinese government.”

According to an official, as China appears confused under the influence of the evidence of the North’s nuclear exports by the U.S., North Korea launched a pre-emptive strike to change the situation.

An official added that as the U.S. has discussed the countermeasures for each possible scenario, with its report in which it states, “There is a high possibility for North Korea to perform provocative actions just before the U.S. presidential election or after George W. Bush’s reelection,” North Korea’s mentioning of having nuclear weapons was not an unexpected situation.

What matters is the timing of North Korea’s statement. An official commented that after Michael Green, the U.S. National Security Council’s senior director for Asia, delivered U.S. President George W. Bush’s hand-written letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing on February 1-2, there was a subtle change of the situation among the Chinese leaders and North Korea also might have detected the change.

Bush’s letter delivered by Green is said to have been more than just a normal hand-written letter between leaders, indicating stronger requests to China.

According to the latest edition of Time (21st issue), Bush’s letter was not only very direct but also emphasized that China needs to be serious about North Korea.

An official also made sure that the so-called “Qadhafi Seoul Pyongyang Project,” which seems to have been suggested by some Korean officials, could not have been an “alternative plan” to the six-party talks.

Jung-Ahn Kim credo@donga.com