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U.S. Has Significant Deterrence in Asia-Pacific

Posted May. 03, 2005 23:32,   


On May 2, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice emphasized, “The United States is maintaining all types of significant deterrence throughout the Asia-Pacific regions.”

Right after the conference with French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier in Washington that day, she said the above to the journalists and added, “In particular, I would like to re-emphasize the word ‘significant.’”

Secretary Rice’s remark is interpreted as a strong warning to North Korea that the U.S. may use overwhelming military might if Pyongyang dares to conduct military ventures like underground nuclear tests or long-range missile launch experiments.

Subsequently, she said, “The six-party talks currently focus on the North Korea nuclear crisis, but at some point, it should deal with Pyongyang’s missile problems, too.”

At the regular briefing that day, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, “North Korea’s missile launch over the East Sea is an act of provocation.”

Meanwhile, the L.A. Times commented on the North’s missile launch on May 2, saying, “The military significance of the launch is limited; it is more of a political expression from a Pyongyang with a grudge against the U.S.”

The newspaper wrote that American Enterprise Institute (AEI) senior research associate Nicholas Eberstadt said, “This launch is a trite approach in which Pyongyang was conveying the message to the U.S. of ‘hey, you shouldn’t ignore my existence.’” It also reported that Heritage Foundation fellow Balbina Hwang said, “A normal nation does not heighten tension in the middle of negotiations, but the North has been getting what it wants in this manner for the past 50 years.”

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com