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U.S. Warns of Possible Nuclear Domino Effect in Northeast Asia

U.S. Warns of Possible Nuclear Domino Effect in Northeast Asia

Posted May. 23, 2005 03:39,   


The U.S. senate Republican policy advice plan calling for China to choose between cooperating with the U.S. or facing the possibility of a nuclear-armed neighbor in order to resolve the North Korea nuclear crisis has been made public.

The Senate Republican Policy Committee suggested the above in a six-page policy report which was distributed to senators on May 19.

The report specified “Chinese cooperation” as actively participating in the quarantine against North Korea’s nuclear proliferation; approving Japan, Korea, and Taiwan’s participation in the U.S.-led Missile Defense (MD) plan; and not pressuring Korea to take the initiative in forming an inter-Korea confederation.

A quarantine against nuclear proliferation refers to a military operation in which ships going in and out of North Korea would be inspected and searched for nuclear materials through a maritime blockade.

Nonetheless, the report maintained a more or less ambiguous stance concerning the nuclear armament of neighboring countries which could occur if Beijing does not actively pressure Pyongyang.

The report suggested the possibility of Japan’s nuclear armament, saying, “Due to North Korea’s nuclear experiment, a controversy calling for officially transforming the nuclear capability of civilian industries and aeronautical sectors into nuclear weapons programs might arise in Japan.” Yet it did not say that the U.S. would approve of Japan’s nuclear weapons development in response to a North Korean nuclear experiment.

As a policy alternative, the report added, however, that the U.S. “should mediate between Korea and Japan, who are currently in a strained relationship, to come up with a mutually acceptable solution for the North Korean nuclear problem. In the process, the U.S. should include the contents that the two nations will not pursue nuclear armaments and that they will hope for U.N. approval of the quarantine against the nuclear proliferation of North Korea.”

The U.S. Internet journal MSNBC also reported on May 19: “With the chances of North Korea becoming a full nuclear weapons state, the possibility of a nuclear arms race in Northeast Asia has been augmented. There are growing worries that the Korean and Japanese governments, which have considerable levels of nuclear technology, will also promote nuclear programs if North Korea conducts a nuclear experiment.”

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com