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What should U.S. do about nuclear North Korea?

by Luke Massirio, staff writer


One of the objectives for the Iraq invasion was to dismantle that country’s ability to house or manufacture any type of weapons of mass destruction. However, many Americans are now starting to see that the real threat of nuclear warfare wasn’t from Iraq, but from the communist state of North Korea.




North Korea announced on Feb.10 that it had nuclear weapons and it refused to return to six party talks with Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, and the United States. North Korean leader Kim Jong ll said the United States has a very “hostile” policy towards North Korea, and it must be changed.

North Korea has demanded for several years that the United States hold unilateral talks with it. The U.S. government has refused so far.To talk with North Korea unilaterally would put the United States in a position where, it alone, is requiring North Korea to disarm its nuclear weapons. Without the aid of a six-party talk, if North Korea and the United States would be forced to either back down or handle this situation much as it handles almost all of its foreign conflicts, by force. President Bush does not want to be left with only two options. Requiring multilateral talks means that if North Korea refuses to disarm, the U.S. is not forced into a war it does not want right now.

Recently, North Korea has hinted at returning to six-party talks under some conditions. According to leader Kim Jong ll, North Korea will return to talks if the United States shows that it is “trustworthy” and “sincere.” How exactly does the United States show this? The proposition is so vague that it would allow North Korea to do whatever is expedient.

The six-party talks are geared towards convincing North Korea to abandon its weapons in order to avoid being a threat towards its Asian neighbors and the United States. For doing so, North Korea will receive economic and diplomatic rewards which includes security guarantees it wants from the United States.

“We share a concern about the events on the Korean Peninsula,” U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters. Sharing concern is an understatement. Considering that North Korea is said to possess as many as 10 nuclear warheads and missiles capable of reaching both Alaska and Hawai‘i, we must be extremely cautious and very concerned.

Whatever the United States has to do to prove itself trustworthy and sincere, it must go about doing so. Our nation is largely divided about the conflict going on in Iraq. Another military conflict would destroy the U.S. morale completely, spread our forces to then make us look like the “Big Bully” that the whole world perceives us to be. One war with Korea was bad enough; unless Kim Jong ll actually attacks us, there is absolutely no reason for a sequel.



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