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  • Posts Tagged ‘ballistic missile launch’

    UN Resolution Against North Korea’s Missile Launch – 6 Factors

    January 22nd, 2013  by  Asia-Pacific Global Research Group - Jasper Kim

     
    1) China has supported the move to expand sanctions on North Korea following the rocket launch, and yet debris of the latest missile showed that many of its parts had actually come from China. Does this present a conflict for China’s position in the UN Security Council, and should there be ramifications for its involvement?
     
    More than a conflict, this issue represents China’s diplomatic dilemma. Specifically, to straddle the line between maintaining its loyalty to the DPRK–which acts as a strategic buffer zone to US military forces based in South Korea–and its more self-interested need to appear as a more neutral and responsible member of the international community, especially given the PRC’s rising economic and military recent influence.
     
    There won’t be any actions taken against the PRC for the discovered Chinese parts in North Korea’s intercontinental missile for several reasons. Namely, the parts, which include wires, sensors, and a battery voltage converter are not in violation of international agreements (specifically, the Missile Technology Control Regime), and several other parts were also allegedly imported from several European countries.
     
    2) Will China’s move against NK cause any serious diplomatic tensions, and what might have motivated their decision to back the sanctions?

    North Korea will probably understand that, given China’s rising power and position in the UN, that the PRC’s decision to “condemn” the DPRK’s recent missile and satellite launch represents the least worst strategic alternative for both the PRC and DPRK. This is because the current draft resolution merely “condemns” the North’s actions and calls for tightening of already existing sanctions, but does not call for new immediate sanctions.
     
    3) Will these expanded sanctions be enough to contain the threat o another rocket launch, or might it further aggravate the issue?
     
    The short answer is “no.” North Korea is what I refer to as a “super-sanctioned state”–one of the most sanctioned states in the world–yet it still continues to do what it does.
     
    4) How might the sanctions affect South Korean relations with Beijing, especially in the face of a new presidential office?

    The new UN resolution will probably have little effect in terms of Sino-South Korean diplomatic relations since the major states have so far generally agreed to its embedded suggested language.
     
    5) Do you think China’s support implicates a change in global dynamics as China moves to closer ties with the US?

    It does not, in my view. But the next generation of future PRC leaders may take the view–as has been speculated by several China experts–that the costs of loyalty and support of North Korea may outweigh the PRC’s self-interest of furthering its global hegemony, which in part, may be hindered if Beijing’s leadership continues to support a regime, North Korea, that is largely viewed by the international community as a dangerous outlier.
     
    6) How do you think the US views China’s changed attitude to NK which it once considered its close ally?

    As stated above, China has not changed its diplomatic stance regarding the current proposed UN resolution against North Korea. So it demonstrates that things will be more of the same at least in the short run under the leadership of Xi Xinping.
     
     

    Game-Changer: North Korea’s Surprise Missile and Satellite Launch [Int’l Security]

    December 12th, 2012  by  Asia-Pacific Global Research Group - Jasper Kim

    North Korea’s Launch a Surprise:
     
    As of yesterday, the consensus was that the DPRK’s Eunha 3 (Galaxy) ballistic missile was being dismantled due to a “technical” problem. This was a relatively easy-to-accept narrative, given North Korea’s four previous similar, but failed, missile launch attempts in 1998, 2006, 2009, and April 2012. But to the surprise of most in the international community, this morning the world saw evidence of a potentially concerning possibly “game changing” event – in the form of the DPRK’s first successful intercontinental ballistic missile launch. This clearly shows just how truly little the world knows about one of the world’s most closed and secretive states. 
     
    DPRK Missile Launch Implications:
     
    The international community may consider further sanctions, but the PRC (a permanent UNSC member with veto power) may or may not support another sanction against its ally, the DPRK. Alternatively, certain states may opt to enforce domestic sanctions against North Korea unilaterally.
     
    Even with further UN or domestic-based sanctions, it is also unclear how much more influence more sanctions will have on the reclusive DPRK, given that it is currently one of the most sanctioned countries in the world. The US will put more pressure on the PRC to compel the DPRK that it should refrain from further such acts, although this will probably have relatively little effect. Japan, may react most noticeably, in the form of greater internal public and political sentiment and pressure to revamp its constitution to allow its “self-defense” forces to be used in a broader way for self protection against possible future North Korean provocative acts.This will continue to further aggravate the ongoing “Confucian Cold War.” between Japan, the Korean peninsula, and mainland China.
     
    Missile Launch as Strategic Timing:
     
    The North’s missile launch (and possible satellite orbit) was purposely timed to fall within the timeline trifecta of (1) the centennial of the birth of North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-Sung; (2) year anniversary of Kim Jong-il’s death; and (3) upcoming presidential elections on December 19 (possibly shifting support to conservative Saenuri candidate, Park Geun-hye, given her relative hawkish stance relating to the DPRK). Kim Jong-un essentially “doubled down” on his political capital with the launch, and subsequently his political power base has been solidified–at least in the short term–through the North’s successful launch within (rather than past) its original pre-December 22nd trifecta timeline.

    South Korea’s Possible Response:

     
    South Korea will work with the U.S. to possibly push for more UN sanctions, given that North Korea’s missile launch would be in violation of UN Resolution 1718 and 1874. Now that the North has demonstrated its successful intercontinental missile launch technology (and apparent satellite orbit), this will also put South Korean military forces on further edge, given past provocations. In contrast to the North, South Korea has yet to successfully launch a satellite into orbit, which will further compound a possible “satellite gap” perception–somewhat similar to the “missile gap” and space technology gap that pervaded during the U.S.-USSR Cold War period.
     
    North Korea’s Next Move:
     
    North Korea is predictably unpredictable, generally to its benefit. Kim Jong-un has employed a “one step forward, one step back” policy of modernization on the one hand, counterbalanced by seemingly provocative acts to placate its military. The NLL border region is likely the next area where possible conflicts in the future may occur. Cyberattacks is also another increasingly used option by the DPRK against South Korea, although this could be used against any other perceived foe in the future.
     
    To view a related op-ed piece written by him on Global Times (China’s English newspaper), click HERE.
     
    To view Jasper Kim (Founder/CEO) discuss this issue with CNN, click HERE or view BELOW.
     

     
    To view a separate CNN TV interview clip with accompanying online report click HERE and VIEW below:

     

     
    For a Bloomberg/Businessweek interview clip, see below (December 12, 2012):