North Korea attempted to put a military reconnaissance satellite into orbit on May 27, but said the rocket exploded. It was its second attempt after one last November.

This latest case was not only in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning Pyongyang from using ballistic missile technology, but also an outrage against efforts to preserve peace and stability in East Asia.

We strongly urge North Korea to forgo all future liftoffs.

Japan received advance word from the North about its latest launch, just hours before the start of the first Japan-China-South Korea summit in four and a half years.

Given the timing, we cannot rule out the possibility that Pyongyang’s purpose was to stop the three nations from getting too cozy by exposing the fact that China takes a different view from the other two in their respective positions on North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was discussed during the summit. This apparently displeased Pyongyang, which immediately issued a statement to the effect that any possibility of the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” is now “already dead.” Pyongyang then went ahead with the spy satellite launch late that night.

North Korea justifies the development of military reconnaissance satellites on the grounds that they are vital for ensuring the nation remains fully prepared to defend itself by monitoring the military activities of the United States and other countries.

Pyongyang claimed the launch of its first spy satellite last November was a success. It plans three more launches this year.

There are strong doubts now about what the supposed spy satellite is capable of. However, it is beyond dispute that the North has improved its nuclear and missile development technology through trial and error. It has been reported that the North has recently been receiving Russian technical assistance.

North Korea’s capabilities must never be underestimated.

North Korea is seeking stronger ties with Russia and China while maintaining a hardline stance against South Korea and the United States.

We presume Pyongyang wants to establish a structure of confrontation against Japan, South Korea and the United States by exploiting the U.S.-Russia and U.S-China conflicts, while China and Russia watch its back.

One thing to bear in mind, though, is that Russia and China differ in their attitudes toward North Korea.

With its invasion of Ukraine dragging on, Russia is now poised to protect North Korea from UNSC sanctions in exchange for supplies of weapons and ammunition.

China, on the other hand, now appears to be extremely wary of Russia and North Korea getting too close. Reportedly, Beijing does not want to be perceived as being within the “China-Russia-North Korea” framework because of its own criticism of the burgeoning Japan-U.S.-South Korea alliance as a “clique (that stirs up factional conflict).”

Amid the regression of U.S.-Russia nuclear disarmament programs and China’s growth as a nuclear power, any further advances in the formation of “blocs” reminiscent of the Cold War era may seriously jeopardize the situation not only on the Korean Peninsula but also around the world.

The nations concerned are being tested on how they can stop that and move toward detente by not allowing themselves to play into Pyongyang’s hands.

China’s responsibility is especially heavy for having confirmed, during the Japan-China-South Korea meeting, that it is their “shared responsibility” to preserve peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 29

QOSHE - EDITORIAL: Pyongyang has no business putting spy satellites in orbit - The Asahi Shimbun
menu_open
Columnists Actual . Favourites . Archive
We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

EDITORIAL: Pyongyang has no business putting spy satellites in orbit

33 0
29.05.2024

North Korea attempted to put a military reconnaissance satellite into orbit on May 27, but said the rocket exploded. It was its second attempt after one last November.

This latest case was not only in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning Pyongyang from using ballistic missile technology, but also an outrage against efforts to preserve peace and stability in East Asia.

We strongly urge North Korea to forgo all future liftoffs.

Japan received advance word from the North about its latest launch, just hours before the start of the first Japan-China-South Korea summit in four and a half years.

Given the timing, we cannot rule out the possibility that Pyongyang’s purpose was to stop the three nations from getting too cozy by exposing the fact that China takes a different view from the other two in their respective positions on North Korea’s nuclear and missile........

© The Asahi Shimbun


Get it on Google Play