February 25, 2024

Fear is a Best-seller

Pyongyang’s failed rocket launch last month created quite a stir in the international arena. Nations in East Asia flaunted their top missile defense capabilities, the U.S. set about pulling out all diplomatic stops, and China chortled its best ‘non-interference’ rhetoric. The international media, as anyone would expect, focused its watchdog eye on what actions the DPRK would take, and what the result of the launch would be. Western journalists debated North Korea’s ulterior motives for seeking satellite technology, but no one really questioned the incentives of the other nations in the Six Party Talks for the launch to actually go ahead.

Well, why should they? Japan was in the way of the satellite trajectory and needed to rightly defend itself, while the U.S. had obligations to protect its allies in the region and it has been playing a key role in DPRK negotiations for years. Why should we suspect them for anything other than initiating well-founded, preemptive strategies? With North Korea having hinted at another nuclear test, East Asia is again concerned about potential DPRK security threats.