Nuclear weapons and terrorism are a growing threat to global peace.
The latest on the weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and nuclear threat to global peace has come from one of the so-called rogue countries and that is, ironically, named the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea — North Korea.
The last day of March saw the North Koreans firing a missile in clear defiance of international opposition and signaled that the hard-line Communist country, devoid of any semblance of democracy and respect for human rights, is preparing to launch a long-range missile to further escalate tension and threats to the region.
A day prior, Seoul, the capital of the other half of the Korean peninsula, hosted some 60 major world leaders for a nuclear security summit to — beside other items — pressure North Korea to call off such tests.
The leaders agreed to work on securing and accounting for all nuclear material by 2014. But widespread fear lingers about the safety of nuclear material in countries including former Soviet states, Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, and to some extent also India.
[It is relevant to mention that material that can be used to make nuclear bombs is stored in numerous buildings in dozens of countries across the globe. Terrorists, of all shades and hues, particularly al-Qaida and their counterparts from the east to the west are desperately trying to lay their hands on the N-bomb material. It's said that even if a fraction of that nuclear material fell into the hands of terrorists, it could be devastatingly disastrous.]
South Korea, a country that has endured the North’s invasion and continues to suffer aggressive acts of war and terrorism for six decades, is justifiably worried. So is Japan, which has indicated it will launch a device to shoot down the North’s missiles if Tokyo is threatened.
The North Korean testing of the missile and their further plans are in clear defiance of the United Nations resolution banning North Korea from missile activity. The same rocket missile technology could be developed without much difficulty for use in multistage missiles, and that includes capability of hitting the American mainland.
North Korea does not care about the suspension of an agreement with the United States to provide 240,000 tons of food aid in exchange for Pyongyang abandoning its uranium enrichment program and tests of long-range and nuclear missiles. In a highly militarized country [a million-strong military in a nation of 23 million people], there is little care for its own hungry millions. Power in the hands of the rulers is what counts in totalitarian regimes.
Obviously, the North Korean regime with a brand new ruler still follows the old hard-line of dictatorship, defiance, aggression, and acquisition of the latest nuclear and missile technology. Pyongyang is unfazed and undeterred by world opinion. It may be because the new rulers led by Kim Jong-un, the grandson of the “Eternal President” Kim il-sung, is perpetuating the dynastic rule. They are determined to assert that the nation of aggressive Kims has no intentions of either democratizing or working for peace despite its own internal problems of poverty, hunger, and human rights. Their priorities are all wrong; they just keep working on further militarization and arming the nation to the teeth — and that too without provocation or any threat from outside.
North Korea is not alone in this ideology of aggression, penchant for nuclear power, and spread of terrorism. Further west is Pakistan that has emerged as the fountainhead of terrorism. It’s already nuclear armed — courtesy of China, its friend, and also North Korea’s big neighbor, benefactor, and mentor. The building of nuclear weaponry and missiles may signify power, but there is a danger of those weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of more militant, irresponsible, reckless and bellicose brigands.
Pakistani design with nuclear power was deftly described by a high American Pentagon official recently when he said that India and Pakistan have a complex history characterized by “animosity mistrust and conflict” and warned that there is a potential of a nuclear exchange between them if Islamabad continues to support terror groups organized against the neighboring country.
“Support by elements of Pakistan’s military and intelligence services for violent extremist organizations targeting India has the potential to result in military confrontation that could rapidly escalate to a nuclear exchange,” James Miller said in written answers submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee during a confirmation hearing for the post of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.
Pakistan has widely acknowledged as a fountainhead of terrorism. Various countries have captured terrorists who claimed to have been trained in Pakistan. The United States also confirmed that. Residing in Pakistan, Osama bin-Laden had been trying to lay his hands on a nuclear device for a long time.
Further west, Iran is on the path of acquiring nuclear weapons and developing nuclear energy for destructive purposes. Iran also has the audacity to defy international opinion and nuclear control to embark furiously on the path of nuclearization of its military. Iran has been the major source and supporter of terror in its region through surrogates Syria, Hizballah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza.
Iran’s stated aim is to wipe Israel off the map — a goal frequently stated by its leaders on national and international forums. That’s a disaster in waiting and a catastrophe of huge proportions. Israel will not wait for its destruction.
One could argue that any sovereign country has the right to develop nuclear energy for any purpose — even to make weapons. Theoretically that may be so, and anything against it is a serious infringement on the rights of free nations.
In practice, however, what the world is watching with extreme anxiety is reckless development of nuclear energy overtly or covertly intended for the making of deadly. These countries are not among the democratic and ‘sane’ nations; they are committed to use any means at their disposal, including weapons of mass destruction, to further their political and strategic agenda of spreading their ideology and domination.
Of the so-called rogue nations going full steam on the path of nuclear weaponry, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran are posing a threat to a world that knows the dreadful consequences of these designs. Of course nuclear bombs were used in war twice some six decades back, but this recent development is fraught with unimaginable and catastrophic disaster if the deadly weapons are developed or acquired by rogue nations. These nations that are currently following the path of making the world more unsafe are North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran.
North Korea is far from the path of peace and good neighborly relations with the recent decision to test a missile and develop it further. This could devastate the nearby South Korean areas and also endanger areas in Japan or Indonesia.
Countries such as those with nuclear weapon capability and soon to be acquiring the same are a serious danger to not only their regions, but the entire world.
The sinister aspect of nuclear weapon capability of these nations is that China, herself a nuclear weapons country and a signatory to various treaties pertaining to nuclear safety and non-proliferation, is solidly behind them. China has not only enhanced her own nuclear capability despite international obligations and agreements but also supplied top technology and equipment to these three countries. It’s a shame that a permanent member of the United Nations and a major player in enforcing and maintaining peace and order in the world is playing such a dubious role in this matter.
China has been the backbone supplier to North Korea. It was China that sent 100,000 of its troops (calling them volunteers) to bolster North Korea in the Korean War against the South and the 16-nation UN Command led by the United States. It’s China that has supplied Pakistan with almost everything needed for nuclear weaponry. It’s China that is siding with Syria and Iran against tougher sanctions by the international community.
The major source of these nuclear misadventures and the spread of the global threat of terrorism is not difficult to pinpoint. But the question is: Who is going to bell the cat?