After the Second World War the world seems more united and wars are less likely to happen because nations know what causes it can have on an entire population. As argued by Samuel Huntington in his book “The Clash of Civilization”, wars happen because it lies within human nature. This pessimistic worldview is part of the dominant realist school of thought within the realm of international relations and is based on the premise that war will happen in the future because nations differ in cultures, norms, values and beliefs. For many years now, North Korea and South Korea have been at war and have not been able to sort out their differences. Despite various diplomatic efforts such as the so called “Six Party Talks” which are aimed at ending North Korea´s nuclear program involving negotiations between China, the US, North and South Korea, Japan and Russia, no peace treaty has been signed yet.
North Korea seems to be on the path of war, as they recently on 30 March declared” state of war” with South Korea. The following video informs over North Koreas recent actions and the reactions of the United States, reported by BBC News.
The poster shows the relation between N. Korea and US
The dispute about N. Korea has never stopped in the international communities. Any petty action of Pyongyang will lead an endless discussion by mass media. From the Korean War to the nuclear test recently, N. Korea shows us its ambition that wants to be more powerful on the global platform. Nevertheless, it is the consequence that United States does not want to see, for N. Korea is one dangerous socialist state with nuke power from their perspective.
The report from Seoul on March 21st illustrate that as the response to use of nuclear armed US B-52 bombers in joint military drills with South Korea, North Korean army possible strike against US military based in Japan. A spokesman of the Pyongyang supreme command said they won’t tolerate US set them as a target of nuclear strike drills.
The Korea issue is one of the toughest problems in the world until now. From the regional aspect, it is the competition between N. Korea and S. Korea. However, on the global strategic level, it is the US-supported Western countries and China-backed Eastern countries’ struggle. Read the rest of this entry »
For many years countries with nuclear capabilities have stuck to the agreement they made in 1996 not to test their nuclear weapons. However, in recent years there has been one notable exception. North Korea invests hundreds of millions in a nuclear weapons program, which includes the testing of several nuclear bombs and cruise missiles (CNN, 2012). Only recently, on 12 February, North Korea carried out its third nuclear weapons test one kilometer below the surface, in the Punggye-ri underground nuclear test site.
North Korea´s Nuclear test sites presented by the Council of foreign relations
This most recent nuclear test makes it worthwhile to take a closer look at what happened; The Economist stated that the recent nuclear test in North Korea caused a seismic activity of 4.9 on the scale of Richter. This is bigger than the previous two tests in 2006 and 2009. The Global Post stated that North Korea admitted that it carried out a third test, and threatened that even more could follow. In December North Korea launched a satellite successfully, and it is feared that this kind of bomb would be suitable to launch with a rocket. Both the satellite launch and the third nuclear test were in defiance of UN sanctions. According to the KCNA, the North Korean news agency, the recent test was a reaction against American hostility, especially in response to the December satellite launch. As seen in the graph below, which was published by the Economist, North Korea is the only country which tested nuclear weapons in the last decade. It is not the first time that the world is looking critically at North Korea´s nuclear tests due to the fact that the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the country many times before, with the most recent in December 2012. Read the rest of this entry »
A country contrasted by military power and poverty. A regime that is developing nuclear missiles at the expense of Koreans inhabitants who find themselves at the starvation level. In March 2011, the World Food Programme (WFP) estimated that 6 million North Koreans needed food aid and a third of children were chronically malnourished or underdeveloped. All as possible result from wrong priorities, as North Korea has been on edge ever since the Korean War, which many argue began 60 years ago and still hasn’t ended.
The Korean War from June 1950 to 1953 began when North Korea, led by the Kim Il Sung, invaded South Korea along the political border between both countries, known as the 38th parallel. Kim Il Sung wanted to unite Korea under communist rule. Because of this, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) supported the invasion, but was cautious of becoming physically involved due to the fact that World War II had only just ended. In response, the US tried to intervene due to their fear of communism spreading throughout Asia. Many lives were lost and the 38th parallel was re-established as the border between the two Koreas.
More recently, namely in December of last year, Kim Jong-un took over from his father Kim Jong-il as he passed away. Noteworthy is that new supreme leader of North Korea has yet to reach the age of 30 and differences between the former and current leader have already surfaced as various news outlets such as the New York Times and the CNN reported on some of these differences.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un giving his first public speech
Kim Jong-un spoke to his people on April 15th to mark the 100th birthday of the nation’s founder and grandfather, Kim Il Sung. However, the main message of Kim Jong-un is the same as his father’s, as Kim emphasized the importance of strengthening North Korea’s defences by placing the country’s ‘first, second and third’ priorities on military might. Nonetheless, the differences can be found in the fact that he spoke directly to his own people was new as Kim Jong-il only did this once back in 1992. Furthermore, Kim Jong-un expressed that he recognizes the present food shortage in North Korea, something his father and predecessor did not acknowledge.
While North Korea spends its money on its military, one third of its GDP according to SIPRI, weapons and tributes to its leaders, the regime still goes to the international community for aid. In October of last year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern “that the acute humanitarian needs” of at least 3.5 million woman and children in North Korea would worsen because of food shortages. In North Korea, however, the military still comes first. Read the rest of this entry »
On Thursday the 19th of April, India launched the so called “Agni-V” missile with a range of 5,000km. Next to the UN Security Council its permanent members, namely the USA, France, UK, China and Russia, India now demonstrated to be the sixth nation of the world openly capable to develop, produce and build long-range ballistic missiles.
As India is a rising power, it seems naïve to think that India can continue to develop as a global economic power without also brining its defence capabilities up to standards. Can this be stated as the logical next step and the reason for this military development? Or is it that India wants to catch up to China. Or is India sending out a message, as this new missile is able to reach major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. CBC news reports that Ravi Gupta, a spokesman for the Defence Research and Development Organization, states however that “there is no threat to anybody” and that “our missile systems are purely for deterrence and to meet our security needs. Read the rest of this entry »
Following the media one can easily see that the possibility of an outbreak of a war between Israel and Iran is more likely than ever before. Especially the “Gutter Press” prints headlines like: “Israel is ready to blitz Iran” (The Sun, Britain). But how likely is a war in reality and how would it look like?
To answer these questions a look to the history of the countries is helpful: Actually Israel’s Jews and the Persians of Iran have had a good relationship over thousands of years and as well after the founding of the Israel state in 1948 the relations were better than one might think. During the rule of the shah in Iran (till 1979) the two countries had multilayered ties, resulting from a shared pro-Western bent. After that the climate got colder but still in the 1980s, Israel and Iran had a common enemy in Saddam Hussein what made them allies. However nowadays there is no good bond between them anymore. Iran is supporting the Hamas and Hezbollah, two anti-Israel movements, and as reported by agencies such as the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Iran is close to finish their nuclear program what would make them an unassailable and dangerous nuclear power.
Which country is the real aggressor is discussible
Even being a (secret) nuclear power themselves, Israel would not tolerate a hostile country in close range having the same ultimate weapon. Israelis are deeply worried about their future and fear another holocaust. On a visit to America last week Israel’s prime minister, Netanjahu, pointed out that Israel has a right of self defense and said: “I won’t play with the safety of my country” and with regards to possible military actions against Iran he continued: “Nobody under us can afford to wait much longer, Israel waited patiently that diplomacy and sanctions show impact, but I as the prime minister of Israel won’t let my nation live in danger of being eliminated.” Read the rest of this entry »
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, visits a unit under the Command of the Korean People's stationed in the southwestern sector of North Korea, released by the North's KCNA on February 26.
Looking back at the history of North Korea it periodically asserted its need for nuclear weapons since the Korean War. This started when the United States threatened to use nuclear weapons against it. Although North Korea joined the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), as a non-nuclear weapon state in 1985, it announced its decision to withdraw from the NPT in 2003. The Country apparently used its membership in the treaty as a cover-up while it secretly developed a nuclear weapons program. North Korea’s long-standing nuclear weapons efforts concluded in nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. As a result of the test, the Talks about the NPT were suspended in April 2009.
After the death of Kim Jong Il, the former leader of North Korea and the father of Kim Jong Un, the U.S. had new hopes for a change in North Korea’s diplomacy. At this time, the world was speculating about the impact the death would have on North Korea’s nuclear program and the Six-Party Talks.
On February 27, it even seemed as if Kim Jong Un would continue his father’s strategy. The state run media of North Korea published that North Korea was ready to go to war against the U.S. and South Korea. Kim Jong Un, the new leader of North Korea and oldest son of the previous leader Kim, was visiting military units at this moment and ordered “to make a powerful retaliatory strike at the enemy, should they intrude even 0.001 mm into the waters of the country.” According to its leaders, molding Koreans ideology to a productive, communist mindset is the most important policy. Read the rest of this entry »
“We sincerely apologize to residents residing near the power stations, in Fukushima Prefecture and all persons in Japan for the tremendous inconvenience and anxiety that has arisen on account of the accident at our Nuclear Power Stations (the “Accident”).”
This is the official apology, published on the website of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) after the disaster, which Japan suffered on March 11th, 2011.
A Triple catastrophe hitting Japan
The catastrophe in Japan started with an earthquake which measured a 9.0 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was located beneath the east coast of Japan and a Tsunami resulted out of the earthquake. The wave destroyed complete cities and villages, located on the cost, and had an impacted on the entire country. Read the rest of this entry »
Three bomb explosions rocked Bangkok city center last Tuesday. One of the three suspected terrorists, Mr. Morati, suffered severe injuries to his legs, stomach and right eye. During this incident as well four other civilian sustained minor injuries. However the impact of this event on global politics is way higher than the amount of injured persons.
The first bomb went off by accident in a house rented out by some Iranian citizens. Subsequent to that the three present men flew in different directions, one of them injured. The next bombing happened after a taxi refused to take the injured man as a passenger. Finally the man threw the last bomb at police men chasing him, but it bounced back and detonated in close reach of himself leaving him behind with losing both his legs.
Bangkok, Sukhumvit Road: The crime scene after the explosion
Next to Mr. Morati also the other two suspects have been arrested: Mr. Hazaei at Bangkok International airport (Suvarnabhumi) and Mr. Zadeh by Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur. All three of them are of Iranian nationality and this circumstance leads Read the rest of this entry »
Iran is facing a ban for export to the European Union. This, as a sanction to its unknown and secretive activities with nuclear power. The International Atomic Energy Agency suspects Iran of having a malicious nuclear program in which they not only produce nuclear power for their energy necessities, but for nuclear weapons as well.
The Iranian government states that their nuclear power is strictly for peaceful civilian use, however, the IAEA needs some clarifications after their visit to Iran in November 2011. The IAEA director also claims to have information that Iran is engaging in development on nuclear weapons and asks Iran for clarifications during his current visit to Teheran. Read the rest of this entry »