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2013年4月14日 (日)

「北」瀬戸際外交 予測不能な言動に警戒強めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 14, 2013
World must step up vigilance against North Korea's unpredictable actions
「北」瀬戸際外交 予測不能な言動に警戒強めよ(4月13日付・読売社説)

The international community, including Japan, must unite and deal strictly with North Korea, which is trying to strengthen its nuclear arsenal. We must tighten sanctions against Pyongyang if it launches a ballistic missile.

Foreign ministers from the Group of Eight nations on Thursday adopted a communique urging North Korea to refrain from provocative actions and agreed to tighten sanctions if the country fires a missile. The move is a strong warning to North Korea.

The international community is now being tested over how it can effectively thwart North Korea's drive to go nuclear.

North Korea has threatened Japan, the United States and South Korea by name, saying they are potential targets of its preemptive nuclear strike, and declared that it will reactivate its nuclear facilities. The country appears to be preparing to launch one or more ballistic missiles.

Missile threat

There is a possibility that North Korea may fire missiles capable of reaching the U.S. Pacific island of Guam, Japan and South Korea from mobile launch pads.

To prepare for a case in which a missile falls on Japan, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera ordered the Self-Defense Forces to shoot down any missile from North Korea using the missile defense system. The government should take all possible measures to intercept North Korea's missiles.

Repeating threatening words and actions, Pyongyang is seeking nuclear armaments that will menace global peace and security. This is intolerable.

North Korea has continued provocative words and actions, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said "have reached a level at which they are difficult to tolerate." It is only natural that U.S. President Barack Obama took a firm stance, saying the United States will "take all necessary steps" unless North Korea changes its belligerent attitude.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to South Korea, China and Japan, which started Friday, has a significant meaning. It is essential for Japan, the United States, South Korea and China to coordinate thoroughly in dealing with North Korea.

It is problematic that Kim Jong Un, North Korea's supreme leader, does not have strong connections with Chinese leaders and therefore it is unclear how well he understands the international situation.

U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper said Kim seems "impetuous."

Constant concern hangs over his unpredictable words and actions.

During a ceremony to celebrate the first anniversary of Kim's promotion to first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea on Thursday, a nuclear test and the firing of a long-range ballistic missile were praised as his great achievements.

Menacing weaponry

At a plenary meeting of the party's Central Committee held late last month, Kim gave the order to mass-produce "precision and miniaturized nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery" and actively develop "more powerful nuclear weapons."

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Defense, reportedly compiled an analysis that concludes that North Korea has developed a nuclear weapon that can be mounted on a missile.

The international community should make efforts to grasp the actual situation of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development and further strengthen vigilance and measures against the country.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,  April 13, 2013)
(2013年4月13日01時14分  読売新聞)


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