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2016年1月14日 (木)

朝鮮半島緊張 北のさらなる挑発を許さない

The Yomiuri Shimbun
World must refuse to tolerate further provocation by North Korea
朝鮮半島緊張 北のさらなる挑発を許さない

Triggered by North Korea’s latest nuclear test, tensions are running high on the Korean Peninsula. Further military provocation by that country absolutely cannot be tolerated.

The U.S. forces flew a B-52 strategic bomber over South Korea. “This was a demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies in South Korea and in Japan,” Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, said in a statement.

It was greatly significant for the United States to take swift action to demonstrate its deterrent power in an effort to maintain regional stability.

The B-52 bomber, a plane that can carry nuclear bombs and cruise missiles, is said to be one of the U.S. weapons about which North Korea has the deepest concern. It also has a long flight range. In the latest flyover, the U.S. bomber took off from and returned to an air base in Guam.

It is essential for the United States to strongly and repeatedly warn North Korea that no act of military provocation, such as an artillery attack on the South, will be tolerated. U.S. military options under consideration for the immediate future include the deployment of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and a stealth fighter.

Two days after the North’s nuclear test, South Korea resumed loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts condemning its northern neighbor’s regime in the vicinity of the Demilitarized Zone. This was based on South Korea’s conclusion that the latest nuclear test constituted “an extraordinary situation” in which the country could restart propaganda broadcasts. In August, the South and the North had reached a deal under which anti-Pyongyang propaganda would not be resumed unless such a situation arose.

Bitterly antagonized by the South Korean action, the North has reportedly reinforced frontline troops. All this is giving rise to aggravating hostility between the North and South.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, is attempting to justify the nuclear test by calling it “a self-defensive measure to defend the sovereignty of the country and vital rights of the nation.” His statement is a self-righteous assertion that ignores international condemnation, and it is utterly unacceptable.

An array of sanctions

At the initiative of the United States, the U.N. Security Council is proceeding with work to draft a resolution aimed at imposing sanctions on North Korea. Attention is focused largely on such measures as restrictions on banking transactions involving North Korea and restraint on port calls by North Korean ships. The envisaged sanctions must be made effective enough to make North Korea pay the price for its nuclear testing.

What is important is for pertinent nations to take concerted action to reinforce sanctions against North Korea. China, a country that can exert influence on North Korea, must fully cooperate with other nations in adopting the resolution and strictly implementing it.

In video footage used in a recent program aired by Korean Central Television that focused on Kim, an image of Liu Yunshan — a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee — has been removed. The initial footage showed Liu attending a military parade in Pyongyang last October.

There is reason to believe the deletion of Liu’s image was intended to serve as a restraining influence on China, which has denounced the recent nuclear test and is joining talks over a resolution against the North Korea.

Japan, a nonpermanent member of the Security Council, should be proactively involved in promoting negotiations over the envisaged resolution. In commenting on anti-Pyongyang sanctions to be imposed by Japan on its own, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said, “Stern measures will be adopted.”

Japan, the United States and South Korea will hold a string of talks at the level of bureau chief and vice minister this week. It is important for the three nations to closely cooperate with each other to prevent North Korea from going out of control.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 13, 2016)


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