Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
We need more than politics to pursue peace in Asia

We need more than politics to pursue peace in Asia

|Views: 2|Likes:
Published by Frank Kaufmann
This article describes international activity to pursue peace in Asia outside the sphere of state actors
This article describes international activity to pursue peace in Asia outside the sphere of state actors

More info:

Published by: Frank Kaufmann on Jan 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





PhotKim Jong Un of North Korea with his military
DC, January 20, 2013 — 2013 has dawned with a flurry ofchange in the Pacific Rim.North Korea, a deeply tragic land of poverty, starvation, and tyranny, broke itstrain of embarrassing missile launch failures and successfully lifted a missileinto outer space. North Korea claimed the launch was part of a peacefulspace program, but South Korean technicians scrutinizing the debris of theNorth Korean rocket found evidence of the rocket’s military purposes. NorthKorea has developed technological ties with Iran in its efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile.Those most directly affected by this launch are the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea),the Republic of Korea (South Korea), Japan, the United States, and China.
Japan and South Korea are especially strong allies and trading partners for the United States. North Koreais locked in a 60 year “Cold” (and sometimes hot) war with its own kith and kin in the South, and byextension the United States and its staunch ally Japan. China, from its Communist era roots and later in thenormal conflict of dominant world powers, also opposes US interests at most times and in most places.Hotspots like Syria, Taiwan, and the South China Sea have a military sub-text, and other areas, like Africa,trade regulations, info and tech battles, have economic and political ramifications.The United States, with its 40,000 plus mile Pacific coastline, vies with China as the largest and mostpowerful Pacific Rim nation. That coastline is now within range of a North Korean nuclear attack.It is vital that these nations reach and retain long term stability, yet with the exception of the US, all othercountries involved start 2013 with completely new, first time leaders. Xi Jinping took over the fifth-generation leadership of China, Shinzo Abe’s far-right cabinet has just taken over control in Japan, andPresident-elect Park Geun-hye will be inaugurated in South Korea in February. Include North Korea, andthe leadership changes in all four countries of Northeast Asia occur at roughly the same time.It is clear that careful coordination among allies, even including cooperation from China, is needed to dealwith the enormous problems of North Korea. North Korea’s problems include extreme poverty, tyranny, avery young leader, and nuclear capabilities. This is especially worrisome considering that the world has arecord of perfect failure over the long course of trying to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions.The leaders of all these nations are new to one another, yet already serious tensions exist among them,even among those meant to be supportive of one another. These are especially acute over postures andpolicies related tocontrol over a small island groupknown as Senkaku in Japan and as Diaoyu in China,and what are known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan. These latter are two tiny volcanicislets, poking up from the sea that can be scaled only by wooden steps that ascend almost vertically.AsChico Harlanexplains, a pulley system hauls food to a cafeteria built 300 feet above the waves.The only mailbox on the islands has a notice stenciled on the front, reminding that service will be slowbecause mail is picked up every two months.Harlan speaks of:
A region-wide surge of nationalism and upcoming political leadership changes in South Korea, Japan and China. As a result, countries that once played down territorial disputes now use them to foment national pride. These small islands have become dangerous friction points between Asia’s most economically linked countries, with all sides calling their claims irrefutable and just, and brushing aside the idea of compromise.
These are so-called modern nation states creating trouble. Even 4 year old children are strictly forbidden tobehave like this.
Childish behavior of this sort is all the worse when leaders are new and unfamiliar to one another. Thismakes it an especially bad time to irritate neighbors and allies with reckless and provocative foreign policy,stirring up old and intractable conflict.Additionally, forging sound foreign relations become ever more difficult in the context of the deeplydebilitating cacophony of domestic relations that plague the leadership efforts of each leader in the mix.Obama, Park, and Abe have very strong and virulent domestic opposition.It is for all of these reasons, and for the fact that democracies change leaders so constantly, that thehabitual obsession with political personalities must be diminished, and that the pursuit of constructiveinternational relations transcend the faddish, paparazzi type coverage and analysis of political affairs. Theshared responsibilities of elected and appointed leaders, the media, and politically informed readers andviewers should transcend and shed its dependency and obsession with the comings and goings of politicalpersonalities.Greater attention must be given to legislation and policy that outlives administrations, and to trends andinitiatives taking place independently of state actors.On July 1 of this year, both chambers of Congress of, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a billaimed at protecting the welfare of ‘stateless’ North Korean children. The bill, the North Korean ChildWelfare Act of 2012 states that “hundreds of thousands of North Korean children suffer from malnutrition inNorth Korea, and North Korean children or children of one North Korean parent who are living outside ofNorth Korea may face statelessness in neighboring countries.” The objectives of the bill are multifaceted,but have the overarching aim of protecting North Korean children.This is wise legislation that brings North Korea under a humanitarian and human rights microscope, notmerely a security one, and in so doing creates a legitimate platform for a far greater community of nationsto involve themselves in the complex global difficulties this nation causes. Concern for child welfare isperennial, not limited to the special interests of one or two countries, and not bound to the political leaningsof this or that administration. Even North Korea itself has to be attracted to the prospect of positive welfarefor its children and its future. This is the sort of creative politics that so perfectly transcends the tired andalways failing “peace talks,” that dominate political and media chatter, and uses up our money andresources in the never successful pursuit of “peace.”Another non-State-actor phenomenon that impacts North Korea's sick imprisonment of its own people isthe electronics and media smuggling activity carried out by North Korean defectors along the North Korea – China border. This activity is steadily and increasingly exposing North Koreans to the realities of theoutside world, and by natural extension undermines the ability for central government to control its people.The erosion of absolute central control is a vital step for world powers to be able to engage the country andtake necessary steps to defuse the potential terror this totalitarian tyranny represents.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->