Mohamed H.

Zakaria, Jeddah, published in Arab News on 1 July 1994 Nuclear Monopoly The United States seems helpless to prevent North Korea from becoming a nuclear power. CIA estimates of Pyongyang’s nuclear power put it at from zero to five bombs. Though President Bill Clinton has threatened to use force, the United States has little option. The Japanese and South Koreans are chary of provoking another war with North Korea; they have not forgotten the war of 1950-1953. The South Koreans know very well the price of war could be complete devastation of Seoul, which is dangerously close to the front line, or in the case of victory, the crushing burden of coping with a northern collapse. Russians intensions are not clear yet, as they are interested more in restoring their tarnished diplomatic image than helping the Americans to defuse the tension. In these certain and risky circumstances, the West should not seek to act as world policeman, but should treat the matter as a regional issue and as sign Japan and China to settle the conflict with North Korea. China will certainly feel the responsibility, being a member of the Security Council, and may successfully persuade Kim II- sung to give up nuclear blackmail and agree to international inspection of its nuclear plants. The crisis might encourage Japan also to acquire nuclear weapons of its own, something it could do with little difficulty. What would the West do should Japan decide to go nuclear? The West should realize that it does not hold a monopoly on nuclear technology any more. It is North Korea today; it could be another country tomorrow. Against how many countries will the West use military force to bring them down to their knees. The West should rewrite its nuclear policy. Keeping the World out of the select club is not a feasible formula any longer. Muhammed H. Zakaria Jeddah

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