Though North Korea has nothing to do with the destruction of the Twin Towers and Pentagon, it may not just be a coincidence that the UN Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Pyongyang was unanimously passed on the 16th anniversary of 9/11. This softened resolution was the 9th sanction since North Korea became a nuclear power eleven years back.
Albeit the US is creating much hullabaloo over North Korea’s recent moves, the truth is that it is Washington’s policies that have too led to North Korea becoming a nuclear weapon state in 2006. In the beginning of this month, it tested a hydrogen bomb that can be fitted on to a rocket.
In the post-Cold War era the US thought that it could maintain dominance over the world by keeping potential superpowers such as China in check. As a consequence, US president George W. Bush, in the State of Union Address on January 29, 2002, that is four and a half months after 9/11, included North Korea, along with Iran and Iraq, in the ‘Axis of Evil’. The US foreign policy establishment thinks that by raising the issue of North Korea again and again (such as its missile and nuclear weapons program), China is being warned to stay within limits. This is so because China is the closest ally of North Korea. These days, especially after the September 3 test, many countries of the world, led by the US, are talking of putting more sanctions on North Korea. Even China has condemned the North’s recent tests.
Incidentally, China and Russia supported the latest sanctions only after the draft resolution prepared by the United States was softened. The reality is that China has been backing North Korea for a long time now because it feels that by doing so it can contain the growing influence of the US in the Far East, especially in the South China Sea. Some say that it has also helped the North in making nuclear weapons, much in the same way as the Soviet Union had helped China to manufacture it in 1960s and America had helped Britain and France become nuclear powers after World War II. China also wants to keep South Korea and Japan, two allies of the US in the region, in check by helping the North. Mind it the United States has deployed THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) missile systems in South Korea to warn North Korea and China just as NATO has deployed missile systems in former Warsaw Pact countries, Poland and Czech Republic, in a bid to contain possible Russian belligerence in Eastern Europe. It needs to be reminded that many former Warsaw Pact countries such as Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Estonia etc. have joined NATO and European Union in recent decades and, as a result, Russian influence in these countries has been on the wane.
Let us see who wins this Great Game of geopolitics in the Far East.
Sarim Ahmed is a trainee journalist associated with ‘The Morning Chronicle’. He is very young and budding in the field of journalism. International affairs is his one of the favourite subjects. If you like this piece, do not hesitate to appreciate Sarim at firstname.lastname@example.org.