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Japan Needs To Protect Itself Against North Korea

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#1 Missouri Mule

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 02:52 PM

A nuclear Japan appears inevitable. What I have been saying.

Japan Needs To Protect Itself Against North Korea
A growing threat

International Herald Tribune | March 4, 2003 | Masashi Nishihara

TOKYO--North Korea now appears determined to turn itself into a nuclear weapons state while America is preoccupied with Iraq. For Japan, the question of how it should protect itself against North Korean threats has become urgent.

Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba said recently that Japan would launch a military strike against North Korea if it had firm evidence that the North Koreans were ready to attack Japan with ballistic missiles. Such a strike would be defensive, he added, and thus permitted by Japan's constitution. That Ishiba's remarks did not cause as much uproar as might have been expected is an indication that the Japanese public is becoming more aware of the need for security.

Japan has no effective way of deflecting or destroying incoming missiles. The country's four Aegis-class cruisers are designed to intercept airplanes, not missiles, and the range of Japanese missiles that might be used for interception is only 100 kilometers.

Japanese military aircraft would need in-flight refueling from United States planes to reach missile sites in North Korea. Even then, Japanese fighters would be able to operate safely only when the United States had achieved air superiority over the North.

Japan should be concerned not just about nuclear weapons that North Korea may already have or may get in a few months. Japan should also worry about North Korea's medium-range missiles, which are capable of reaching Japanese nuclear power plants.

Even missiles with warheads that contain conventional explosives could spread radioactivity, with an effect similar to that of a nuclear attack, if they damage a nuclear plant. North Korean missiles armed with sarin or anthrax warheads could inflict mass casualties. Faced with such a threat, Japan should accelerate its joint research with the United States on theater missile defenses so as to deploy a missile defense system as soon as possible.

A peaceful end is preferable to the North Korean nuclear crisis. The United States, Japan, and South Korea are all calling for a diplomatic solution to persuade Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear program. But North Korea has not been responsive; instead, it has resumed its uranium enrichment program, reactivated a nuclear reactor, sent jet fighters into South Korean airspace and test-fired engines for long-range Taepodong missiles.

Secretary of State Colin Powell has proposed a multilateral forum to discuss the issue. But China and Russia insist that Washington and Pyongyang first hold bilateral talks. The United States refuses to negotiate, saying that it will not reward blackmail. The nonaggression pact that North Korea is demanding from America would lead to a further demand for withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea.

If a diplomatic solution cannot be found, Japan must prepare for both nonmilitary and military sanctions. North Korea is adamantly opposed to the UN Security Council discussing sanctions in reprisal for Pyongyang's declared withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

China and Russia probably would not support UN sanctions. They might, however, abstain from voting, in which case the United States could probably secure a majority vote in favor of nonmilitary sanctions. If the Security Council fails to impose penalties, Japan, South Korea, and the United States would have to impose them unilaterally.

Several nonmilitary sanctions are available to Japan. It could reduce or prohibit remittances from North Korean residents in Japan to Pyongyang. These are substantial amounts of money.

Japan could work with the United States and South Korea to inspect North Korean ships in international watersin order to halt the trade in arms and drugs that is vital for funding the regime in Pyongyang.

Japan could also provide support for U.S. forces to lay mines in major North Korean ports, so as to further squeeze the already devastated North Korean economy. Pyongyang has declared that it would regard any sanctions as an act of war and Japan should be prepared for North Korean military retaliation.

Nonetheless, sanctions might help weaken and divide North Korea, leading to regime change. Only with a more representative government in Pyongyang will North Korea abandon weapons of mass destruction.

The writer is president of Japan's National Defense Academy. This is a personal comment.
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#2 uglybastard


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Posted 04 March 2003 - 03:10 PM

I hope Dear Leader is just throwing temper tantrums to get more foreign aid teat.

He appears irrational.

China has a threshold for foolishness. Once Dear Leader crosses it, the Chinese will invade no matter what.

Ask Vietnam about the Chinese.
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#3 MirrorMan


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Posted 13 December 2004 - 12:42 AM

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#4 nepravda


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Posted 13 December 2004 - 12:55 AM

>>.Japan Needs To Protect Itself Against North Korea
A growing threat<<<

Those Raw-Fish eaters will be punished by China. China didn't forget massacres of Chinese by Japan during WWII.
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