‘Bomb testing a concern for all’

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NORTH Korea’s reported successful test of a hydrogen bomb can bring to a new dimension the unresolved tensions in the Korean Peninsula thus, it is a concern not only for the Philippines and Asia but for the whole world, analyst Bobby Tuazon said on Wednesday.

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Tuazon, director for policy studies and in-house policy analyst of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPeg), noted that the tensions in the Korean Peninsula is not only between North and South Korea but also involve the United States, China, Japan and Russia.

Technically, he said, the US and South Korea are still at war with North Korea, 63 years after an armistice agreement ended the Korean War.

As for China, although it supported North Korea in the past, Beijing had in recent years disagreed with Pyongyang’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.

The supposed bomb test, Tuazon said, could also be North Korea’s way of implying that it will be less dependent for defense on China.

“This implies that having developed its own nuclear capability, North Korea will increasingly be less reliant for defense on China, which had been putting brakes on the North Koreans’ tough stance not only against South Korea but also against the United States,” he added.

The analyst said that while a military solution, particularly a nuclear war, is out of the question, such a possibility cannot entirely be ruled out especially with the actions of North Korea.

He added that a political solution through negotiations leading to a non-aggression pact would help stem the rising tensions.

Tuazon said there have been international moves to resume six-party talks as a means of easing up tensions in the Korean Peninsula and enforcing non-nuclear proliferation, among others.

But North Korea, on the other hand, has been calling for a non-aggression treaty with the US as a step toward the eventual reunification of the two Koreas.

“But this has been opposed by influential interest groups in Washington,” Tuazon said.
Major players, according to him, should continue talking bilaterally but the doors to multilateral talks should remain open as well.

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