Last week’s threat of North Korea’s missile launch to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country’s founder Kim Il Sung put its neighboring countries on red alert.
South Korea,Japan and the Philippines are among those who went into frantic mode. While the missile might not have nuclear warhead, it would still be a security threat to the region and the world Seoul and Tokyo have immediately adopted security measures, including deployment of anti-missile launchers to counter the Nokor missile and ensure that there will be no harm to their people. The Philippines could only alert its people and prepare for evacuation in case the Nokor missile would maintain its path and hit Northern Luzon, Pollillo Island in Quezon, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes because it has no anti-missile capability in case of attack.
The United Nations and the United States had aired their concern on North Korea’s missile launch plan. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Pyongyang to drop its planned satellite launch, terming the move as a threat to regional security. “I would just underscore that if North Korea wants a peaceful, better future for their people, it should not conduct another launch that would be a direct threat to regional security,” she told reporters after meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba.
At the UN, Susan Rice, the American UN ambassador who holds the rotating Security Council presidency for April, said that “any launch by the North Korea using ballistic missile technology …would be a blatant violation” of relevant Security Council resolutions. “It is clear that any launch by North Korea using ballistic missile technology, which is what it is, will be a blatant violation of Security Council resolution 1718 and 1834,” Rice said.
Under relevant Security Council resolutions, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is prohibited from conducting launches that use ballistic missile technology.
Despite objections and strong warnings from the international community, North Korea proceeded with its planned launching of its missiles but the missile disintegrated over the Yellow Sea. Temporarily relieved at the knowledge that North Korea’s technological standards aren’t really as high as projected, the U.S. and its allies know that North Korea,under new leader Kim Jong Un will only have a stronger resolve to complete the launch if only to save its fallen prestige.
This also brings to mind the constant threat of China on the Philippine’s Spratly Islands and most recently, on the Scarborough Shoal which is only 125 miles off of Zambales and within the Philippines’ economic jurisdiction according to the United Nations Convention and Law of the Seas. Philippines has decided to pull back its navy flagship from the shoal in an attempt to reach a diplomatic resolution with China.
But will China listen to anything but its own voice and not bully a country it sees as too small, too weak and too poor to fight? And with China’s economic and military might, does she really care how we will fight her aggression?
Diplomacy? Really, who are we kidding?