The Dead-end of “Carrot and Stick”

The Dead-end of “Carrot and Stick”

By Roman Larionov

The story of nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea demonstratively shows that the course of a nuclear bomb development is more significant for North Korea elite than its use for blackmailing of international community. It is explained with routed and regenerated idea with power transition of that in modern world nuclear weapon is the only comprehensive guarantee of non-intervention of foreign forces into domestic political processes in the country. And the stories of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have probably only deepened North Korean authorities within this idea.

As practice shows neither the tactics of small sops, leading in the best case to tactic concessions, nor enhancement of external pressure, which only mobilizes the regime, result in quality moves within nuclear intentions of the DPRK.

By this North Korea evidently went too far with its nuclear program, as the world community observes force variant to solve the issue as a possible one. Let’s remind that the country of “morning freshness” has already done two trial nuclear explosions, and also performed several launches of ballistic missiles. Except for that the DPRK lives within the conditions of permanent military threat (at least, its leadership grounds on this message): this not big country with 24 million of population possess the fourth in quantity acting army (1150 thousand of people) and 4 million reserve ready for immediate mobilization. Thus, the attempt of military intervention into such militarized country, which de-facto is able to deliver a nuclear strike towards the rival, can result into unpredictable consequences.

Thus it’s not a surprise that existing formulas of Korean problem solution have no results and eventually have led to “freezing” of six-party negotiation process. Last time all the parties to the negotiation process (DPRK, South Korea, Russia, China and the USA) gathered by one table in the end of 2008. Since then the situation has obviously got into a dead-end.
Uncomfortable problem

At the same time the nuclear program of the DPRK, except for unbiased existential reasons, worries about non-friendly neighbors, incites a whole list of political problems almost for all participants of the six-party talks. First of all, North Korean factor provokes militaristic trend in South Korea and Japan. In its turn, enhancement of military independence of these states is not beneficial for the United States of America, as American security guarantees for “the land of the rising sun” and military cooperation of the USA with South Korea assure the existence of these states within political orbit of Washington.

From the other hand, North Korea factor can be interpreted by the United States as an argument in favor of military presence build-up in Asian-Pacific region, including also the establishment of the regional system of anti-missile defense. And this already involves the interests of China, especially that the both states most likely observe the scenarios of long-term global competition.

Thus, the situation around North Korea, which has lately appeared to be in the shade of Iran crisis, has framed international community into complicated conditions: traditional formulas have led the problem into the dead-end, force variant is impossible, and tension in the region grows.
Probably, the total change of the approach towards North Korean regime shall help to find way the problem move forward the solution of the problem: from isolation to involvement into world economic processes. The first step has already been done – they develop an issue of construction of gas pipeline from Russia to South Korea through the territory of North Korea. However, one shouldn’t forget about the source of nuclear DPRK program – assurance of present regime security.  It’s worth to note that the nuclear program has gained its forced development only in relation with the risk of loss of Soviet “nuclear umbrella” in 1980-s. Thus the regime security guarantees – is the first condition for relaxation of the line of the DPRK on nuclear issue.
Center for Political Technologies

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