Bringing North Korea into the fold

PRESIDENT Clinton used D-Day to point to the dangers of nuclear proliferation. He was not being irrelevant. One of the lessons of D-Day is that if you do not stand up to a tyrant at an early stage - as the Western powers should have done in the '30s - the price of doing so later can be very high.

North Korea, which is now edging to the top of Washington's agenda, poses a seemingly much smaller but in many ways more awkward challenge than Hitler....

If they [world leaders] do nothing, North Korea will build its [nuclear] bomb and give the green light to others to follow, thereby destroying the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But if they confront it, they may drive it into a corner and tempt it to react irrationally, with the added disadvantage that sanctions would have little effect on its poor and relatively self-sufficient economy.

Carrots and sticks have already been tried, but there is no obvious alternative to looking for a more effective combination of the two. Neither walking away nor all-out confrontation seems to offer better options. The ultimate aim must be to persuade North Korea that it would be better off as a normal member of the international community. As Mr. Clinton has said: ``We want them to become a part of our world.'' The dangerous part is getting them there.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Bringing North Korea into the fold
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today