North Korea needs to progress; strengthen peace, not nukes; Palestinian women and terror attacks; Egypt's elections; demonstrations in South Africa

A round-up of global commentary for the Nov. 9, 2015 weekly magazine.

Centre National d’Études Spatiales/38 North/Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies via AP
This image provided by the US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies via 38 North and via a satellite image from Centre National d’Études Spatiales, shows a satellite image dated May 16, 2015, of Pyongsan Uranium Concentration Plant near what is believed to be North Korea’s largest uranium mine at the southern site of Pyongsan. New US research published Aug. 12, 2015, by the website 38 North suggests that North Korea is expanding its capacity to mine and mill uranium ore which could supply its nuclear weapons program or fuel nuclear reactors.

The Korea Times / Seoul, South Korea
Real progress is needed with North Korea
“One positive outcome of [South Korean] President Park Geun-hye’s recent visit to Washington was that it brought Washington’s attention back to the Korean peninsula issue, which had long been on the backburner due to other urgent issues around the globe...,” writes columnist Tong Kim. “Since the six-party process ended eight years ago, U.S. North Korea policy has made little progress for denuclearization.... Enhancement of deterrent prolongs the uneasy state of peace on the peninsula, but it does not directly contribute to denuclearization.... North Korea shall be more isolated, as it continues to seek its nuclear and missile development. The question is at what point would the North succumb to the pressure of sanctions? It has not succumbed for the past 10 years, and it may not at all in the future, as long as it survives.”

The News international / Karachi, Pakistan
Strengthen peace over nuclear arsenals
“For the US and the rest of the world, so bothered with the possibility of South Asia blowing itself up in nuclear incineration, there are other ways too to assure a strategic balance in South Asia, save the nuclear route opted for by default by Pakistan. It lies in the elimination of conflict, auguring strategic stability that perpetuates peace...,” writes former Ambassador Shahzad Chaudhry. “Having gone nuclear there is little chance that Pakistan could reverse that status.... Pakistan will of necessity have to buy peace for itself, and the region by extension, through a strategic balance assisted by a well-designed ... nuclear deterrence.”

Haaretz / Jerusalem
More women participate in terror attacks
“This current wave of terrorism [in Israel] has seen [Palestinian] women playing a more prominent role in the violence.... According to the [Israel Defense Forces], since mid-September 2015, approximately 54 stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks have occurred; of these attacks, women have been responsible for carrying out nine attacks...,” writes Devorah Margolin. “Palestinian women have been active in both the protests and the rhetoric that Israel and others believe has fueled this wave of violence.... [Promoting their own] participation ... [is] sometimes aimed at fueling and shaming men into participation.... As the terrorist attacks continue, women will continue ... [carrying] out attacks, as well as mobilizing public support....”

Daily News / Cairo
Elections have not effected change in Egypt
“The low rates of participation [in Egypt’s parliamentary elections] were neither shocking nor surprising...,” writes Ziad A. Akl. “Even if we all voted, this election will remain as far from representative democracy as it already is.... Do we hold an election waiting for the voters to show up in the absence of proper democracy preconditions or do we create social, political and legislative frameworks that could ensure the realisation of democracy whenever an election is held? Egypt has held parliamentary elections for years now, and the cumulative democratic result of these elections was nil. Perhaps it’s about time to actually learn from our past mistakes, a virtue so much forgotten in Egypt since the 1950s.”  

The National / Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
South Africa still a work in progress
“Twenty years after the introduction of democracy in South Africa, students are again protesting as corruption runs rampant and economic inequality deepens.... At the heart of this [grass-roots movement], and many others like it in South Africa, lies the question of corruption and equality. The unravelling of the apartheid system of racial segregation in 1994 failed to bring with it a redistribution of resources and financial capital...,” writes Joseph Dana. “While the country is often justly held in high regard for its recent democratic achievements, the process remains unfinished; much work remains to be done in all sectors of society for the country to be truly free. Now, a generation born free from the direct oppression of apartheid is demonstrating that it is ready to shape the country’s future. The consequences will be dramatic.”

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