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Q. North Korea’s fifth nuclear test: Comment on recently conducted North Korea’s nuclear test.
Sep 10, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently North Korea has conducted higher level nuclear warhead test explosion and it was potentially more power nuclear test by North Korea. According to North Korean state media, the test would enable country to produce a variety of smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power. This test has set alarm bells ringing around the region, even across the Pacific.

Issues with North Korean nuclear test-

  • Recent nuclear test could herald a new era of heightened brinkmanship in the Korean Peninsula. North Korea tests have created apprehension in the world, particularly in South Korea. 

  • Concern stems from the claim that with this detonation the North Korean regime has succeeded in miniaturising nuclear weapons to the point of attaching them to ballistic missiles.

  • The fears are justified given the long trajectory of the North’s nuclear weapons drive. It first conducted a nuclear test in 2006, followed by three more, in 2009, 2013 and in January this year.

  • Each time the magnitude of the tremor associated with the test, an indicator of the energy yield, has increased, from around 4.3 in 2006 to 5.3 in 2016.

  • It is also believed that, North Korea has developed increasingly sophisticated delivery systems, ballistic missiles with a growing range. Recently it has conducted few test fires of ballistic missiles. 

  • Condemnation of these tests by the United Nations did little to dampen the defiance of the North’s dictatorship. Sanctions slapped on it have failed to have any effect, as they have since they were periodically imposed since 1992.

How to solve these issues?

  • As various report claimed about hardships faced by the North Korean population, including famine, poverty and rampant human rights violations, the latest explosive test may be an opportune moment to pause and re-examine the value of the sanctions aimed at isolating the North’s regime internationally.

  • China is playing spoiler role in global actions against North Korea. Hence global community should persuade China from supporting North Korean adventures.

  • Similarly there is need of sustained approach by international community to bring North Korea on negotiating table and monitor its missile tests.  

Conclusion-

Many observers believes that North Korea already have a standing stock of 15 to 20 nuclear weapons, which are effectively beyond the pale of sanctions. And this aspect poses threat in the region. Hence time has come to bring North Korea to negotiating table with sustained approach. If it fails then there is need to impose severe sanction against North Korean adventures.


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