Korean peninsula is heating up

THERE are all indications that attempts are being made to trigger tension in the Korean Peninsula, which could create uncertainty about its future and mar progress and development of the region. Washington and Seoul announced July 8 a plan to install the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system to counter, what they called, the increasing threat from North Korea’s missile and nuclear programme. And now Japan’s newly appointed Defence Minister has ordered his military to be ready to destroy any missiles fired by North Korea.
Tension started mounting with the announcement to deploy THAAD anti-missile system, which is not only being viewed alarmingly by North Korea but also China and Russia. Chinese media is justifiably apprehensive that system’s radar coverage can also be extended to monitor Beijing’s missiles and seeing it as a clear, present and substantive threat to China’s security interests. China’s Foreign Ministry has also slammed the THAAD deployment as “harmful” to China’s security and to the stability and de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula – the expression that may signal a downgrading of Beijing-Seoul ties and possible improvement in Beijing-Pyongyang relations. It is also understood that the decision of Seoul to allow Foreign military bases in the country would spark apprehensions in North Korea, which is being targeted since long by some countries led by the United States. No doubt, North Korea is persisting with its nuclear and missile programme but this is in response to the serious threats that the country faces and so far it has not resorted to aggression against its neighbours despite propaganda campaign by the Western governments and media. The latest decision of South Korea may also encourage the North to take further steps to beef up its security and as a consequence the entire Peninsula could become increased focus of world powers’ rivalries. This must be avoided as this would mean the focus would shift from economy to military moves.

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