Home > Uncategorized > North Korea: Pretext For U.S. To Expand Global Missile Shield

North Korea: Pretext For U.S. To Expand Global Missile Shield

China Daily
April 13, 2012

DPRK launch is just a pretext
By Hu Mingyuan

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[The U.S. is] taking advantage of the launch, to persuade Japan, the ROK and Australia to create a regional missile shield modeled on the so-called “phased adaptive approach” to missile defense that was originally developed for Europe.

Although the US claims that the construction of antiballistic missile shields in Asia and the Middle East would protect the US and its allies from possible missile attacks by Iran and DPRK, the Asian shield system is widely believed to be part of the US’ attempts to contain China.

The US and its allies have…established first and second island chains to contain China, and the US intends to undermine China’s missile penetration probability and reinforce its own strike capability.

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The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea set the cat among the pigeons when it announced last month it will launch a Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite in mid-April to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of former leader Kim Il-sung.

The Republic of Korea has said it will track and intercept the rocket, and Japan has deployed missiles to shoot down the rocket if it strays into Japan’s airspace.

Japan hopes to use the DPRK’s satellite launch to examine its missile defense capabilities under simulated conditions. But its high-profile response to the launch – deploying seven ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles on Okinawa, Ishigaki and other areas and stationing three destroyers with Aegis combat systems and Standard Missile-3 interceptors in the Sea of Japan and in waters around Okinawa – underscores the transition of its exclusively defense-oriented policy to a proactive policy aimed at containing China and reinforcing its hold on islands it seized from China.

Meanwhile, the United States, while trying to pressure the DPRK into abandoning the launch, has sent its most advanced radar system, the Sea-Based X-Band radar, to the Pacific to track and monitor the DPRK’s rocket should the launch go ahead.

It is also taking advantage of the launch, to persuade Japan, the ROK and Australia to create a regional missile shield modeled on the so-called “phased adaptive approach” to missile defense that was originally developed for Europe.

Madelyn Creedon, an assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs, said at the 10th Annual US Missile Defense Conference on March 26 that the US is engaged in two sets of trilateral dialogues, one with Japan and Australia and the other with Japan and the ROK, to establish a missile shield in Asia. She said the shields could help counter any future long-range missiles that the DPRK might develop.

But if Japan does join a missile shield in Asia, it will be going beyond the limitations set by its Constitution, which will make neighboring countries concerned that it is seeking to restore its military status and thus threaten neighboring countries.

Although the US claims that the construction of antiballistic missile shields in Asia and the Middle East would protect the US and its allies from possible missile attacks by Iran and DPRK, the Asian shield system is widely believed to be part of the US’ attempts to contain China.

Creedon admitted as much when she said the regional shields should be tailored to an area’s unique deterrence and defense profile, taking into account geography, history and threats.

The US and its allies have also established first and second island chains to contain China, and the US intends to undermine China’s missile penetration probability and reinforce its own strike capability.

Even though there are doubts about how effective such a missile shield would be – critics say the Pentagon still has not proved the system can work in realistic conditions – should the US and Japan cling to setting up missile system in Asia, it will inevitably cause geopolitical uncertainty and agitate other countries.

Even if China develops its own ballistic missiles and anti-aircraft carrier missile, it will be still hard for China to break through such a defense system and safeguard itself against a possible saturation attack by the US. So China will deepen its strategic cooperation with countries that share its concern to confront the common security challenge.

Amid the increasing global challenges, nuclear proliferation and regional unrest, it is vitally important for the US and China to co-exist peacefully and achieve win-win cooperation. China respects the US’ presence and interests in the Asia-Pacific region, and the US should honor China’s core interests and prudently reconsider the defense missile program and seek to achieve universal security through political and diplomatic means.

The author is an assistant research scholar at the Center for Northeast Asian Studies, a research institution in Jilin province.

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  1. Felicity Arbuthnot
    April 13, 2012 at 6:37 am

    Letter just sent to BBC “Today” Programme:

    Good Morning,

    It is somewhat depressing to hear your apparently gleeful and patronising tone regarding the failure of North Korea’s missile launch, with no analysis of why they might have determined to launch one.

    There are still 28,500 armed-to-the warship and missiles US troops just geographically down the road in South Korea. Until recently there were 107 US bases. Whilst these have recently been reduced to 48, the under-construction US Army Garrison-Humphreys “flagship military installation” is vast enough to pretty well replace all those scaled back.

    Given the US (enjoined by little Britain) rampaging round the Middle East and North Africa, North Korea must feel pretty threatened – as indeed the region.

    Before intimating that others are belligerents, reasoning why they feel threatened seems apt. The US and UK are hardly in any position to chide others who wish to defend themselves, when our handy work has been involved in the destruction of three countries, on three continents – and counting.

    As for citing non-proliferation, what astounding hypocrisy. We are still considering updating updating that world class killing machine based in Scotland, Israel, fifth largest undeclared nuclear power on earth, has never made a blink towards the Non-Proliferation treaty – and the US expansion in to killing by Drones, computer games for real, played by kids in uniform the US, come under no law at all.

    Later in the programme you addressed the BBC’s independence and balance. Let’s have some, please.

    Kind regards,

    Felicity Arbuthnot.

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