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Dialogue without Preconditions The Only Way Forward

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 21 AUG 2017

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT

DIALOGUE AND DE-ESCALATION THE ONLY WAY FORWARD
 

US-SK MILITARY EXCERCISES RISK FURTHER CONFRONTATION

 
 
 
As the US and South Korea prepare for the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises, a further cycle of US- North Korea confrontation seems likely.
 
We 'dodged a bullet' last wednesday, with the DPRK declaring that it would watch what the 'foolish yankees' do a little more before deciding to fire intermediate – range missiles in the general vicinity of Guam. Though the DPRK did not say it would actually HIT Guam, and seemed likely to fire unarmed missiles that would land in international waters within a few dozen km of Guam, the reaction from the US has been as if the DPRK had said it would actually nuke Guam. Its important to note that this is not in fact what the DPRK actually said.
 
It may be that unless the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises are scaled down, the DPRK will indeed make its unarmed missile 'feint' toward the general vicinity of Guam.
 
Whether this might lead toward further escalation and to a real nuclear exchange is anyones guess.
 
With the DPRK's stepping back from its initial threat to hit somewhere near Guam, a small window of opportunity for dialogue opened, a window that with the refusal to compromise on the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises is once more closing. Further inflammatory rhetoric (from both sides) will once more close it.
 
The Australian Government, as a close ally of the US that has at one time managed to have a reasonable relationship with the DPRK, is in an excellent position to promote dialogue between the US and the DPRK, and to facilitate that dialogue.
 
It should do so.
 
Rather than offering blank cheques under the guise of fulfilling the requirements of ANZUS (which requires only 'consultations'), promoting US-DPRK dialogue without preconditions (which immediately kill the dialogue), is what Australia should be doing. There are no military solutions (at least not ones that do not involve the deaths of millions of people) to the DPRK crisis. Dialogue without preconditions is the only way forward.
 
John Hallam
 
m61-411-854-612
h61-2-9810-2598 
Last Updated on Monday, 21 August 2017 13:23