Nuclear North Korea poses no threat unless threatened

The North Koreans have displayed an indomitable resilience in the face of adversities over the last six decades (World has to live with nuclear North Korea; Sept 30).

It is logical for the North to develop nuclear weapons at all costs to protect itself since the United States reneged on the Agreed Framework in 1994.

It deserves to exist as a sovereign state, with nuclear weapons as a deterrent against aggression, just like other nuclear countries.

A nuclear North Korea poses no problem to neighbours unless its legitimate existence is threatened.

The world should accept this state, which has around 25 million people living under a different political system.

It is not difficult to glean from press cuttings, and to judge by the current geopolitical situation between an ambitious Japan and an anxious US, why China and Russia would want a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

The bigger worry is Japan. It may persuade the US to support a change of its pacifist Constitution by promising to fight shoulder to shoulder with US forces.

Young Americans have probably forgotten about the Pearl Harbor attacks and the heavy price America paid in World War II fighting the Japanese.

Given Japanese politicians' twisted versions of wartime atrocities in Asia and their denial of established historical accounts, a nuclear Japan will pose a real threat not only to China and neighbours but also to its master, America.

Paul Chan Poh Hoi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2017, with the headline 'Nuclear North Korea poses no threat unless threatened'. Print Edition | Subscribe