International community should respect N. Korea's sovereignty

I fully agree with Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi's view on the North Korean crisis (Nuclear North Korea poses no threat unless threatened; Oct 25).

Indeed, respect should be accorded to the sovereignty of every nation, regardless of its political system.

I believe the autocratic North Korean leaders are merely doing their utmost to safeguard the interests of their hermit country.

It has been isolated and ostracised by most of the international community since the Korean War armistice in July 1953, and this is by no means easy for any country.

For decades, this nation has been hit by famines and other calamities. If not for the resilience of its people and the economic assistance from China, this country might already have perished.

The overt moves by the North in recent years have been perceived as anathema to the rest of the world. Undoubtedly, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives the world the impression that he is a belligerent and irascible person.

Perhaps, due to his relatively young age, he is more predisposed to aggression and, therefore, much less mellow compared to his father, the late Kim Jong Il.

The intention of those high-profile missile tests is simply to convey the message that North Korea is a strong military nation and not to be trifled with.

The end of the Cold War in the early 1990s and the sudden decline of the Soviet Union left the North with no option but to desperately fend for itself.

If the West and Japan adopt a much less hostile stance towards North Korea, one can reasonably conclude that the peace of the Korean peninsula is all but assured.

Sensing improvements in diplomatic relations with the rest of the international community, North Korea would gradually come to its senses and significantly reduce its missile tests and other military manoeuvres.

Joe Teo Kok Seah