North Korea: Stop Missile Test
Yu Ho Yeol
Professor of North Korea, Korea University, Seoul
As the missile presumed to be Daepodong 2 was captured by satellite when it was loaded on truck and taken out from munitions factory near Pyungyang at the beginning of last February, the world paid attention at Korea Peninsula owing to possibility that North Korea may launch long-range missile again. Notwithstanding the apprehension and sanction of international society, North Korea is trying to enforce the 3rd launching of missile following the previous cases at the end of August in 1999 and at the beginning of July in 2006. Putting conclusion in the first place, North Korea should immediately stop the reckless launching of long—range missile and show the aspect of sensible country of international society. As excess is inferior to scarcity, the missile launched by North Korea will obviously cause serious disaster without achieving any goal pursued by North Korea.
The goal that North Korea is to get by launching missile at this time is as follows. First, it tries to realize 2-Party talk between North and US as soon as possible by oppressing Obama Government of US and to occupy the advantageous position in the talk with US. Second, it is propaganda activity to enhance the historic meaning of election of assemblymen, in the Highest People’s Conference to be held on March 8 and to solidify the system for early settlement of succession structure after Kim Jung Il. Third, already declaring all-out confrontation in the relation of South and North, North Korea intends to oppress South Korea Government and augment conflict in South Korea by heightening military tension in the West Sea and DMZ and demonstrating armed force through missile.
If the intent and goat of North Korea are so, the top leader of North Korea may be satisfied with the situation realized so far. This is because Obama Government began to deal with the issue of North Korea as main policy agenda as the newly-nominated representative of North Korea policy, Ambassador, Bosworth visited Korea, China and Japan following Secretary of State, Clinton who made a round of calls in East Asia. Unlike the launching of Daepodong missile in 2 times, North Korea announced that it would launch Gwangmyungsung 2 to the space by loading it on Galaxy 2 rocket through the discourse of spokesman of Chosun Cosmic Space Technical Commission- a case to propaganda the achievement of Kim Jung II system. North Korea may consider the opinion (though minute as yet) arising in South Korea to criticize the hard policy of Lee Myung Bak Government and to demand the dispatch of special envoy as encouraging phenomenon.
However, launching missile will be never helpful to North Korea as its top leader expects. The Obama Government of US is firm in its position that the issue of nucleus in North Korea should be completely verified through 6—party talks as per 2.13 agreement for abolition of the nucleus to ensure peace and safety on the Korea Peninsula. It again expresses its position that launching missile by North Korea is inevitably subject to the sanction of Security Council of UN as provocation that intimidates Korea Peninsula and whole Northeast Asia. Emphasizing the necessity to restart 6—party talk, China and Japan also keep the position that North Korea should stop launching missile. South Korea watches the movement of North Korea to launch missile with more calmness as time passes by. Even the press or organization out of office which criticizes Lee Myung Bak Government criticize the launching of missile by North Korea, because they think that they cannot accept North Korea which tries to develop nuclear weapon and to acquire the means to transport it. Notwithstanding the unilateral propaganda, the opinion of people in North Korea must be different from that of top leader of North Korea. Suffering chronic lack of food, they cannot be satisfied with the development of missile which costs hundreds of billions won. Even though this launched object is test communication satellite as announced by Chosun Cosmic Space Technical Commission, several years and enormous cost will be spent to actually launch practical satellite. Thus, refute will continue, asking whether such project is reasonable in the current situation of North Korea. It is certain that the people of North Korea and elite know the project is enormous extravagance to boast the achievement of Kim Jung 11 system and to announce the inauguration of system after Kim Jung IL.
The top leader of North Korea must not underestimate the apprehension and possibility of sanction of international society against the movement of North Korea to launch missile. Instead of placating North Korea when Daepodong 1 missile was launched in the past, North Korea would be sanctioned as it was in 2006. If the top leader of North Korea thinks that North Korea lost nothing by sanction in 2006, it overlooks the function of time and underestimates the level of recognition of people in the level of Chunlima age in 1950s’. The age when brilliant cannon salute could substitute hardship in the daily life has elapsed and even those living in the hinterland of mountain know everything which they might know. In the situation where launching missile cannot move the historic clock that is stopped by the sanction of international society against North Korea, the top leader of North Korea should immediately stop the utterly destructive launching of missile.