By Li Hongmei, Special to Sina English
Asia is haunted by a new nuclear crisis?
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has warned its potential enemies, that in case of aggression they would not be able to escape from its strategic missiles. Their cruising radius includes not only South Korea and American military bases located there, but Japan and even the United States’ territory as well.
Such was Pyongyang’s reaction to Seoul’s statement about its intention to develop ballistic missiles with a range of up to 800 kilometers and put them on combat duty. These missiles would be able to reach any point of the DPRK territory.
This is a concrete, tangible step aimed at increasing offensive military potential of South Korea. Quite naturally, it causes anxiety and concern in Pyongyang, which has already pointed out the increasing intensity of military manoeuvres of South Korea and the United States on its borders, considering it as war preparations. The DPRK’s reaction is quite adequate. Unfortunately, there is a real basis for such a reaction.
In order to demonstrate that their missiles exist not only on paper, the DPRK’s military representative has even indicated the place of their deployment - Kangdong County near Pyongyang. The strategic missile headquarters is located there, and the leader of the DPRK Kim Jong-un visited it on March 3.
It is for the first time that Pyongyang publishes such information about its military potential, thus making it clear that it regards the new missile agreement between the U.S. and South Korea as preparation for war.
According to the previous agreement between the U.S. and South Korea, South Korean missile flight range was limited to 300 kilometers. The revision of this agreement will, undoubtedly, destabilize the situation in the region.
It’s not by any chance that the United States has long hesitated whether or not to give their consent to South Korean persistent requests of possessing up to 800 kilometers range missiles. And Washington was well aware that such a sharp reaction on the part of the DPRK was inevitable.
Washington has stricken a bargain with Seoul despite the fact that it violates the international regime of missile technologies’ limitation. At present, 34 countries have acceded to this regime. They undertook to limiting the cruising radius of their missiles to 300 kilometers.
By provoking a new missiles race on the Korean Peninsula, the United States is clearly playing for high stakes. By allowing Seoul to increase the range of its missiles, they made another anti-Chinese move, as the new South Korean missiles are able to reach central areas of China.
The United States has also revealed their intention of supplying the South Korean air defense system with information from American satellites and drones. And this, in fact, is another step on the way of founding the Eastern US ABM defense system.
As expected, the new U.S.-S Korea nuke deal and Washington’s ambition to enhance its military presence in Asia-Pacific is drawing the entire region into the nightmare of a new nuclear crisis, and turning the Korean Peninsula a flashpoint to rekindling the Nuke button, which seems widely divergent with Barack Obama’s commitment to a nuclear-free world.