Nuclear issues unresolved on Korean peninsula

(VOVworld) – Pyongyang conducted its 5th and most powerful nuclear test on September 9, despite world-wide protests and UN sanctions. The latest move has heightened regional tensions and showed that measures to prevent nuclear weapon development on the Korean peninsula have been ineffective. 

Nuclear issues unresolved on Korean peninsula - ảnh 1
Pyongyang's nuclear program triggers concerns (Photo: AP)

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that North Korea has tested a nuclear warhead that could be mounted on a ballistic missile. It was the second nuclear test this year.

Pyongyang’s continued missile and nuclear explosive tests

Mathieu Duchatel, Deputy Director of the Asia and China Programme at the European Council of Foreign Relations, said Washington and Seoul are urgently discussing the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea. Once operational, the system will monitor more closely North Korea’s nuclear facilities. Pyongyang said THAAD is the reason behind its 5th nuclear test.  Washington has refused direct talks with Pyongyang unless the North abandons its nuclear ambition. A spokesperson for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the test is a retaliatory act against nuclear threats from the US and North Korea vowed to strengthen its nuclear capability both in quality and quantity. On September 11, North Korea demanded that the US recognize it as a nuclear state.

North Korea wants to ensure its own security now that China is no longer considered a close ally, having approved sanctions against Pyongyang in the UN Security Council.

North Korea’s move has prompted its neighbours to strengthen their own security. On September 19, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency said Seoul and Washington will map out a deterrence strategy, 3rd phase, to deal with Pyongyang at a high level security talk slated for October. South Korea’s  military has fully activated its own deterrence strategy, involving both military and non-military measures.

International measures to keep Pyongyang from its nuclear ambition

North Korea’s 5th nuclear test was high on the agenda of the ongoing 71st UN General Assembly meeting in New York from September 19 to September 26 and at bilateral talks between world leaders. US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang agreed on increased cooperation to achieve the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. Washington urged Beijing to take more actions to restrain Pyongyang. Both countries began discussing a UN resolution on additional sanctions against North Korea.

Isolating and sanctioning measures have failed to affect Pyongyang’s ambition for ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. North Korea’s foreign ministry spokesperson called the US retaliation ridiculous, insisting Pyongyang will continue its nuclear aspiration.