North Korea is dangerous - naiveté is even worse

Dr. Emily Landau warns of North Korea's nuclear threat: 'US negotiating system has failed.'

Mordechai Sones,

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un looks on during visit to Chemical Material Institute of th
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un looks on during visit to Chemical Material Institute of th

Dr. Emily Landau, head of the Arms Control Program at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), spoke to Arutz Sheva about North Korea's nuclear threat and its implications for the nations of the world.

"We are now at the end of 25 years of attempts to negotiate with North Korea and try to divert it from its plans for becoming a nuclear state," Landau recalls. "For years, even during Clinton's time, there were attempts to reach agreements with the country, North Korea violated them and today it is a nuclear state."

According to Landau, North Korea is very close to the moment when it can launch a nuclear missile at the US, and in fact only American deterrence can prevent Pyongyang from using its nuclear weapons.

"The failure that resonates in North Korea's context should teach us a lesson about the ability to stop a determined country like North Korea and Iran through negotiations ... We have an agreement with Iran, but we know it is a problematic agreement.

"This agreement also has an effective date, it will end in eight or ten years and meanwhile Iran continues to be more aggressive. In our area, too, it is assembling and delivering weapons to Hezbollah. Who will be able to stop them in another eight years when this agreement expires? Will they say, as in the case of North Korea, that there is nothing that can be done?

"The time to change the equation vis-à-vis Iran is now. The case of North Korea should teach us what happens when we rely on a strategy of negotiations and agreements with countries that continue to deceive and continue, like Iran, to develop enrichment capabilities," she said.

"There are those who talk about the possibility of a preemptive attack on North Korea, but the US knows very well that this is a problematic option that could open a war front and hurt Seoul very seriously and critically. It will lead to a very sharp confrontation and many losses so I estimate this is not a scenario that is being considered seriously.

"For years, the United States has held on to the option of negotiations as if it were a magic formula and today, when North Korea has reached the final stage of nuclear development, they say there is nothing they can do. Now North Korea wants to complete the final stage, which is actually proof of the ability to strike the territory of the United States with nuclear weapons. This they have not yet achieved, but they are apparently very close.

North Korea, says Dr. Landau, has already proven that it has effective capability to launch intercontinental missiles. "In July they carried out two experimental intercontinental ballistic missile launches and we knew that there was one last step to miniaturize the nuclear warhead and then connect it to the missile in such a way that it could leave the atmosphere, return to Earth, and threaten the US directly."

She believes that North Korea's leader wants to be treated as a nuclear state for all intents and purposes. "North Korea wants to attain the status of a power equal to the United States. It is no longer willing to accept the situation that the United States and the international community make demands from it when they themselves are nuclear states. North Korea wants equality here."

Landau also warns that strengthening North Korea strengthens Israel's enemies: "There is the matter of direct cooperation between North Korea and Syria and between North Korea and Iran in the context of non-conventional weapons, especially in the field of missiles ... We know that there has been a great deal of cooperation over the years, On cooperation in the nuclear context, what is quite worrying is the fact that North Korea is a country that, regardless of ideology, religion and regime, will cooperate with whoever pays it money.

"This is the formula in North Korea and that makes it very dangerous. Right now Iran has a little more money and the spotlight is on Iran, so it is very logical strategically that Iran wants to cooperate with North Korea and maybe even conduct some of its activities inside North Korea. These things are very, very worrying."


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