Tuesday, April 08, 2003

North Korea and the US 'on a slide towards conflict'
'On Wednesday the UN security council will hear America's demand for sanctions against North Korea, which it accuses of planning to develop nuclear weapons. The Communist state has already said it would regard any such move as an 'act of war' and yesterday further warned that it would ignore any UN resolutions on the issue. It believes its dispute is solely with the US and wants direct talks with Washington - something the American government has refused to even consider.'

'North Korea fervently believes it is next on America's list for pre-emptive strikes, says Strong. It takes George Bush's rhetoric in his 'axis of evil' speech as a very real threat to its national security. Washington says it seeks a diplomatic end, but has not ruled out a military solution. 'There is such a complete breakdown of trust and confidence between these two countries that they are now unable to read the intentions of the other so there is real potential now for this to escalate into conflict,' Strong said.'

As a matter of the highest priority Australia should be seeking talks with countries in our region to achieve a peaceful resolution of this dispute. The origins of the recent problem seem to be the USA's pre-emptive war doctrine. If this analysis holds, then all efforts have to go into isolating that doctrine from support and preventing further incidences of it.

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