Military Action No Solution to N. Korea Standoff

Jalil RahimiJalil Rahimi

The world should step up their efforts to compel North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons development program, a lawmaker said, noting that the course of action taken by the reclusive state has jeopardized the security of its neighbors.

In a recent talk with ICANA, Jalil Rahimi, the head of the International Committee of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said, "The military option is not the answer, but through sanctions and a complete cutoff of diplomatic relations, pretty much like what was done with the [former] South African Apartheid regime, North Korea should be put under pressure [to abandon its nuclear weapons program]."

North Korea has conducted launches at an unusually fast pace this year—13 times so far. In a first, it fired a midrange ballistic missile designed to carry a nuclear payload that flew over Japan and dropped into the northern Pacific Ocean on Tuesday. The aggressive missile launch—likely the longest ever from North Korea—over the territory of a close US ally sends a clear message of defiance, as Washington and Seoul conduct war games nearby.

The distance and type of missile tested seemed designed to show that North Korea can back up a threat to target the US territory of Guam, if it chooses to do so, while also establishing a potentially dangerous precedent that could see future missiles flying over Japan, AP reported.

North Korea had earlier threatened to fire missiles at Guam, if the US does not abandon its joint military exercises with South Korea, seen as a threat by Pyongyang.

Rahimi described the North Korean ruling system as one that "is not behaving sensibly", ruling out the efficacy of any military threat against such a country.

"Any threat that the US is making against Pyongyang will fall flat, except a nuclear attack that would have devastating consequences," he said.

  Int'l Consensus

The parliamentarian added that the only viable solution left in the current state of affairs would be an international consensus and more diplomatic actions by the United Nations Security Council against North Korea, such as imposition of economic pressure.

Labeling the North Korean actions as "dangerous to world security and its own neighbors", Rahimi said, "The world should have stood up against North Korea at one point, but it is still not too late."

Economic sanctions against Pyongyang were last approved by the UN Security Council on August 5. They target exports such as coal. After the latest test, Japan's UN ambassador called for the US to propose even more sanctions, but thus far no new proposal has been made.

Sanctions have been an oft-used UN tool to force the economically constrained North Korea to change its behavior, but North Korean leaders have persisted with their actions.

"The world needs to break off all its diplomatic relations with North Korea," Rahimi said, concluding that the stakes are high, not just for its neighbors but also for the whole world.



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