2017: NK and Order for East Asia and the World

Augsut 2017 - Emergency Nordkorea - USA
Source:  The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 15 | Issue 22 | Number 3 | Nov 15, 2017
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus

North Korea and a Rules-Based Order for the Indo-Pacific, East Asia, and the World
By Gavan McCormack

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop declared in September 2017 that the emerging US-India-Japan-Australia Indo-Pacific “quadrilateral dialogue” would be founded on “respect for international law and the rulesbased order.”  The reassurance was welcome, but it will mean some big changes, probably on all four sides, most of all for the US, which does not recognize itself as being bound by any rules, remains aloof from the International Criminal Court and commits war crimes including military interventions unauthorized by the UN (therefore acts of aggression), assassination and torture on a daily basis. As for Japan and Australia, they both appear to rank the US relationship above any principled application of law and to positively embrace the role of “client state” of the violent and lawless United States, while India as of 2017 seemed to be following a similar path with its quadrilateral partners. In July 2017, it banned all trade with North Korea except for food and medicine, and pledged to support steps to further isolate and pressure the country. These were drastic measures since India was North Korea’s third largest trading partner till 2015-16.4

“North Korea as it is, not as we wish it to be…”
This paper considers the most recent escalation of the “North Korea crisis,” and the various agendas for addressing it, not just the emergent “Indo-Pacific” quadrilateral but specific Japanese and Australian aspects, the United Nations, Russia and China. North Korea’s nuclear weapon tests – in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016 (twice) and 2017 (possibly a hydrogen bomb) – and its missile tests, culminating in several of apparently intercontinental range (ICBM) in July and September 2017, defy UN directives, draw condemnation on all sides and expose the consequences of decades of failure to address the structural problems at the heart of the Northeast Asian region. The Indo-Pacific quadrilateral constitutes a significant new framing of the North Korean problem. Two main sets of proposals now rest on global tables: that by the US and its allies, notably Japan and Australia, demanding North Korean submission as precondition for any negotiation, and the call for freeze and negotiations, such as proposed by China and Russia and supported by other states such as Germany and France and by prominent US figures such as former Defense Secretary William Perry. ....

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