by Le Ulupoao Maiai Ata
For the Pacific Island States(P.I.S.), the significance of the recent tests of Hydrogen Bomb and Inter-Continental Missile for carrying nuclear war-heads by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.), lies in the rude awaking: We are staring at the” triggers of nuclear war” involving nations from without and the annihilation of Pacific Island peoples together with their civilization.
From Melanesia to Micronesia, including Guam and to Polynesia, including Hawaii in the northern Pacific and Samoa and American Samoa in the Southwest Pacific, our region is the theatre of Kim Jong Un’s (threat of) Nuclear war.
Kim Jong Un, is the Dictator of D.P.R.K. He is a die-hard Marxist by family habit and a man whose life is full of contradiction and self-indulgence in sex, food and power. Already, there have been inter-continental missiles fired on a test mission towards Guam in the Pacific Ocean: and additional tests of missiles flying into the sea near Japan with the public and bragging approval of this Dictator. The acts of warfare coupled by Kim Jong Un’s public pronouncements on military supremacy underlined an image of a monster: an ugly, cruel, evil and under-achieved thing on the loose to kill.
The internal situation in D.P.K.R. is an opaque world to us; there is absence of reliable indicators to confirm Kim Jung Un has the approving views of the people of D.P.R.K. in a Nuclear war with the United States- and P.S.I.
That there is no national endorsement in D.P.K.R. concerning the Nuclear politics of Kim Jong Un, his public pronouncements; tests of weapons of mass destruction; ostentatious military parades and the recent draft of millions of the young for military service give us a glimpse into his power base. This is an overkill that is reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s behavior leading to the invasion of Poland.
Since the end of the Korean hostilities in the 1950’s, the family of Kim Jong Un has continued to rule D.P.R.K, more or less, by adherence to a political order founded on the practice unlike of a Feudal System or if you will one of Stone Age. The founder of the family/ dynasty of which Kim Jong Un is an offspring once bragged “I am God.” The existence of the Communist Party in D.P.R.K. is only by name. This is a one- man- rule, one country full stop.
History has an uncanny way of repeating itself; and the Korean syndrome is an uncanny question. The original players in the 1950 conflict-U.S.A, and South Korea on one side and China, Soviet Union and D.P.R.K. on the other now operate in a world that has seen the impact of the United Nations on the world at large; the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Vietnam War; Brixton, the Olympics Games; the Pacific Forum etc. all of which usher in changes that put the human being at the center of nation-building activities. In large measure, the emergence of tolerance in leadership among nations, big or small, is to promote lasting relations for greater economic co-operation and prosperity. The existence of the World Trade Organization attests to the international community’s desire for meaningful trade between and among states.
Yet, today we in the P.I.S. should fear for the first time an outbreak of a Nuclear War - and utter destruction in our countries from collateral damage, one way of putting it - if the U.S.A. and D.P.R.K. go into war. The D.P.R.K .Ambassador at the United Nation announced weeks ago a missile test by D.P.R.K. to be fired into the Pacific Ocean.
The defense of P.S.I. is vitally important but this subject does not receive focused media attention in the Pacific Island States. Climate Change is the topical subject that seized the attention of Pacific Island States. Information that are published in Jane; Journal of Foreign Affairs; recent articles in YouTube do not cover the specifics of defense for PIS in a nuclear war. The assumption is that the USA in its Hawaii operation takes charge of the defense of P.S.I. in a nuclear war.
In the past 30 years, the P.I.S. have embraced the “new” China based firstly on the economic and foreign policies of Deng Xiaping: it was a significant departure from tradition in the ideological confrontation between the West and East. The domestic policies of PIS, once influenced by the West, were slowly changing by Chinese money and goods.
Now there are more Chinese businesses than American business in P.S.I. Far afield for instance there are million Chinese business houses in the west coast of US, Hawaii and Guam; Japan; Australia; New Zealand and the new realities stand in good stead for the Chinese economy. All of these market destinations face the threat of nuclear weapon attacks from Kim Jong Un’s D.P.R.K.
Would that bring new challenges for China such as opposition to Chinese business etc. The perception is that China is supporting Kim Jung Un. That is not over simplifying matters. It is the truth in a nutshell. The present leadership in Russia is incapable of making tough decisions like abandoning its traditional support for things, communist in D.P.R.K. and in particular, when the United States is involved in a regional conflict.
Many decades ago, Prime Minister Walter Lini of Vanuatu publicly flaunted the idea of having a Russian Naval Base in his country. It was the first and the only attempt for a Russian presence in the Pacific Region. It was also an event associated with the exit of PM Walter Lini from politics. But recently there have been shifts in attitudes in certain Capitals in the Pacific Region towards Russia. Warming the” Cold War sentiments” in this part of the globe is one way of putting it. Russia’s support for Kim Jung Un will reverse those sentiments to permanent opposition to Russia.
The strategic interests of P.I.S. are influenced by its geo-politics. And the United States is a Pacific State which automatically presents global challenges to the defense of P.S.I.
The historical experiences show many Leaders in P.S.I. tried to steer a balanced approach to the ideological question of West (Capitalism) versus East (Communism).
On the occasion of Western Samoa’s admission as a member state of the United Nations Organization, its Prime Minister Tupuola Efi identified his country interests with the Non-Alignment Movement. Prime Minister Tupuola Efi was in dialogue with political Leaders like Julius Nyerere, Malcolm Frazier, Robert Muldoon, Lee Kuan Yew, Ratu Mara who advocated the establishment of new political platforms for solving regional and World conflicts. Non-alignment Movement, the Commonwealth, the Pacific Way, the South Pacific Forum, ASEAN were used by the World Leaders to promote and maintain peace and stability. It also illustrates the passion held by World Leaders including such great men as Tupuola Efi, Ratu Mara from the P.S.I. to do away with Nuclear Wars.
This is why the actions of Kim Jung Un, heightening the threat of a Nuclear War in this region should receive unprecedented response of P.S.I. They could mobilize international support to expel D.P.R.K. from the United Nations? If China does not stop supporting Kim Jung Un, would PSI respond in trade tariffs etc? Could China and Russia join the United States and PSI to remove Kim Jung Un and his misguided missiles by all means of armed conflict?
The World must be free of Nuclear Weapons, an ideal that is not beyond the reach of man-kind. Diplomacy then is the alterative and the platform for the countries involved to reach a human solution. The fundamental principle in this regard is that all parties are prepared to remove their arsenals of nuclear/hydrogen bombs from the region.