N.Korea's Ballistic Missile Programme
In a statement released yesterday, the U.N. Security Council condemned North Korea's failed attempt to place a weather satellite in orbit stating it was a cover to test ballistic missile technology. The Council also said North Korea would face additional sanctions.
This is typical demonization coming from all the countries that already have the existing rocket technology and capability of launching satellites into space.
Let's be clear from the outset; this writer is not defending the "Hermit Kingdom" and its authoritarian rulers that severely oppresses its own people.
But ever since the nuclear genie was let out of the bottle by the U.S. developing and using the atomic bomb, the scientists involved knew at the time and feared that technology would never be confined to them and the U.S. alone and the technology would spread to other countries.
The same can be said for rocket technology and placing satellites in orbit. First the USSR, then China as well as Britain and France all would soon follow the U.S. in achieving nuclear weapon and rocket capability. Then in the 90's, India and Pakistan would join the "club". Israel of course has the bomb and the means to launch but doesn't acknowledge its existence. And since 2006, North Korea has developed a nuclear weapon but it's unknown whether its missiles can accommodate a nuclear weapon.
It was this fear of the spread of nuclear weapons and rocket technology that prompted the members of the Security Council to initiate the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) that was instituted in 1970 whereby signees to the treaty would be permitted to develop nuclear technology, but for peaceful means only, as well as their renouncing any intent to develop a nuclear weapon.
There was also the all important caveat that the existing nuclear powers would reduce their arsenals and eventually eliminate them, thereby producing a nuclear weapons free world. Some 190 countries signed on to the NPT basically accepting the exclusivity of the nuclear weapon club with that caveat in mind.
Of course that "caveat" of eliminating nuclear weapons has never happened and a lot of other developments have occurred since the inception of the NPT. As was said earlier, India and Pakistan never joined the NPT and developed their own arsenals while Israel with the aid of the U.S. has its own arsenal. Now North Korea (a signee to the NPT in 1985 but withdrew its membership in 2003) has joined the nuclear weapon club.
But the key NON-DEVELOPMENT has been the absolute reluctance of the two key players (the U.S. and the USSR, now Russia) in the original "club" to significantly reduce their arsenals with the intent of their elimination. Yes each has reduced their arsenals to some 5100 nuclear weapons but this is hardly a number that elicits any reason to believe they're moving toward elimination.
In the context of that reality is it any wonder countries like North Korea scoff at the hypocrisy of the original nuclear club (that dominate the Security Council) and develop the one technology that provides them the ultimate security of knowing they won't be pre-emptively attacked.
Does anyone believe the U.S., with the world's largest nuclear arsenal, is working toward eliminating that arsenal? The simple answer is no.
And without that happening, nuclear proliferation and rocket technology will not only spread, it is likely to expand beyond any means for containment.
So North Korea has the bomb and tests its rocket technology in order to place a satellite in orbit and the U.N. Security Council issues a statement denouncing it; a statement dripping with hypocrisy.
Real leadership and diplomacy initiated by the U.S. would have us working toward a world free of ALL nuclear weapons. Without that leadership, the hypocrisy will continue.