US Strike on Syria Sends Mixed Messages to North Korea

The recent U.S. missile strikes against Syria could likely increase pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, or reinforce in Pyongyang the need for nuclear deterrence.

The U S, France and Britain fired 105 missiles at three Syrian chemical weapons facilities on Saturday, in response to an alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma that killed at least 40 people and wounded or sickened hundreds of others. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied any use of banned weapons.

The combined military strike on Syria comes as the administration of U.S. President Trump and the government of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are preparing for an expected summit in late May or early June to discuss dismantling the North’s nuclear program in exchange for security guarantees.

Image result for US Strike on Syria Sends Mixed Messages to North Korea

Trump’s willingness to use force against Syria can be seen to reinforce his “maximum pressure” campaign message, that in addition to imposing tough sanctions banning most North Korean exports, the U.S. would take military action, if necessary, to force Kim to terminate his nuclear program and end the continued development of a nuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the U.S. mainland.

Calling the U.S. attack on Syria “a warning for Pyongyang,” the South Korean newspaper the Korea Joongang Daily, in an editorial on Monday said, “If Kim wants to be free from the fear of a potential raid, then he must be willing to denuclearize.”

From this perspective the U.S. show of force in Syria will increase pressure on the leadership in North Korea to offer meaningful nuclear concessions at the Trump-Kim summit.

US Strike on Syria Sends Mixed Messages to North Korea

Bong Young-shik, a political analyst with the Yonsei University Institute for North Korean Studies in Seoul, said “unless it abandons at least part of its nuclear and missile capabilities then the Trump administration will not be satisfied.” 

However the U.S. military strike on Syria could also reinforce concerns in North Korea that giving up its nuclear deterrent would make the country more vulnerable to a similar attack.

“If it thinks that its regime is not guaranteed, it will keep the nuclear program,” said Kim Hyun-wook, a professor of American studies at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul.

North Korea has long justified the need for its nuclear program by pointing to the fate of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, who was overthrown and killed by U.S. and NATO backed rebel forces, just a few years after he agreed to give up his country’s nuclear weapons.

The U.S. and its allies justified their military action in Libya as a “humanitarian intervention” to prevent government forces from slaughtering the civilian opposition. Without a nuclear deterrent, leaders in Pyongyang worry the U.S. could use a similar humanitarian justification to intervene in North Korea.

Image result for US Strike on Syria Sends Mixed Messages to North Korea

Professor Kim said; “the U.S. can view North Korea as a autocratic state or human rights violator, and then it can always overthrow the Kim Jong Un regime that does not have nuclear program.” 

From this perspective, the Kim government could use the strike against Syria to emphasize its step-by-step approach to denuclearization to maintain stability, which would include the reduction or removal of U.S. forces in Korea over time as part of the required security guarantees.

Major U.S. Asian allies Japan, South Korea and Australia voiced strong support for combined military action to punish Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons and to deter other countries as well.

.

News Reporter
Folakemi Awoyo is a former Journalist, T.V news and programme presenter base in Germany. Passionate about writing the communication specialist is set to quench your taste for unbiased news stories happening in Africa and around the globe. Folakemi believes half truth imprisons, that is why Tatahfonewsarena is set to give its readers a diaspora breaking gossip news and celebrity gist experience that makes it possible to know something about everything. Folakemi is currently a communication specialist, life coach, with a B.sc in Mass Communication, MA Communication Management with an ongoing Ph.D degree. Nice To Meet You.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: