Letter on North Korea by Dr Sue Wareham

The role of the US is highlighted in a letter on North Korea by MAPW Vice President Dr Sue Wareham published on Saturday 6 April in The Sydney Morning Herald.

How extraordinary it is that the nation that has about 8000 nuclear weapons still takes the moral high ground to preach disarmament to the nation that has around a thousandth that number. How distressing that Australia can find no more helpful voice than to join in the one-sided chorus that is likely to push North Korea further towards military brinkmanship.

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, in referring to the "admirable restraint" shown by South Korea during the recent escalation of tensions, failed to mention the ongoing US-South Korean military exercises that, as recently as March 28, simulate a nuclear attack on North Korea. Whether or not that shows restraint depends on what side you're on.

Australia could make a far more useful contribution by calling for the suspension of war games on both sides. As well, the tensions highlight again the need for a nuclear weapons-free Korean peninsula, a goal to which the US and its allies could redirect their efforts.

Belittling and demonising of the North Korean leadership, along with sanctions and military counter-threats, will make things worse. Jaw jaw, not war war, remains the only way to go.