South Korea has raised its alert level to vital threat amid indications that North Korea may launch a medium-range missile at any time as a show of strength. The South faces a serious threat from the North, as the latter has shown no sign of reprieve so far in the bellicose rhetoric against Seoul and Washington, despite diplomatic efforts to soften its position. The South and the United States have been endeavoring to ease tensions with Pyongyang through diplomatic means. However, the North leader is adamant to go ahead with his plans, apparently to target the South and military installations of the US in the South.
South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung said the South had asked China and Russia to intercede to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula. It should be noted here that Russia and China are considered close allies of North Korea. Sometime back, intelligence agencies of the United States and its allies have even alleged Russia and China of helping Pyongyang in developing nuclear weapons. However, both the countries have preferred eerie silence over the recent fiasco going on in the Korean peninsula. Both Russia and China have issued light-worded statements against the North and asked the country to exercise judgment and discretion while dealing with the South and the US.
The tensions in the Korean peninsula mounted after the United Nations slapped sanctions against the North after its third nuclear test on February 12. The nuclear test was against a number of resolutions adopted by the United Nations and all established international rules and regulations. It should be noted here that the North conducted anti-ballistic missile test in December last year and that was also against international rules and regulations. The international community has been endeavoring for years to coax the North to halt uranium enrichment, but it has not worked, owing to the hard stance of the North’s leadership. According to media reports, the North is preparing to conduct fourth nuclear test soon to show its strength to world powers, including the US.
South Korea and the United States are used to bellicose threats from the North, but this time there are fears that Pyongyang can translate its threats into action. South Korean officials have enhanced surveillance of the North’s activities to get first hand updates on the country’s maneuverings. In fact, the North observes numerous anniversaries in the next couple of days and the country’s leader can use any of the occasions as a pretext for display of military strength. World powers should engage the North in dialogue, as this is the only way forward to resolve the crisis