The Koreas: Threat or Opportunity?

Is north Korea a ‘very real’ threat to the United States in this time of terror, or does it provide an historic opportunity for peacemaking? A spent force militarily, there is a staggering need for food and development.

The World Today Published 1 January 2002 Updated 23 October 2020 4 minute READ

Hazel Smith

United States policy towards north Korea was already unclear in the wake of the Bush administration’s policy review and seems increasingly belligerent. This was exemplified by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s November statement that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea poses a ‘very real’ threat to the United States.

To those of us who have lived and worked there over the last few years, the immediate reaction to Rumsfeld’s claims is that he must have been a very tired man with a busy agenda and been badly briefed by some poorly informed staffers to make what seem ludicrous statements. In military terms and economically the country is no threat to anyone – except perhaps its own leadership.

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