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Bruce Cumings: Latest North Korea Provocations Stem from Missed US Opportunities for Demilitizaration
Friday, May 29, 2009 :Tension is rising on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea's underground nuclear test on Monday and a series of subsequent missile tests. The United States and South Korea have raised their military alert level after North Korea said it would abandon the 1953 truce that ended the Korean War. We speak to University of Chicago professor Bruce Cumings, author of several books on Korea.
Tension is rising on the Korean peninsula following North Korea’s underground nuclear test on Monday and a series of subsequent missile tests. The United States and South Korea raised their military alert level Thursday after North Korea said it would abandon the 1953 truce that ended the Korean War.
The US-South Korea Combined Forces Command alert level is now at three, the highest it has been since North Korea’s only other nuclear test in 2006. Earlier in the week South Korea announced it would join a US-led initiative to intercept ships suspected of carrying nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, component parts or missiles to deliver them. Pyongyang has warned it would consider South Korea’s membership in the Proliferation Security Initiative to be an act of war.
At the United Nations, the United States and Japan have circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution condemning Pyongyang’s nuclear test and calling for strict enforcement of U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea after its first atomic test in October 2006.
The U.S.-backed draft also demands that North Korea not conduct any more nuclear tests, cease any advances in its ballistic missile program and allow the return of international nuclear inspectors to monitor Pyongyang’s nuclear activities.
We are joined now by Bruce Cumings, professor at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books on Korea, including “Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History” and “North Korea: Another Country.”
Bruce Cumings, professor at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books on Korea, including Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History and North Korea: Another Country.