N.Korea Misreads the Libyan Situation

      March 24, 2011 13:48

      North Korea's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday slammed the U.S. military intervention in Libya, calling it an "indiscriminate armed intervention" based on a "deceptive resolution" and used the occasion to once again justify its own nuclear program. "It was fully exposed before the world that Libya's nuclear dismantlement much touted by the U.S. in the past turned out to be a mode of aggression whereby the latter coaxed the former with such sweet words as 'guarantee of security' and 'improvement of relations' to disarm and then swallowed it up by force," a spokesman said. North Korea "was quite right when it took the path of Songun [military first], and the capacity for self-defense built up in this course serves as a valuable deterrent for averting a war and defending peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula."

      It is mindboggling to see how North Korea is interpreting the causes and consequence of Libya's predicament. The crisis was triggered by a public uprising against 40 years of oppressive rule by leader Moammar Gadhafi and his family and a brutal crackdown using jets and artillery by the dictator against his own citizens, which prompted western countries to step in to prevent further bloodshed. The U.S., U.K. and France intervened belatedly following mounting international condemnation of Gadhafi for ordering his troops to bomb and massacre his own people.

      Yet North Korea claims that the intervention was prompted by Libya's scrapping of its nuclear weapons, which made the North African nation more vulnerable and justifies Pyongyang's military-first policy centering on its own nuclear weapons program.

      The Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea with an iron fist for over 60 years and is preparing for the third hereditary succession of power. The North is one vast prison, the like of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world today. South Koreans and people all over the world are worried about the future of North Korea, which is ruled by a leader and his son who have no qualms about slaughtering their own people should they rebel.

      The UN adopted a principle in 2005 empowering the global body to protect the citizens of any country whose dictator commits human rights violations against them. That principle was applied to Libya for the first time. Now, no country in the world is allowed to oppress its own people and violate human rights with the excuse that this is an internal issue.

      North Korea cannot remain an exception to this principle. That is why expectations had risen that Kim Jong-il and his son would learn from Libya’s fate. But rather than considering the importance of human rights, the North says it has learned the lessons that it must not abandon its nuclear weapons. The North Korean people face a bleak future.

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