Shii comments on DPRK nuclear test

February 16, 2013

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on February 14 at a news conference answered questions from reporters regarding North Korea's nuclear test.

Military action in response to any military action will result in vicious circle

Question: Liberal Democratic Party Ishiba Shigeru gave a lecture in Tokyo yesterday and said that Japan should squarely consider having the capability to attack an enemy base in reference to the DPRK nuclear test. What do you think would be the appropriate response to the nuclear test?

Shii: North Korea's nuclear test is a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions as well as a dangerous action running counter to the peace and stability of this region. We warned the DPRK against going ahead with the test in advance and expressed that if the state conducts a nuclear test, we will empathically condemn it.

We don't agree with adopting an aggressive attitude by brandishing the armed forces. Reacting militarily to acts of military provocation will result in a vicious circle.

What is essential is an immediate attempt to solve this issue through diplomatic channels.

International society should cooperate in deciding on effective sanctions in order to get DPRK to sit at a negotiation table

Shii: In seeking the way to put the issue on a course of dialogue, what I think is needed is that international society, including China, should make a concerted effort and levy effective sanctions against North Korea. These sanctions should be imposed with a clear sense of purpose, not to punish, but make the DPRK sit at a negotiation table.

Back in September 2005, North Korea agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons program in the Six-Party joint statement. However, it conducted a nuclear test in 2006. After the test, it took forward-looking steps, but went ahead with its second nuclear test in 2009. After Kim Jong-un took over the leadership from his father, the DPRK agreed upon a freeze of its nuclear and missile development programs in talks with the United States in February last year. However, it launched "rockets" using missile technology twice and carried out its third nuclear test. As I said above, though having had several talks and having made some agreements with other nations, the DPRK repeatedly broke them.

Given this progress, when it comes to dialogue, it is essential this time round to decide on implementing effective measures to urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and its nuclear development program. The world community, including China, is required to work on implementing practical sanctions and reinforcing the sanctions in a cooperative way, but the purpose of sanctions should be one that provides a venue for serious dialogue in order to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. I'd like to stress that this is where we should concentrate our energies the most.

Importance to proceed with concrete actions toward nuclear-free world

Shii: I'd also like to take up one more thing that I think is important for solving this issue. By conducting several nuclear tests, North Korea is trying to create a fait accompli to present itself as a nuclear weapon state. North Korea is intent on the possession of nuclear weapons as deterrence, and it is assuming a defiant attitude.

Of course, such an attitude should not be tolerated. The JCP is opposed to any country becoming another nuclear state, and our position has no tolerance for it at all. What we must understand here is that the need is for the international community to come up with concrete actions to seriously move toward establishing a world without nuclear weapons.

Specifically, it is necessary to start negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention (NWC) as called for by overwhelming support in the UNGA. It is important that the world makes serious efforts to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons. If the international community decides to dispose of nuclear weapons, it can tell North Korea "So must you." In doing this, the world can hold the strongest position in response to North Korea.

Dangerous phase -- two efforts needed

Shii: I think the issue of North Korea with nuclear capability has entered a dangerous phase. Tensions have been intensified more than ever, and we can no longer leave the situation as it is.

I think it is important for the world community to take the following two steps. One is, as I mentioned before, make an effort to have North Korea sit down at the negotiating table to persuade the country to give up its nuclear weapons. Another is make an effort to press North Korea to relinquish its nuclear weapons while creating a worldwide movement to establish a world without nuclear weapons. I believe that the issue of North Korea has reached in this crucial phase and global society needs to act now to deal with both of these aspects.

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