‘US miscalculated just how much North Korea would react to war games’
Corbett is certain that right now all the parties are more
inclined to negotiations.
RT:The so-called nuclear club is an exclusive group. There are only seven nations in it. Will North Korea be allowed to join it?
James Corbett: The question is whether or not anyone has the right to say if they are allowed to be the part of this exclusive club. But I think what we have to understand right now is that North Korea is calling out these other nations on the nuclear hypocrisy that’s been hard-wired into international relations for a long time now. If you look at the actual statement that was made, they said for example that their position is clear, that one shouldn’t dream of de-nuclearization on the Korean peninsular before de-nuclearization of the world is realized.
RT:China says in no way will it accept a nuclear armed Pyongyang. Is that authentic, do you think?
JC: I think what China is doing is trying to defuse the situation that could spill over into military conflict that would obviously be disastrous for China’s policies in the region. In the event the North Korean government is toppled there will be an incredible influx of refugees to China. China has its own stake in the game. But I think it really has to be seen as a poke in the eye at the community that assembled in Seoul last year at the Nuclear Security Summit to talk about de-nuclearization of the world but that was of course specifically directed to countries like North Korea and Iran, which were invited to the summit.
RT:The U.S. has cancelled war games, missile tests all to cool tension. It doesn't seem to have worked so what's next?
JC: I think it’s important to put that in the context of the fact that those war games were taking place in accordance with a plan that was developed by the Obama administration. It was reported on by the Wall Street Journal earlier this month called the Playbook, which was specifically designed to provoke North Korea in the latest Korean war games simulations, which happen every year. These war games taking place with B52 and B2 nuclear capable bombers dropping ammunition on the Korean peninsular and F22 advanced fighter-jets – it was specifically part of the provocation to get North Korea to react and perhaps they miscalculated just how much North Korea would react. In any way right now what we have is Guam seeing more missile defense, Japan seeing more missile defense, contractors throughout the region receiving more money. North Korea is getting at least overtures from the US and South Korea that they will play more on the negotiating table and China has so far managed to maintain North Korea stopping it from tattling. Everyone got what they wanted out of this latest ploy. So I think from here we could see at least some sort of attempt at some sort of talks, but how fruitful they will be is another matter entirely.
RT:China is warning a fourth nuclear bomb test in North Korea may be imminent. What's the North trying to prove at this point?
JC: Those promises aren’t worth the paper. We’ve heard this rhetoric before. So far nothing is materialized so I don’t think we should believe it until we see it. It should be seen as part of the game that’s been played and it has succeeded so far in getting the US and South Korea to at least contemplate talks.