Ex­pec­ta­tions for the Seoul Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Sum­mit

The Diplomatic Insight - - Korea - *Cour­tesyem­bassy­ofko­re­ain­pak­istan.

The sec­ond Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Sum­mit will be held in Seoul on March 26 - 27, 2012. Lead­ers of 53 coun­tries and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions will take part in the Seoul Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Sum­mit, the largest of its kind ever in Korea and the largest sum­mit on world peace in the world. The fact that Seoul will host the Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Sum­mit, fol­low­ing the 2010 G20 Sum­mit, the high­est global eco­nomic forum, demon­strates that Korea is emerg­ing as a global leader in the drive to­ward world peace as well as a ma­jor econ­omy. Dur­ing the Coldwar that per­sisted nearly half a cen­tury, ev­ery coun­try lived un­der con­stant fear of nu­clear war. Such a calamity would have meant the an­ni­hi­la­tion of the hu­man race. The end of the Coldwar was fol­lowed by an un­prece­dented event: the Septem­ber 11, 2001 ter­ror­ist at­tack against the United States, which swept the whole world again with fear of 'nu­clear ter­ror­ism.' UN Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Banki-moon said, “nu­clear ter­ror­ism is one of the great­est threats we face to­day." He warned that “a sin­gle nu­clear ter­ror­ist at­tack would cause mass destruc­tion, acute suf­fer­ing, and per­ma­nent, un­wanted changes.” In April 2009, US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama out­lined his vi­sion of a 'nu­clear-free world' in his his­toric Prague speech. He specif­i­cally pro­posed mea­sures for preven­tion of nu­clear ter­ror­ism and the hold­ing of the Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Sum­mit to­wards that end. His se­lec­tion as the 2009 No­bel Peace Prize win­ner at­tests to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity's ex­pec­ta­tions of his ef­forts for non-pro­lif­er­a­tion and nu­clear se­cu­rity. In the Washington Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Sum­mit held in April 2010, Pres­i­dent Obama an­nounced that Korea would host the sec­ond Sum­mit. Why was Korea cho­sen as the host of the sec­ond Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Sum­mit, and what ex­pec­ta­tions does the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity have of Korea? Many coun­tries have a far wider spec­trum of in­ter­ests and wield greater clout in the nu­clear field, but Korea was se­lected as the host in recog­ni­tion of its ris­ing in­ter­na­tional stature and, most of all, the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity's high ex­pec­ta­tions of Korea. The wide­spread recog­ni­tion of Korea as an ex­em­plary coun­try with re­gard to non-pro­lif­er­a­tion, nu­clear se­cu­rity, and peace­ful use of atomic en­ergy was also a ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion in its des­ig­na­tion. As a mid­dle power, Korea is ac­knowl­edged as ca­pa­ble of pur­su­ing 'bridging di­plo­macy.' It is cut out for the duty of co­or­di­nat­ing­wide-rang­ing in­ter­ests be­tween nu­clear weapon states and non-nu­clear weapon states and be­tween nu­clear pow­ers and non-nu­clear pow­ers in the Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Sum­mit in or­der to at­tain a com­mon goal. This nat­u­rally begs the ques­tion: what are we try­ing to ac­com­plish through the Seoul Sum­mit? Firstly, Korea's suc­cess­ful host­ing of the Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Sum­mit will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to as­sess its lead­er­ship in world peace just as the Seoul G20 Sum­mit ex­hib­ited its eco­nomic lead­er­ship. The Seoul Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Sum­mit, fol­low­ing the ap­point­ment of Ban Ki­moon as UN Sec­re­tary-gen­eral, will sub­stan­tially bol­ster the coun­try's diplo­matic and se­cu­rity stand­ing. Se­condly, preven­tion of nu­clear ter­ror­ism safe­guards our core na­tional in­ter­ests. Over 12 mil­lion Kore­ans travel abroad each year; about 7 mil­lion peo­ple of Korean na­tion­al­ity or an­ces­try live in for­eign coun­tries; and Korea is one of the world's top economies open for trade with its for­eign trade de­pen­dency hov­er­ing above 110%. We have ben­e­fited sig­nif­i­cantly from ex­change with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. Any nu­clear ter­ror­ist in­ci­dent, re­gard­less of wher­ever it may oc­cur, ex­poses Korean peo­ple and econ­omy to enor­mous loss. It is, there­fore, in our core na­tional in­ter­ests to head off nu­clear ter­ror­ism and main­tain world peace. Thirdly, the Seoul Sum­mit is ex­pected to re­store a great deal of trust in atomic en­ergy that had been lost as a re­sult of the Fukushima nu­clear power plant ac­ci­dent. It will also give pub­lic­ity to Korea's ex­em­plary record in de­vel­op­ment of atomic en­ergy and its nu­clear se­cu­rity and safety sys­tem, in­creas­ing con­fi­dence in the coun­try's atomic en­ergy and ex­pand­ing the ground­work for its nu­clear power plant ex­ports. Lastly, the Seoul Sum­mit will help sta­bi­lize af­fairs on the Korean penin­sula and in North­east Asia in 2012 and ex­pe­dite North Korea's de­nu­cle­ariza­tion. It will of­fer a chance to sta­bi­lize con­di­tions and ap­ply pres­sure on North Korea for its de­nu­cle­ariza­tion amid fears of the in­creas­ing un­cer­tain­ties sur­round­ing the North Korean regime fol­low­ing Kim Jong-il's death, pos­si­ble mil­i­tary provo­ca­tion and nu­clear threat un­der the lead­er­ship of Kim Jong-un, and grow­ing po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity as a re­sult of ex­ten­sive power shifts in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. As the Washington Sum­mit fo­cused on pre­vent­ing nu­clear ter­ror­ism by 'non-state ac­tors', the Seoul Sum­mit will not ad­dress nu­clear pro­lif­er­a­tion by states, i.e. il­le­git­i­mate nu­clear pro­grams. How­ever, it is ex­pected that heads of state will, on var­i­ous oc­ca­sions, call for North Korea's de­nu­cle­ariza­tion, re­form, and open­ing, and sup­port peace on thekorean penin­sula.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.