Multiplying nuclear weapons is always a danger; and if this occurs by the action of an isolated and oligarchic government then it can be a major danger. And these dangers are not measured and are not overcome with 140 characters.
In these days, everyone has had the opportunity to witness an intimidating and unproductive confrontation. On the one hand, a government that communicates with nuclear and ballistic test, and on the other hand a President who expresses himself via twitter. It is difficult to imagine that the two languages will understand each other.
In front of such a situation what can the international community do?
Beyond the technical discussions on the number of nuclear weapons available, on the ballistic ability of the missiles, on the plans on military reaction, etc. – all important data but today not decisive – it may be useful to reposition the situation in its primordial essence: a dialog in different languages deliberately carried on in the presence of necessarily concerned listeners.
Let us consider some of the factors.
1- The geographical area
North Korea knows to be closer to China, Russia, South Korea and Japan than to the USA. Its possible atomic launch – preventive or as a retaliation – would be much more dangerous for these areas than for the American territory. Therefore, it has natural allies – even if involuntary – in dissuading the USA from the military option.
2- The Human Factor
A possible conflict with nuclear aspects would entail the immediate migration of millions of people. From North Korea towards China and Russia, from South Korea to Japan. None of these economies want a similar scenario.
3- The political framework
The current race of North Korea to military nuclear, on one side strengthen the Kim dynasty, on the other hand favours the positions of some governments in favour of more military appropriations: like Japan with S. Abe, America with Trump and, indirectly, the South Korean government.
4- The geostrategic factor
China and Russia have made everyone largely understand that in case of need, they would not line up against North Korea and in no way, they would allow an increase of the strategic presence of the USA in the area. In addition, during the presentation of the Russian-Chinese joint plan, they have declared that they want to take part in the dialog as protagonists.
5- The international community
The EU, the USA and a good part of the rest of the world agree that it is necessary to put a stop to the growth of the military potential of North Korea, therefore they will implement an even tighter technological ring-fence.
What, therefore, can be in this context the first step possible and the medium-term target?
The first step possible.
North Korea and the USA do not communicate officially for decades and informally since the time of the meeting led by M. Albright (1994). A form of recognition on the part of the USA, even in the limited form of thematic talks, could attenuate the Korean need to raise the level of the provocations and impose at the same time the need for a common language of dialog.
The medium-term target.
The facts have demonstrated that a nation that is completely isolated like North Korea is made to pursue dangerous roads for themselves and for others. What can then be more useful is its coordinated and real reinsertion in a strategic area of nations, which may allow mechanisms of balance already therein; which can be the Chinese one or the Russian one. A team, even if opponent, has the advantage of defining and controlling the role of its members according to their abilities and reliability.
Wishing to draft a provisional conclusion to the status of things as they are today, the hope is to see the primacy of dialog being awarded once again; the desire to assist them to a real dialog, even hard but especially truthful. And on this aspect the European Union can play its role: reminding the truth of things, in particular those that affect men and their fundamental rights.
After all, it is the truth that will set us free.