The latest US sanctions on North Korea, imposed as joint military exercises are underway, run the risk of alarming Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong-un into some rash and unpredictable move, global peace campaigner Helen Caldicott told Sputnik.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — “The imposition of sanctions upon North Korea at the moment is certain to be perceived in Pyongyang as extremely provocative when the United States and South Korea are conducting the largest military exercises in recent years just south on the DMZ [Demilitarized Zone],” Caldicott said.
The exercises include this year practices to “decapitate” the North Korean leadership, Caldicott, founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the co-winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, told Sputnik.
“If anything is likely to drive somebody to do something really dangerous, well these actions are exactly what is needed to react to a perceived enemy,” she warned.
Kim Jong-un’s pattern of behaviour since becoming leader of North Korea in April 2012 has been filled with nuclear threats against perceived enemies overseas and unpredictable acts of repression against even long-trusted senior members of his country’s ruling inner circle, Caldicott pointed out.
If Kim Jong-un came to the point where he might unpredictably fulfil one of his many threats, global leaders would be at a loss to decide what to do next to try and prevent the outbreak of wider war, Caldicott maintained.
“Then what will the world do?… [It] could end in a global nuclear holocaust,” she warned.
Caldicott concluded that United States and other international leaders should seek to engage Kim Jong-un positively and treat him with careful respect.
Caldicott is the author of many books, including “The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush’s Military Industrial Complex.” The Smithsonian Institution has named Caldicott one of the most influential women of the 20th century.