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Security dilemma in Asia needs fresh input

(Global Times)

10:13, April 26, 2012

Photo taken on May 8, 2010 shows a middle range ballistic missile successfuly lifts off. Pakistan Saturday conducted successful tests of two ballistic missiles, which can carry " conventional and nuclear warheads," the army said. (Photo/Xinhua)

The Pakistani military announced Wednesday the successful test of a mid-range nuclear capable missile. The global media in general perceived it as a reaction to India's launch of the Agni-V on April 19. At the same time, speculation about North Korea's third nuclear test has been swirling. Asian countries are obviously addicted to pursuing a strategic strike capability.

There is no convincing global standard for whether a country should have a long-range nuclear strike ability. The world has long had an oversupply of weapons. Weapons of mass destruction are proliferating, making their management more difficult.

Countries developing strategic strike weapons should be persuaded to give up this desire, but their aim does have its own logic. The long-term reduction of regional tensions will not be possible unless persuasion is coupled with efforts to alleviate countries' sense of insecurity.

Pakistan's retaliatory tests of mid and long-range missiles were expected before New Delhi's Agni-V missile launch. Both India and Pakistan have a nuclear deterrent or neither side has one, it is difficult to tell which scenario is more positive for the stability of South Asia.

China firmly opposes new nuclear tests by Pyongyang. If North Korea insists on doing so, China is unlikely to help Pyongyang shield itself from diplomatic consequences. But Washington, Seoul and Tokyo should seriously consider granting more strategic space to the North. Pressing Pyongyang too tightly often leads to these tense moments.

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