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Nuclear test won't change NK’s destiny

(Global Times)    09:59, January 07, 2016
Nuclear test won't change NK’s destiny
People watch a news report on DPRK's first hydrogen bomb test in Seoul, South Korea, on Jan. 6, 2016. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced Wednesday that it has successfully carried out its first hydrogen bomb test. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin)

North Korea announced Wednesday morning that it had successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, which shocked the international community. South Korea, the US and Japan condemned Pyongyang's moves, and China's foreign ministry expressed firm opposition to the latest nuclear test and stated China's determination to push forward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006 and the latest one is the fourth. The country is immersed in misshapen security policies centered on nuclear weapons and is trying to use nuclear deterrence to make up for its economic losses and political insecurity. This is a vicious circle.

The US is the world's No.1 nuclear power. The effect of the former Soviet Union's nuclear deterrence on the US was limited. The Soviet Union's lack of competence in domestic policies dragged it into crises. The US may be hesitant about launching military strikes on North Korea, but it is good at disrupting developing countries by disintegrating cohesion or initiating color revolutions.

That nuclear weapons mean everything is an outdated mentality and does not fit a globalized world. If Pyongyang is determined to develop its economy, it should engage with the outside world, including the West. Nuclear weapons are not the solution to its domestic woes.

This new nuclear test may inspire North Korea in the short-term. But it will generate more pressure from the UN and more sanctions imposed by the international community. The international environment for North Korea will deteriorate, and the internal driving forces for economic development are limited. The seemingly positive momentum will soon be offset by more thorny issues.

Pyongyang should inspire its people through other means. Its national security should be able to adapt to social diversities. If North Korea joins the development of East Asia as a whole, challenges for its national security will follow, even if it is taken as a nuclear state.

Wednesday's nuclear test will add anxieties to China's northeastern cities that border North Korea. If North Korea keeps doing such tests, it will hurt social stability in these Chinese regions, posing a big challenge to the Chinese government. Pyongyang must consider the long-term negative impact on Beijing-Pyongyang ties and its own development.

It's been more than 20 years since the North Korean nuclear crisis started. Is North Korea more secure than other Asian countries? Pyongyang is expected to undergo many more changes in the future, but the nuclear umbrella can hardly shield it. It is hard to say whether nuclear weapons are Pyongyang's asset or its liability. The country should not choose a nuclear path but one that can accommodate its vitality. There is ample room for this.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Bianji)

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