A country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is defined as an area of no more than 200 Nautical Miles away from the baseline coast. It was defined by Truman and the United States and implemented in the preamble to the United Nations convention agreements, Part 5, Article 57. Japan’s EEZ is fairly well defined, although disputed in some places. It has to be; Japan sits in a relative viper’s nest in terms of world politics amidst the ever escalating tension between China and the rest of East Asia, Australia’s ever expanding military with protectionist attitudes and, most threatening of all, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). With this being the situation, it is hard to believe that Japan has continually strayed away from the proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Yet this is the only country to ever know the horrors of being subjected to nuclear strikes as a tactic of warfare. It is fair to say that Japan is holding a stiff upper lip that would throw Theresa May off her game.
I mention these clearly defined areas of ocean under the care of Japan because these boundaries were violated by DPRK missiles on Sunday.
Three of them to be exact.
Now that it has been demonstrated that missiles have the range to reach so far as the frilled edges of the Japanese territorial coast it is clear that the only barrier that the DPRK could possibly have left between them and InterContinental Ballistic Missiles(ICBM) with Nuclear capabilities is the miniaturisation of the Nuclear bomb to become a warhead. Given that their Nuclear test was successful in 2013, exactly four years ago to the day, let’s assess the likelihood of this being achieved.
The obvious comparison is the USSR during the Cold War. An oppressive state hell-bent on showing the world that their ‘egalitarian’ system of government should be adopted the world over? Yeah, the USSR is a fine comparison. The USSR had their first successful Nuclear Weapons test in August, 1949 and had their first air dropped bomb test in 1951. These tests, amongst countless others, were the start of the Soviet side of the Arms Race. Only two years later, in August 1953, the first air dropped bomb in the small tactical weapons section was tested. This bomb, the RDS-4, was the active warhead fitted to the R-5M, the first medium range ballistic missile in the world. While it would be a good idea to note that, at this point in history, the Soviet Space program was producing rockets far superior to any others. This is the 21st Century however, and the DPRK have no issues with rockets at all, having launched a satellite into orbit back in 2012.
It appears that North Korea has the capability to deploy missiles to a distance of at least 1000 km, more than far enough to hit Japan as well as numerous other targets in South Korea, without issue. It stands to reason, also, that they have a nuclear warhead capability. Once again, Japan sits in the shadow of a colossus that could, without hesitation, cause a new nuclear age of fear and cautious anticipation.
Those of us in the western world, tens of thousands of miles away from this threat , well I imagine that desensitises us. It certainly has desensitised me. So you may want to know why I put YOU in the title.
Bullies pick on the weak, a well known concept. What is less known is that bullying is easy to combat if ensure that the victim doesn’t stand alone. Throughout history tyrannical powers have too long been permitted to exert their will over others. It’s time to end that. It’s time to stand with those would be victims. It’s time to fight those who oppress, and I believe we have a clue as to where we start.
As a final thought, please take away this over-used and thoroughly under-appreciated quotation:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” Martin Niemőller
Written by: James King