Associate Professor Karaca: Will the Words Turn into A War?

Commenting on the altercation between the USA and Northern Korea, Associate Professor R. Kutay Karaca of the Department of International Relations at Nişantaşı University, stated that a nuclear war is the most significant event capable of leading mankind to destruction and catastrophe. He then tried to clarify the emerging question of whether this altercation would turn into a military mission or action.

The tension due to the battle of words between the USA and Northern Korea, said Karaca, heats the international politics. Karaca went on his comments, saying that a nuclear war is the most significant event capable of leading mankind to destruction and catastrophe. He added: “The nuclear weapons used by the poles of the clash in the Cold War era to deter and restrict the other party have come today to be the most dangerous elements for the security of the world. What we live today on the issue is not similar to the one in Cold War period. What is similar to that period is that the parties intend to obtain the nuclear weapons for the sake of guaranteeing their own safety. Not only are the pole leaders that balance each other absent today, but there are also no countries influenced by these leaders. The threat today is that a crazy man comes to the ruling seat of the countries that have nuclear weapons or that these weapons are obtained by terrorist organizations.”


Reporting that many countries aspiring for a regional influence are after the nuclear technology, Karaca went on saying: “The dreams of these countries, when coupled with the monetary policies of the global companies that have come to be one of the basic actors in international relations, have reached critical dimensions. This danger has emerged in Northern Korea today. The tension caused by the battle of words between the USA and Northern Korea has heated the international politics. Having launched its attempts to enrich the uranium in the early 1980s, the Northern Korea had to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1985 upon the increasing pressure. The Northern Korea opened its facilities and plants to the international controls in 1992, and then it appeared in 2002 that it had developed the uranium enriching unit. Thereupon, the Northern Korea withdrew from all the treaties signed by it.”

Karaca kept evaluating the issue: “The attitude of the USA to the Northern Korea has been getting harder and tougher since 2001. In the address to the country in January 2001, George W. Bush, the then President of the USA, demonstrated Iran, Iraq and Northern Korea as the countries within the “axis of evil”. The battles of word in the Cold War era bear resemblance to the ones being experienced today. While the Northern Korea insists on the guarantee before stopping its nuclear programme that the USA will not attack, American administration is insistent on the fact that the first step should be the stopping of the nuclear weapon programme. The Northern Korea thinks at this stage that it could parry the probability of a military mission to it only by keeping on possessing the nuclear weapons.”

Is it likely that the “pre-emption hit” strategy designed to strike an enemy or any threat to the USA as it prepares an attack or before it runs into action and applied by Bush can be enforced against the Northern Korea, too, today? The Northern Korea is unlike Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen or Syria. It is known that the Northern Korea possesses in its inventory ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons capable of hitting and striking anywhere in the world. The pre-emption hit on such a country means taking a chance that could lead the world to a catastrophe. It is slightly probable to me that the USA will take such a chance. Tillerson, the USA Secretary of Foreign Affairs, stated that their purpose is “peaceful pressure” and that he does not agree with the comments that

Trump’s words that the USA will counteract any threat from Pyognyang “with an unprecedented rage and wrath” are the sign of the fact that “the United States is edging closer to taking military action against North Korea.”

Peaceful pressure will prove to be faintly influential on the Northern Korea, a case pointed by the declarations made so far. Then what is meant by peaceful pressure points to China. It is necessary to evaluate and regard Trump’s discourses on China, which he has made continuously since the early months of his presidency, over this strategy, for the only country that can persuade the Northern Korea into negotiations is China. The fact that the sanction decisions brought to the agenda of the UN Security Council were not vetoed by Russia and China may give us a clue that peaceful pressure has served the purpose. Yet the Chinese read the developments from another perspective; their biggest concern is that the USA launches a military action just near China and an American-based state is established there. Besides, if China is unable to influence the North Korea, a country totally in need of it, this will mean a loss of prestige for the Chinese diplomacy.

On the other hand, the threat of Northern Korea has legalized the presence of American military in Japan and South Korea in the eyes of these countries. Considering that this case is perceived by China as being surrounded by the USA, the crisis can be said to be paving the way for America to increase its presence in the region.

Viewed from the angle of the Northern Korea, it appears that the USA’s threats are being retaliated in the same way. However, this is not only their own wish, but the effect of China should also be thought. China is captured by the desire to prove that nobody but itself has an influence over the Northern Korea while also trying to disconfirm the threats of the American President.

All these developments show us that the probability that the increased tension between these two countries will turn into a military action is very low. Any probable military action may lead to World War III. I am of the opinion that China’s diplomatic interventions and attempts in particular will increase in the days to come and the current crisis will not turn into a military problem.”

Release date: 12.08.2017