North Korea on Friday launched a rocket bearing a satellite, but it crashed into the sea less than two minutes after being launched. The failure drew a sigh of relief from the international community, which had been closely monitoring the development for weeks.
The United States believes the rocket launch was a disguised test of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting targets 10,000 kilometers away. Experts were concerned that if the launch were successful, it would enable North Korea to fire a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States.
North Korea's military agenda not only poses a threat to North East Asia but also to the whole world. However, major countries have not made a joint effort to address the problem.
While the United States has blamed China for not doing enough to pressure Pyongyang, there are differences within South Korea over the issue in the run-up to the country's presidential election in December. Japan, meanwhile, wants to include issues concerning the abduction of Japanese in the 1970s by North Korea in six-party talks.
The North Korea problem will not disappear just because of the failure of the rocket launch, but will continue as long as the world does not unite and cooperate.
All countries should improve their anti-missile capabilities and regional partnerships.
Taiwan's national security and defense authorities should also explore the possibility of strengthening military cooperation with the United States, including enhancing the capability of the early-warning surveillance radar system that is currently being installed in the country. (Editorial abstract -- April 14, 2012)
(By Y.F. Low)