2022.05.20 07:08Nation

対北朝鮮、ミサイル防衛急務 米CSISチャ氏―バイデン大統領歴訪


2022.05.20 07:08Nation

INTERVIEW: Expert Cites Urgent Need for Missile Defense against N. Korea

A U.S. expert on Korean Peninsula issues has stressed the urgent need for Japan-U.S.-South Korea cooperation on missile defense against North Korea, at a time when speculation is rife that Pyongyang may conduct a nuclear test in the near future.
   As the international community's attempts to strengthen sanctions on North Korea will be met with opposition from China and Russia at the U.N. Security Council, Japan, the United States and South Korea "should think of new ways to cooperate on missile defense" against the reclusive state, Victor Cha, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a U.S. think tank, said in an interview held ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's trip to Seoul and Tokyo from Friday.
   While noting that deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, mobile ground-based missile defense system in South Korea is controversial due to high costs and concerns about China's reaction, Cha said that it would be important for the United States and South Korea to resume their normal military exercises.
   On how the Ukrainian crisis has affected North Korean issues, Cha said North Korea "learned that they should keep their nuclear weapons" because Ukraine gave up theirs and was invaded by Russia. He said "the more worrying lesson" is that North Korea may choose not to rule out the possibility of using nuclear weapons, just like the case with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, in order to keep other countries from intervening.
   Cha said extended deterrence backed by the U.S. nuclear umbrella would be effective for Japan and South Korea, both U.S. allies, and would be "a big topic" when Biden holds talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, respectively.