North Korea Current Affairs - 2019
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In the backdrop of the meeting of the P5 (UK, US, France, Russia and People’s Republic of China) to discuss issues related to nuclear disarmament, China has again reiterated its previous stand that India’s accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is pre-requisite for its membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) or else there should be a common guidelines for the membership of the non-NPT states.
India has refused to sign the NPT citing the discriminatory provisions which provide undue advantages to the nuclear weapon designated states.
Reasons cited by China for opposing India’s Bid
China justifies its stand by citing the following justifications:
- There should be no double standards in enforcing the NPT.
- NPT is the cornerstone for the international nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and post-war international security system.
- China has played important role in all the three aspects and China is committed to all three important goals of the treaty.
- The international community should stick to multilateralism and promote progress the three pillars namely non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Hence China opposes double standards in enforcing the treaty.
Is there a hidden agenda?
All the members of P5 except China have endorsed India’s membership of NSG e based on India’s non-proliferation record.
After India’s application to the NSG, Pakistan also applied for the same. Pakistan is also a non-signatory to the NPT. Pakistan dubious record and its alleged role in technology transfer to North Korea have put a black mark in its track record.
Pakistan is a close ally of China and China is demanding a two-step approach which states that NSG members first need to arrive at a set of principles for the admission of non-NPT states into the group and then move forward discussions of specific cases.
This insistence of China has become a roadblock in attaining the membership of the NSG.
US president has signed the ‘Asia Reassurance Initiative Act’. The law aims at countering the encroaching influence and growing threat from China, and to reinvigorate U.S. leadership in Asia.
Features of the Act
The important features of the act are:
- The act aims to establish a multifaceted U.S. strategy to increase U.S. security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The act authorises the spending of $1.5 billion over a five-year period to enhance cooperation with America’s strategic regional allies in the region.
- Citing China’s illegal construction and militarization of artificial features in the South China Sea and coercive economic practices, the new law calls for countering China’s influence to undermine the international system.
- The act notes that increased presence throughout Southeast Asia of the Islamic State and other international terrorist organizations threaten the United States.
- The act recognizes the vital role of the strategic partnership between the United States and India in promoting peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and calls for strengthening and broadening of diplomatic, economic, and security ties between the United States and India.
- The act calls on the U.S. Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of the Treasury, to justify the termination of U.S. support for any United Nations Security Council resolutions sanctioning North Korea or the lifting of any unilateral U.S. sanctions on North Korea.
- The act reasserts US support to Taiwan and calls on President Trump to encourage the travel of high-level United States officials to Taiwan, in accordance with the Taiwan Travel Ac
Significance for India
The act reiterates US commitment to all bilateral and security agreements and arrangements between the two countries, including the New Framework for the United States-India Defense Relationship, and the United States-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative.
Noting that designation of India as a major defence partner, which is unique to India the law states that the designation elevates defence trade and technology cooperation between the United States and India to a level commensurate with the closest allies and partners of the United States.