Is the concept of a rogue state
However, even with this treaty in place, it is feared that leaders of rogue states could be developing nuclear weapons unbeknown to the international community. The United States and its allies are concerned that small actors possessing nuclear weapons will restrict their ability to maintain international security order (Paul & Hall, 1999, pg 373). Concealing what nuclear weapons they possess also creates anxiety as the international community is unsure of the nuclear power it would be up against if a conflict were to occur.
What is probably most unsettling is the possibility that states could sell their nuclear weapons to terrorists. The pure uncertain nature of terrorism is enough of a realistic threat to cause concern (Kegley & Wittkoph, 2001, pg 445). It is for these reasons that America and the international community are justified in using the term rogue. On the other hand, it can be viewed that the US created the concept of “rogue states” due to their paranoia in the post Cold War era. Once there was no Soviet threat to contend with, it is plausible that the US thought another state would attempt to become the new competing superpower.
As a result, after the cold war the US sought to construct a new threat scenario that would justify the preservation of America’s superpower capabilities even though there was no longer a monolithic threat like the Soviet Union (Klare, 2000). The rogue doctrine was that scenario. It enabled a new strategic concept to be established that could be used to argue against deep cuts in military spending while simultaneously giving the military a new sense of purpose (Klare, 2000). And yet, the doctrine had some downfalls that put its effectiveness into question which thus puts the whole concept into question.
Firstly, there was a lack of support by American allies and no ally has accepted the proposal that there is a specific class of rogue states (Klare, 2000). The recent conflict Iraq is a good example that few of America’s allies were willing to join the fight in overrunning the rogue regime. Secondly, the rogue doctrine needs the rogue states to act as the menacing outlaws they are proclaimed to be. Thirdly, military capabilities of these rogue states have not grown drastically and in some cases have deteriorated (Klare, 2000).
Again, the events in Iraq of late are a good example of these two issues. While Iraq has had unjustifiable behaviour in the past and while they were reluctant to let in weapons inspectors more recently, eventually inspectors were let in and yet they found nothing. But, the United States went to war with a militarily inferior Iraq due to, among other reasons, their paranoia that Iraq would behave in an aggressive way in the future if the regime were not toppled. This leads to another key aspect of the rogue doctrine.
In most cases, the rogue nations are not democratic and it seems apparent that the ultimate goal of the United States is regime change in the state in order to “reintegrate them into the ‘family of nations'” (Litwak, 2001). This could be due to paranoia that autocratic states are generally repressive to their people, are reclusive and closed and their behaviour is less predictable making negotiations more complicated. Another noteworthy aspect of the doctrine is that it was essentially a political mobilisation strategy that grouped together dissimilar states and demonised them (Litwak, 2001).
Its effectiveness was a result of its ability to gain support from home and abroad for tough measures against these states. This concept reflected a “traditional impulse arising from the American political culture to view international relations as a moral struggle between forces of good and evil” (Litwak, 2001). This idea amplifies the notion that America was paranoid that they would be threatened by “evil” and thus created a concept that allowed them, with the support of the public, to isolate, contain or overthrow the threat (Litwak, 2001).
North Korea has been characterised as a rogue in the past and at present is a state of major concern. It has also been classed as one of three states, the others being Iraq and Iran, that make up the “Axis of Evil”. Bush claims these three states are the world’s most dangerous regimes seeking the most destructive weapons (Economist, 2003). Prevention of nuclear proliferation is one of Bush’s main objectives while in office (Economist, 2003). It has proved difficult if the past to contain North Korea’s nuclear program as they have repeatedly been secretive and difficult to negotiate with.
Recently, negotiations have again been troubled due to North Korea’s provocative behaviour and unwillingness to cooperate (Cummings). One of North Koreas most confrontational actions was in August of 1998 when the DPRK launched a two-stage ballistic missile over Japan. The missile, called the Taepo Dong-1, had a range of 950 miles (1,500 kilometers) and was the first North Korean missile capable of reaching Japan (McIntyre, 1998). Both Japan and the US viewed this action as a dangerous development in the volatile region.
In response, Japan retracted $1 billion in aid to assist in building 2 civilian nuclear reactors. The US stated that the development was of “deep concern” (McIntyre, 1998). Also, according to the Pentagon North Korea has been interested in acquiring ballistic missile technology. The country admitted for the first time earlier that year that it has sold missiles abroad. It has long been suspected of selling missile technology to Iran and Syria (McIntyre, 1998). Both of these actions were clear violations of acceptable standards of behavior.
North Korea has continued their unacceptable behaviour through their continuous threat of restarting their nuclear program. North Koreas interest in attaining nuclear weapons began soon after the Korean War as a reaction to fears that the US would use nuclear weapons during the conflict as well as South Korea’s continued inclusion under the US’s nuclear “umbrella” (Roehrig, 2003). The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) worked with China and the Soviet Union so in 1965, Pyongyang was supplied with a small nuclear research reactor from the Soviet Union.
It was installed at Yongbyon and was operational in 1967 (Roehrig, 2003). Concerns from the US and South Korea, the Republic of Korea (ROK) arose when satellite photos showed that construction was being done at the site including new reactor facilities and a reprocessing plant. To abate their concerns, North Korea signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty in 1985. Signing this agreement required that North Korea declare all nuclear material it possessed and allow international inspection of its facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure weapons were not being produced (Roehrig, 2003).
In 1988, a mishap occurred with some paperwork from the IAEA arranging the inspection resulting in North Korea “balking” at fulfilling the inspection requirements. In December 1991, after a series of talks, Seoul and Pyongyang signed a treaty agreeing to renounce the use of force against one another. They also signed another agreement that banned nuclear weapons from the peninsula. Yet the 2 sides could not agree on a procedure that ensured both parties would comply with the treaties (Roehrig, 2003). After much stalling, the DPRK finally signed the IAEA agreement and inspectors were allowed in.
However, there were discrepancies between the inspectors’ findings and the information given by the DPRK so the inspectors wanted to investigate further. The North did not comply and in a shock statement in March of 1993, declared they would withdraw from the NPT. And yet, just before the date they were to withdraw, North Korea changed their position and would stay in the treaty but they remained defiant on complying with IAEA inspection requests (Roehrig, 2003). With pressure of sanctions from the US, the DPRK agreed to their demands and then days later retracted from the agreement.
In May of 1994, North Korea unloaded it nuclear reactor, producing 8,000 fuel rods that could be reprocessed into weapon grade material. As a result, the US broke off talks with the North and threatened economic sanctions. North Korea responded saying that sanctions would be tantamount to war (Roehrig, 2003). In June 1994, former President Carter went to Pyongyang and got Kim II Sung’s agreement to freeze North Koreas nuclear program in return for high level talks with the US. Negotiations began but we re almost thwarted by the death of Kim II Sung when negotiations were nearing closure.
Negotiations resumed and in October 1994, DPRK and the US signed the Agreed Framework (Roehrig, 2003). The four main provisions of the treaty were: 1. North Korea freezing its nuclear program in return for two light-water reactors (LWR’s) capable of generating about 1,000 megawatts of power each. These would be financed and supplied by the US and its allies. LWR’s were chosen as they produce less nuclear waste, which is more difficult to turn into nuclear weapons, than North Korea’s exiting reactors. Also, LWR’s have to be shutdown to refuel which monitors can easily detect. (Roehrig, 2003)
2. Normalisation of US-DPRK relations. Within months of the agreement being signed, both sides were expected to improve bilateral relations by opening liaison offices that would later turn into embassies. Both parties were also supposed to lift trade and investment barriers (Roehrig, 2003). 3. Progress towards peace and security. Sections of the treaty were intended to improve security of the region. The US would promise not to use nuclear force against the North and the North would take steps to implement the North-South Joint Declaration and restart talks with the South (Roehrig, 2003). 4.
North Korea’s compliance with the Non-proliferation treaty. IT was intended that North Korea would forgo their nuclear weapons (Roehrig, 2003). There were suspicions that North Korea was producing nuclear weapons even though they were in the NPT treaty. Investigations in 1999 revealed that they had changed routes from a plutonium production program to a program based on highly enriched uranium (HEU), which was viewed by the international community as a nuclear crisis (Roehrig, 2003). The North’s HEU program violated several international agreements, in particular the 1994 Agreed Framework and the North-South Joint Declaration.
From North Korea’s actions, it would seem that the Agreed Framework had become irrelevant. There were many problems with the Agreement. The LWR project had been severely delayed and the North wanted compensation in the form of heavy fuel oil deliveries form the US to offset the loss of energy (Roehrig, 2003). These delivers were intended to continue until the LWR’s were finished but the HEU program brought them to an abrupt halt. This halt gave little leverage over North Korea as they were already used to having very small primary energy needs and helped Kim Jong justify the regime’s grim economic situation (Roehrig, 2003).
In December 2002, danger in Korea reared its head again. Pyongyang announced they would resume the operation and construction it is nuclear facilities to generate electricity in retaliation to the halt of heavy fuel oil deliveries, a virtual replay of the crisis that occurred almost a decade ago (Cumings, 2003). Again, inspectors were removed, the DPRK announced they would withdraw from the NPT and that any UN sanctions would be a declaration of war. The North did not, however, open the 8,000 plutonium fuel rods that were frozen previously.
Opening them could have been the provocation Washington needed to begin a pre-emptive strike on the facility. Yet, North Korea still claims it wants to establish talks to enable good relations with the US (Cumings, 2003). There is the expectation that this situation will not be resolved in the near future. The main reasons for this are the threats of pre-emptive strikes and counter pre-emption and the differing views between the US and South Korea on how to deal with the North.
South Korea wants to proceed with talks in an aim to resolve the problem while the bush administration seems set on regime change (Cumings, 2003). North Korea’s continual attempt to gain weapons of mass destruction, their provocation of resuming their nuclear program and repeated failure to abide by treaties is behaviour that warrants the label of a rogue. Until North Korea shows that they can act in a manner that is acceptable among the international community, they will remain a threat to international peace and stability and retain the label of rogue.
In conclusion, the concept of rogue states has had an interesting past. It has been used to label states that act in an unacceptable manner. While they are all very different and the degree of their unacceptable behaviour has varied greatly, the term rogue has tied them together which has forced US policy makers to threat them all in the same fashion. However, this “one size fits all” collective approach has not succeeded in resolving the unique situations in each country. As a result, the US chose to remove the term rogue from their vocabulary in exchange for “states of concern”.
With this change, it is hoped that the US and its allies will be able to deal with issues in each state specifically. In the case of North Korea, the label rogue is justifiable due to their past behaviour. But in the current situation, the US is not helping by threatening strike. It is clear that this strategy is not resulting in the desired outcome. Only when the US enters into meaningful talks with Pyongyang with the aim of restoring relations will there be a peaceful outcome to this situation and stability can be returned to the region.