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“China that does not restrain North Korea” is a concern

(Mainichi: February 17, 2016, Evening edition – p. 7)

 

 The Mainichi Shimbun interviewed visiting Executive Director of IISS-US Mark Fitzpatrick. He has been in charge of North Korean policies in the U.S. government. “The launch indicated little progress in missile technology,” said the director regarding the latest de facto ballistic missile launch by the DPRK on Feb. 7. “But the greatest concern is that China remains reluctant to restrain North Korea.”

 

 Except that the missile payload was doubled compared with that of the missile launch in December 2012, “The latest missile launch was almost the same as the previous one,” said Fitzpatrick. “The completion of the development of the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is still not in sight and the DPRK is incapable of attacking Los Angeles or Washington D.C.” Fitzpatrick presumes North Korea went ahead with the missile launch despite its lack of technological sophistication because “Kim Jong-un wanted to demonstrate his power to the public.”

 

 In regard to China’s reluctance to impose new sanctions on North Korea under the UN Security Council, the director provided this analysis: “China seems to be trying not to pressure North Korea because if the DPRK becomes unstable, there could be aftershocks in the Chinese region bordering North Korea.” On the other hand, Fitzpatrick pointed out that while enhancing its unilateral economic sanctions against North Korea, the U.S. aims to develop its missile defense (MD) in cooperation with Japan and South Korea in order to have the DPRK eventually decide against developing ICBM.

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