Autocratic leaders often adopt various gimmicks to attract international attention and to boost their image before the people one of them being engaging in provocative tactics.
The latest instance is North Korea announcing to the world their successful testing of Hydrogen bomb. North Korea has been a totalitarian state for three decades with its despotic ruler controlling the movement and expression of its citizens and isolating them from the rest of the world through harsh measures. The ultimate goal of their latest move might solely be to impart a jolt to their neighbour and main foe South Korea as well as their guardian, the US thereby bolstering their image before the world nations. It’s obvious that Kim Jong-un, the dictator, on his 33rd birthday ordering his people to cheer over the ‘thrilling sound’ of their first hydrogen bomb, is treading more insanely on the path of his father Kim Il-sung who initiated the nuclear test programs. A country that had already faced international fury and sanctions from the UN earlier by its nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013, daring to attempt a more powerful H-bomb test might surely be aware of the possible consequences. Iran which was branded as the ‘axis of evil’ by the US had expressed willingness to retreat from nuclear tests after succumbing to international pressures, paving way for peace negotiations. It was then that North Korea blasted the ‘bomb of provocation’ by declaring that being an independent autocratic country it had the right to make H-bombs and that it was an answer to the US which was looking for opportunities to attack and destroy their country.
While skepticisms remain over whether North Korea had actually tested a hydrogen bomb, the general analysis is that since the event was similar to the 5.1 magnitude earthquake triggered by the atomic bomb test in 2013, it would take time in knowing the genuinity of the situation. The experts opine that if it was a hydrogen-thermonuclear bomb, the impact wouldn’t have been the same. The estimated explosive yield from the test was much smaller. Whatever the type of bomb tested, the event has sure raised fear among the world nations. UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon described it as “deeply troubling” and a challenge ‘profoundly destabilizing’ the international peace and security. Even though China that always stand by the Communist nation and Russia oppose Kim’s arrogant move, there is no guarantee that they wouldn’t change tactics when the matter is raised in the Security Council. The Security Council called for an emergency meeting following the H-bomb test. The kind of penalizing measures adopted and whether China would veto such a move are yet to be seen. Differences over the extent to which it could go other than isolating North Korea in trade sectors by imposing more economic sanctions, is normal. Even though the UN and the international community expresses their angst in the matter of nuclear weapons whenever an opportunity arises, the international pact related to nuclear tests that came into existence two decades ago is still half way. Eight other countries are set to sign the agreement. Even though four countries including the US have signed the deal, it hasn’t been ratified yet. Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea haven’t signed the treaty despite being nuclear armed. The world had watched in panic the attempts to compel Iran to withdraw from its nuclear projects. But the same efforts would clearly go in vain in the case of North Korea. It will be bootless to anticipate those like Kim to rectify his moves seeing the proposals of the Security Council.