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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

N. Korea's Nuclear Test a Plus for India if...

North Korea has finally done it. The west, especially Bush's government, wants Kim Jong Il to go away; he says to US I won't unless you talk to me directly and sign a non-aggression treaty.

The usual dire predictions follow after the nuclear test. Most are garbage; some are probably true. But if one does nothing to change the situation, the problem will fester and grow. Until now, US has tied Japan's hand and questions S. Korea loyalty if it speaks up and want to pursue a different path with fellow Koreans to the north. China was playing its own game that it usually plays.

Come a nuclear test by dear leader.

As long as Bush/Cheney are in charge, not much will change on North Asia power tussle – US won’t engage with N. Korea and Chinese will bit for time and prop up its buddy.

It is now that India should act - in the next two years - to frame the geopolitical situation to its advantage vis-à-vis China. India should ramp up its dialogue with Japan and form a strategic partnership with close military ties. Shinzo Abe as PM, an Indophile, would be big a help to move forward. China is already courting Japan's new PM, but things will remain testy between the two giants as long as they are perceived to be equals. China won't rest until it has complete hegemony in the region. And then there is this rouge state. Its big brother, China, is no help to Japan. India should step in, just behind US, to make a case for close military partnership with Japan.

From a purely geostrategic India's stand point, while we can't control or have influence on the situation, dear leader's test would be a positive if the Japanese don't talk themselves out of going nuclear (following persuasion from US and manipulative antagonism from the Chinese). US has already started the persuasion game, trying to push China to make N. Korea fold its cards, so that Japan stays non-nuclear.

Judging from Chinese indignant reaction to the test, it is nice to see N. Korea biting China's behind after China enabled nuclear proliferation from pak and from itself. Now if only we can form a strategic partnership with Japan (along with a few big SE countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia) to form a loose circle around the dragon.

Until now India had to watch over its shoulders, namely pak, when worrying about China. If India acts, China will have to watch over its shoulder, namely Japan, when worrying about India.

The missing piece is our utterly unimaginative MEA and PMO along with an unstrategic and almost naive Manmohan. A big missing piece, indeed.


Apun Ka Desh said...

Very Good Analysis - and completely agree with it.

This indeed is the way to go... but alas... our Govt. Babu's are fast asleep.

Chandra said...

Thanks Apun ka desh!