By James Ahn, News Writer
North Korea’s missile testing has caused the US to stir in East Asia. Through America’s presence, Japan, China, and South Korea increase discussion as the US works with Japan to create a missile defense program.
The missile defense program was implemented in Japan soon after the US considered North Korea’s missile testing a valid threat. The system currently being used is the AEGIS-BMD (Ballistic Missile Defense). In addition to this, the treaty binding Japan’s ability to fully arm themselves has been lifted. It is believed that such action has been taken because of the gradual decrease in America’s economy.
Some believe that America is giving Japan the consent to defend East Asia for them since they believe it is likely that America will no longer be able to hold the title of “World Police.” On the other hand, there are others who believe that America has done this to increase firepower.
Mr. Tirkey, a humanities teacher strongly expressed his opinion, “As an economist, I can say that America is not weakening economically. I think America is making the right choices expending troops into East Asia. Now with the releasing of the martial restrictions in Japan, they can now control both their armies and share technologies with Japan.”
With America’s newfound relationship with Japan, the surrounding East Asian countries, have unintentionally become interested in America’s movement in East Asia. China was advised by America representatives about China’s responsibility as a major power, and South Korea was asked to join the missile defense program with Japan.
In regards to China, some people believe that it may become a threat as they may support North Korea. However others, like Mr. Tirkey, said that China would not have the audacity to back North Korea. As for South Korea, America has asked for an alliance to protect themselves from potential missile attacks.
Looking in detail, China has become a dominant player in the world today. The way that China has taken over the technological and economical world, supports America’s actions in China as reasonable.
Most agree that America’s activity in China is to ensure, that America hold its increasing dominance in East Asia. In contrast, others say that such actions are desperate attempts to keep China from rapidly dominating the world. One factor to consider is that China can assume control themselves, considering their influence in the world.
For South Korea, America proposed an alliance; which, according to Mr. Tirkey, was an attempt to strengthen and extend the already existing missile defense program. Korea declined, replying that they were focused on enhancing their current missile defense. However, this course of action has lead some people to believe that there are hidden reasons behind the refutation.
A common belief is that Korea’s history with Japan has created tension between the two countries ultimately preventing their cooperation. Some people, who peer deeper into the situation, considered the possibility that Korea may be worried about their economical relationship with China. Looking at South Korea’s imports and exports, China is one of their major customers. With the possibility that China may go against America, Korea would be at a loss. “Korea just may want to ally with China,” added Mr. Tirkey. “China shares the same grudge as Korea against Japan, so it’s possible that Korea could ally themselves with China.”
Looking at other surrounding countries, Russia is strongly against America’s presence in East Asia. They see it as a threat to their power and storage of weaponry. Some say that they secretly discourage North Korea’s nuclear testing in fear that the US may further increase it’s defense or create a breakthrough in warfare technology.