12th March 2013
Chairman of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Tuesday accused the US of ‘double-standards’ in dealing with nuclear proliferation and the signing of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal “in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)”.
He was speaking as the chief guest at the Islamabad-based Strategic Studies Institute’s (SSII) inaugural event with a public talk on ‘The North Korean Nuclear Issue’by Tariq Rauf, the former Head of Verification and Security Policy of IAEA. Highlighting the ‘double-standards’, Mushahid said that the US had adopted in dealing with nuclear proliferation, which undermined the NPT regime spearheaded by the US violating not only the NPT, but also its own non-proliferation laws in signing the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal. Mushahid also spoke about the duality of approach in dealing with Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran nuclear issues.
The DPRK, which carried out nuclear tests and quit the NPT and declared that it had nuclear weapons and delivery systems was treated with “kid gloves”, while Iran which persistently “denies developing nuclear weapons, allows IAEA inspections and remains in the NPT (regime) is threatened with dire consequences”. He also reminded the audience of Donald Rumsfeld’s statement in 2003 on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq that because DPRK had nuclear weapons it would not be attacked.
Dr Shireen Mazari, DG SSII who chaired the session and also introduced the SSII to the audience, emphasised that it would provide an alternate narrative on strategic studies, focusing especially on the arms control and disarmament issue area. She introduced the speaker Rauf who had been invited from Vienna for a series of talks and discussions on nuclear-related matters.
Tariq Rauf outlined the origins of the North Korean nuclear issue including the problems between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on safeguards implementation and the non-implementation of commitments made by both sides in the Bilateral DPRK-US agreed framework. He described that the eventual collapse of the Six Party Talks also designed to bring DPRK back into the NPT regime. This was a multilateral process chaired by China and including DPRK, ROK, Japan, Russian Federation and the USA.
He also gave details of the technical progress of DPRK towards its nuclear development including its three tests – 2006, 2009 and February 2013. The talk revealed the different signalling methods used by the DPRK to get negotiations going with the US as it prefers a bilateral track with the US.
Rauf concluded by asking the question: “So what to do now?” He put forward certain points in this connection beginning with the suggestion that the issue should be taken seriously, but not hyped up. He recommended the former US Secretary of Defence William Perry’s suggestion that the DPRK should be dealt with as it is not as the way the US would like it to be.
Rauf highlighted that for now there were three ‘Nos’ and two ‘Yes’: No more weapons; no improved weapons; no export of NW technologies; Yes in terms of addressing DPRK’s insecurity and Yes to using diplomacy over pressure, relaxing sanctions, focusing on broader than nuclear issue to include political, economic and security issues. The endgame should be to bring DPRK back into the NPT regime and a composite dialogue to resolve its security and economic issues. He emphasised that there should be a diplomatic resolution to the North Korean Nuclear issue.