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Trump-Kim summit: beginning of another fiasco?

North Korea will have to wait for a while to see what is more hurting: American sanctions or trusting America. It is interesting that after stampeding Iran nuclear deal only weeks ago President Trump found a willing state to ink a fresh but highly vague nuclear framework. True to his usual Madman approach towards diplomacy, Trump has declared that the North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat. NorthKorean media has since switched over to a jubilant mode, calling it a great victory, claiming that North Korea had won major concessions as the US president said: “the World has taken a big step back from potential Nuclear catastrophe!” “No more rocket launches, nuclear testing or research! The hostages are back home with their families. Thank you to Chairman Kim, our day together was historic!” Trump had twittered. Kim had made great gestures prior to summit, dismantling of nuclear testing site, removal of three top military generals and letting go American hostages alongside a promise of a moratorium on missile testing as well. On the other hand, Trump played hard, he even walked away from the summit; he reverse paddled after receiving a big letter from Kim. Retired Admiral Harry Harris, the US ambassador designate to South Korea has challenged Trump's claim that North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat to the world, saying that "we have to continue to worry about that." North Korea’s media said that President Trump had not only promised to end joint military drills with South Korea, but also to lift sanctions and allow a “step-by-step” denuclearization process, rather than the immediate dismantling of its nuclear program. Independent analysts have pointed to the lack of substance in the agreement that has committed the US to unspecified security guarantees for North Korea in exchange for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Many have said that though Pyongyang had vowed in the past to denuclearize but had repeatedly broken such promises.On paper, there is nothing President Trump could extract from North Korean leader, that Kim’s father and grandfather had not already given to past American presidents. In fact, he got less, at least for now. Did Kim play blind or he has had credible assurances through back channels. While analysts were hoping that after Iran nuclear deal fiasco, it would be Kim, walking away from the summit citing credibility issue with Trump, he was seen as dying for the summit, this eagerness surprised many. Have long biting sanctions sapped Kim’s will to resist, or is there an undercover understanding on the issue between China and the US on the final outcome of settlement.

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America Shreds Iran Nuclear Deal

America shreds Iran nuclear dea

Strategically, nuke and missile rattling North Korea suits the US, for it provides justification for keeping the US garrison in South Korea, setting up Missile Defence systems in the ribs of China and Russia and ultimately procuring a request from South Korea for redeploying US nukes. Under the circumstances, when deal with North Korea was clearly visible, one tend to think whether timing of withdrawal from Iranian deal was carefully selected so as not to let the deal with North Korea materialize. While undoing the legacies of his predecessor, President Donald Trump is ending up in eroding American credibility beyond redemption. With one rash announcement, Trump has imperiled peace and shown the rest of the world that his country cannot be counted on to abide by international agreements. He is in such an indecent hurry that he does not care about the crippling voids he is leaving behind. His latest action of shredding the Iran nuclear deal has not only isolated the US but has also marginalized his persona among his countrymen. Top American generals and UN mandated nuclear regulator International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) are of the view that Iran has not violated the 2015 deal. Leading officials of American military establishment contrary to Trump’s remarks that the deal was most flawed, think of the deal “pretty robust” in the words of Defence Secretary James Mattis. Even officials of Israeli military believed the agreement to be a "fair one". The deal was a win-win deal for all parties involved. While Trump has announced that the US will exit the nuclear agreement for it has “terrible flaws”, he failed to point out any one section of the deal that hampers the US interests. Instead, he relied on evidence that does not suggest a single instance where Iran is in violation of the nuclear agreement. North Korea will think many times over before entering into a nuclear deal in which the US is a party.

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Meltdown of Post-cold war world order

Meltdown of post cold war world order

Chinese opposition to entry of non-NPT countries to Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and UK’s exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU) have set the course for changes in the prevalent US led unipolar World Order. The US wanted the UK to stay in EU as it’s “Man” and wanted India getting into the NSG as full member while keeping Pakistan out, despite latter’s better credentials. In both cases, otherwise has happened indicated meltdown of post-cold war world order.Long awaited bipolarity in the World Order may be at a fairly advanced stage. Keeping in view Pakistan’s close relations with China, the evolving situation would expose Pakistan to challenges as well as opportunities, for which it needs to brace up. Pakistan would feel incremental squeeze from American side, it needs to make a bold course correction to come out of the trap of its critical dependencies on the US—especially direct budgetary support and military hardware. Moreover, Pakistan should take robust measures for its macro-economic stability to face the bumps of politico economic changes that are on their way.

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America and Pakistan’s nuclear programme

Nawaz Obama Summit

Father of Pakistan's nuclear programme Abdul Qadeer Khan said while addressing a gathering in Islamabad on the 18th anniversary of Pakistan's first nuclear tests, that: “We were able and we had a plan to launch nuclear test in 1984. But President General Zia-ul-Haq had opposed the move”. Presidents Zia-ul- Haq and CarterHe thought it could invoke international military intervention and curtailment of aid flow. Notwithstanding, his commitment to Pakistan's nuclear weapon programme was unwavering: as firm as iron. Progress towards comprehensive nuclear disarmament is being delayed by some countries who advocate abstinence for others but are unwilling to give up their large inventories of nuclear weapons or their modernisation ambitions. Instead of fulfilling their legal disarmament obligations, these States have exclusively pursued non-proliferation with messianic zeal. The largest event of the century in the context of horizontal nuclear non-proliferation is Indo-US Agreement 123, which has set the precedent of keeping nuclear power reactors outside IAEA safeguards. The Indo-US nuclear deal provides India with fissile material for at least 50 additional warheads every year sans all other resources. Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz informed Senate on May 19 that Pakistan is considering to move a resolution in United Nations General Assembly in the next session, urging it to declare the Indian Ocean a “nuclear free zone”. Pakistan is planning to highlight the dangerous implications of India’s plans to nuclearize the Indian Ocean at all relevant international forums. Issue of recent test of India’s advanced air defence missile Ashwin would also be raised with all major powers ‘bilaterally and multilaterally’. Here, one could recall the fate of similar efforts by Pakistan during 1980s to declare South Asia a nuclear weapon free zone. Pakistan’s new effort of having Indian Ocean declared as nuclear free zone shall also meet similar end. Since the inception of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, America is orchestrating a smear campaign against it. Fast forward: On May 27, 2016 deputy spokesperson of US State Department Mark Toner made this tilt more clear and visible when he blatantly declared that India is entitled to and qualifies for the membership of the NSG. While trying to prove Indian credentials for the NSG membership, the deputy spokesperson totally ignored the legitimate right of Pakistan in this regard. The US is likely to continue its discriminatory policy and go an extra mile to help New Delhi become member of the NSG. This coupled with nuclearization of Indian Ocean could dangerous repercussions and is bound to trigger a nuclear arms race in the region. Pakistan’s policy makers must revisit and review their approach in dealing with the United States, without straining our ties with Washington. There is need to strengthen our lobbying in the United States to present our point of view more effectively.

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