Monday, June 01, 2009

North Korea: The Canadian Compromise

We are on the verge of a crisis and we are doing nothing. The Koreas are at war and the world watches. North Korea, the poverty-stricken and communist dictatorship, has developed the technology to launch long-range missiles capable of striking Alaska and has demonstrated its nuclear capability.

Where other countries act to retaliate or to punish the small red nation out of fear, Canada must act out of reason. Where others act to threaten, to isolate, and to alienate the Northern Korea; we must act to reconcile, to resolve, and to end this conflict before it begins. Before people are at war, before cities are destroyed, and before mad men make mad decisions.

We are a nation integral to the global political economy. In this world where international relations are dominated by power struggles, Canada has the unique position of being both on the stage and in the audience; of not just being an actor performing one part, but also as a spectator who can see them all.

The possibility of an outbreak of hostilities is an imperative for Canada to act and at the same time our distance and international position allows us to act with perspective. The Koreas, the US, Japan, China, and Russia, by sharing a history steeped in conflict, distrust, and tension, have the danger of acting out of self-interest and not reason.

While others are enflamed with extreme patriotism and others with fear, Canada must act; not to fight, not to isolate, but to act for caution. Caution from both dictatorial ambition and populist fear. Canada should offer an opportunity for North Korea and other interested nations to discuss a resolution to this impending conflict. An opportunity not for North Korean dominance or for its complete surrender, but Canada should offer an opportunity for compromise.

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