China’s quit notice to North Korea: Should Nigeria follow suit
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, in his address at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States of America, on September 9, 2017, drew attention of the world to the North Korean nuclear crisis, which he aptly described as a matter of “grave concern”. By saying that “the most pressing threat to international peace and security today is the accelerated nuclear weapons development programme by North Korea”, Buhari captured the feelings and, of course, the position of the most critical sectors of the world community.
The last UNGA really provided an absolutely perfect opportunity for the world to tackle itself by way of identifying and effectively addressing all issues and situations that clearly seek to cause unimaginable damage to humanity.. In all aspects, the North Korean issue or more precisely, the growing quarrel between North Korea and the rest of the world represents the most depressing challenges to all countries.
It is in recognition of this fact that even those countries like China, which had been known to be natural allies of North Korea, have, in the present circumstances, taken practical steps to deal with the situation. The issuance, by Chinese government, of 120-day quit notice to North Korean companies to vacate China is about the toughest measure taken against North Korea over its nuclear development programme.
The feud between North Korea and, by extension, some powerful western countries has, of course, always been there with all its potential for multiplication and escalation.. More often than not, the issue of nuclear weapons development or some other weapons of mass destruction engages most countries because of the huge threat element in it.
Over time and particularly now, North Korea has demonstrated tremendous defiance against the whole world by not only continuously developing nuclear weapons but also by testing them. In fact by testing the weapons up to six times, North Korea has proven to be most daring and completely unconcerned about human survival and world peace.
It is in the context of this defiance that the decision of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to impose tough sanctions on North Korea can be fairly appreciated. In its bid to show resentment to what is generally considered as recalcitrance of North Korea and a support for the stance of the United Nations, America has taken some other tough measures against the country.
By the UN sanctions, banks of member countries are required to terminate transactions with North Korean banks in addition to the fact that those countries should, henceforth, not issue work permit or authorization to workers and investors from North Korea. All these are decisions taken by the international community in order to tackle a country that has been showing absolute contempt toward the whole world.
As quite remarkable as the actions of UN against North Korea have appeared to be, it is the 120-day quit notice issued to North Koreans by the Chinese authorities, though immensely laudable, that has beaten the imagination of most people of the world. China was for long perceived as a blind supporter of North Korea that nobody had ever thought could take such a decision.
In fact, China and North Korea both of which are communist countries had always been considered as two sides of the same coin. Neither of them was ever expected to go against the other in whichever circumstances.
The decision of China to not only show disapproval against North Korea’s nuclear development programme but even take such a punitive measure is the clearest of all indications that the two countries have now parted ways with the former aligning with the rest of the world towards the protection of humanity against destructive actions of the latter.
Certainly, the prevailing scenario with regards to the nuclear development programme of North Korea supports and even re-enforces the call by Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria at the last UNGA for “all member – states to ratify without delay the treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons”. His insistence that “necessary pressure and diplomatic efforts must be brought on North Korea to accept peaceful resolution of the crisis” is a further testimony of Nigeria’s commitment to avert a calamity which even before it occurs reminds the world of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings during the Second World War with all their monumental harsh effects on humans and environment.
Presidents Buhari’s statements at the last UNGA were and are still a morale booster to all lovers of peace and development in the world. The statements have indicated not only the concern but also the courage of the President to join the United Nations as well as some countries like America and China in the bid to tackle North Korea before it causes a war that can cause unimaginable demographic, economic and environmental dislocations in the world.
Therefore, the expectation that Nigeria will readily follow China example by issuing quit notice to North Koreans is a very valid one. The stance and auction of North Korea, which are absolutely inimical to the world peace and development, can only be effectively countered when countries like Nigeria emulate China in this regard.
It is, in fact, this kind of approach and disposition that can facilitate the actualization of Nigeria’s bid for appointment or recognition as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. In addition to its present status as the most leading and most competent representative of Africa in the international community, Nigeria needs to, at all times, champion causes that quarantee world peace.
Already, the pronouncements of President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue are quite indicative of a total readiness of Nigerian authorities to go all the way in dealing with a situation that portends a grave danger for everyone and everywhere. This is about the only path of honour that remains for Nigeria to take.
Gimi writes from Kaduna
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