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Should Canada Fear North Korea?

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There is perhaps no greater insult than for the global community to ignore your country's threats to nuke a handful of other countries. But for many years, some would say North Korea's attempts at nuclear intimidation have gone relatively neglected. In fact, the U.S. has gone to war over much less.

Alejandro Cao de Benos, one of North Korea's foreign relations conduits -- he is originally from Spain but sprouted an adoration for North Korea and has been bestowed its rare honorary citizenship -- says his adoptive country tests about 200 missiles of all sizes every year. He says they test these to demonstrate their nuclear technology, and they vow that they can strike any U.S. Army base in the event of an American attack.

"These are demonstrations to all nations that will ever consider a pre-emptive imperialist attack," said Cao de Benos. "There is no other way against the biggest military superpower, the U.S. Only nuclear weapons can be taken seriously. Other regular military hardware will never be enough...and using force or strangling our economy will never produce the results they believe."

Granted, it is difficult to take North Korea's threats seriously when often even their missile tests go awry -- very publicly and embarrassingly so -- but they don't seem too bothered and they soldier on. It is likely too complimentary to the North Koreans to entertain the idea that some of their test missiles were meant to land in the odd places they did.

Given Canada's close proximity and alliance with the U.S., and North Korea's abhorrence of that "imperialist" country and everything it represents, the question is whether Canadians should feel fearful of North Korean missiles -- in the event they can reach our neighbour, or accidentally strike us instead.

Should Canadians be afraid? "Only if they support a US-led invasion; the general perception is that Canada is too much under U.S. political influence," said Cao de Benos. "The DPRK's policy is to open its arms and fully develop all relations to any country that respects our government and way of life. Threats and sanctions will never contribute to improve the situation and any pressure will receive a strong answer."

North Korea says it feels that its relationship with South Korea was going relatively well from 2000-2008, but former President Lee Myung-bak destroyed all agreements from the two previous administrations and brought the Koreas to the verge of war. Cao de Benos says South Korea's new President, Park Geun-hye, has promised to improve inter-Korean relations.

"Let's see if it's true," says Cao de Benos. "Our thinking and our voice in the DPRK has always been the same: We want peace but will never beg for it."

As for any hope of a de-nuclearized North Korea, Cao de Benos isn't shy to share that it is not even a remote possibility.

Nuclearization "is an answer to the double-standards of the U.S. and its puppets in the UN Security Council," says Cao de Benos. "The UN Security Council has lost all of its credibility and impartiality by applying sanctions under U.S. pressure... while so many other countries test atomic weapons as they wish. So our Government rejected absolutely such an unjust and pre-potent resolution."

Sanctions did not work on North Korea for 60 years, says Cao de Benos, and will not work in the future.

"What they have achieved is that we have cancelled the six-party talks and there will be no future negotiations regarding de-nuclearization. You cannot invite someone to negotiate at a table when you are insulting and punishing him beforehand. This is unacceptable arrogance and a direct attack against the dignity and sovereignty of the DPRK."

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Cao de Benos says, is another U.S. "imperialist tool of double standards."

While Cao de Benos says the DPRK will act in a defensive way that involves nuclear warheads, he stresses that North Korea is not proactively threatening and wishes that capitalist countries would leave them to their own social philosophies.

"The DPRK does not say to the U.S. or Canadian citizens how they should be ruled or what kind of political system they must choose," he says. "Each country has its own people's path and it is time for the empires to respect that premise."

With a new North Korean leader taking the country's nuclear reins, the world might have thought that North Korea had the opportunity to change, but that is unlikely. Cao de Benos says Marshal Kim Jong Un is following in the footsteps of the country's former leaders, and among the young leader's most boastful qualities are his "military commanding capabilities" and his "loyalty."

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