North Korea has conducted its first nuclear test. Defence strategist, Brahma Chellaney believes that the nuclear test may jeopardise the US-India nuclear deal.
He further adds that the nuclear test will have major regional and international impact and could encourage Iran to adopt a hard-line stance on developing its own nuclear capabilities. CNBC-TV18 shares with domain-b its interview with Chellaney:
What is your reaction to the N Korean nuclear tests? Is North Asia likely to become a hotspot?
The North East Asia was already an international hotspot. North Korea, in particular, was feeling quite cornered and quite isolated especially because the Bush administration was pushing the doctrine of "regime change".
In addition, the six-party talks on North Korea had collapsed nearly a year ago. There was an increased feeling in Pyongyang that if they did not play the only card that they have right now, which is the nuclear card, the regime in Pyongyang would go, the way Saddam Hussein's regime went in Baghdad. So they decided to play this last card that they have.
Do you see any further heightening of tension, other than maybe a temporary one, in the next couple of weeks?
This particular test, which happened this morning, will have major international and regional repercussions. Regionally, it will make things very difficult for Japan, which has been going through a phase of renewed political assertiveness in recent years. It will certainly provoke Japan to come out of its pacifist cocoon, there is no doubt about that.
In addition, internationally this poses an immense challenge to the United States because North Korea was a member state of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. It withdrew from that sometime ago, and technically it may not have violated the treaty because it is no longer a full-fledged member.
Yet it has very serious implications in relation to the UN Security Council strategy to exert more pressure on Iran because it actually will encourage Iran to further toughen its hard-line stance on the nuclear issue.
What are the chances of it making this part of the world slightly unstable, from the market point of view. Do you think that it will have any kind of an adverse thinking from the US?
I think, in terms of the situation in East Asia, given the fact that this particular crisis will involve the two largest economies of Asia, Japan and China, it will create room for further tensions between Japan and China. Certainly, this event will have an important economic fallout, regionally and internationally.
Internationally, I think this test will complicate the already troubled US-India nuclear deal. This will further alienate the constituency in Washington, which had been warning from the word 'go' since July 2005 that this particular deal with India fell foul of the international non-proliferation regime.
Now they have been given something new to play with the North Korean issue. Therefore, I think that this deal, which is already in deep trouble, its fate is now looking increasingly uncertain.