The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is again participating in US-led military exercises in the Korean peninsula. The US claims these are necessary to protect South Korea against an invasion from the North, but this has absolutely no credibility. The military budget of the US and its allies is some US$1000 billion, between 100 and 1000 times that of North Korea. The idea of North Korea starting a war against those odds is preposterous. More plausibly the exercises are to practise a potential invasion of North Korea and a subsequent war with China.
It is understandable that the NZDF wants to play with the big boys’ toys – this is the largest military exercise in the world – and New Zealand prime ministers like to play golf with American presidents. But these are scarcely valid reasons to imperil the security of the nation and its economic well-being.
The situation is particularly tense in the aftermath of the announcement of the deployment of the THAAD component of the US missile defense system in South Korea – which both China and Russia see as aimed at them – and the US facing off China in the South China Sea.
New Zealand should not be unthinkingly exacerbating these tensions but rather seeking to defuse them. Our security, and our economy are contingent on peace in East Asia and that objective should be the basis of our foreign policy.
Tim Beal – Chairman
Peter Wilson – Secretary
All correspondence should be addressed to Peter Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org
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