The Japanese are in a fury about the latest nuclear bomb test in North Korea. As well they might. The cultural memory of the cruelties of the Japanese during their invasion of the eastern seaboard of Asia from 1910 through to the end of the Second World War in 1945 is still strong in the minds of many Manchurians, Koreans, Chinese and inhabitants of other south-east Asian countries. But it’s only the North Koreans where the hatred of Japan is still constantly referred to.
Japan is also the direction in which North Korea persists in firing its short and medium range test rockets. Now that it has developed its nuclear bomb — supposedly now more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb — it won’t be long before it could, hypothetically, destroy Japan. Japan could do little about it, not having a navy — not at least until starting on one very recently — or a nuclear weapon of its own.
But a nuclear missile fired at Japan would never happen, of course. Or, rather, if it did, then China, Russia or America or perhaps all three of them in association would instantly drop another one on Pyongyang and wipe out Kim Jong-un’s government and, indeed, the existence of North Korea as an independent nation-state.
North Korean politicians would know this. This is why nothing serious will ever be attempted. By all means send a warning note to North Korea, but otherwise not to get excited about it. There are far more dangerous nuclear possibilities in the world than North Korea — Pakistan versus India, for example, or Iran versus Saudi Arabia. A watching brief over North Korea is all that will be necessary. North Koreans are extremely clever people, given enough time and de facto recognition that they have ‘arrived’ as a nation then there’s a good chance that it will mature into a better-balanced country.