On September 21, 2016, world leaders gathered at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to discuss matters related to international peace and security. During the assembly, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that Japan’s nuclear threat has reached a “different dimension.”
According to Abe, North Korea has already launched 21 ballistic missiles and administered two nuclear tests within this year alone. Several of the missiles have breached Japanese waters, 200 nautical miles away from its coast.
“There is no alternative but to say that the threat has now reached a dimension altogether different from what has transpired until now,” Abe stated.
On September 9, CNN reported that North Korea had successfully tested its most powerful weapon yet: a 10-kiloton nuclear warhead. This week, it’s testing a new weapon of mass destruction: a high-powered rocket missile that can be detonated across multiple continents. North Korea has persisted in their nuclear warhead testing, despite grave warnings from South Korea.
“We must therefore respond to this in a manner entirely distinct from our responses thus far. We must concentrate our strengths and thwart North Korea’s plans,” Abe stated, as he urged the United Nations to take action.
Abe used a metaphor to describe the fragility of peace; if peace were glass, then when it’s properly maintained and taken care of there are no problems. However, one small crack can cause the entire structure to shatter. In order to avoid this kind of catastrophe, cracks must be addressed immediately before they get to the breaking point.
This December will mark Japan’s 60th anniversary as a member of the United Nations. Japan’s total contribution to the U.N. well exceeds over $20 billion, making them the second largest contributor behind the U.S. In addition, Japan has given $334.5 billion to its overseas development initiative, marking a deep-rooted commitment to world peace.