Expert on Korea Speaks at JMU

By: Lauren McKay
By: Lauren McKay

Wednesday afternoon a leading expert on Korea spoke at James Madison University. Dr. Marcus Noland says the obvious concern is that North Korea will transfer technology, or nuclear weapons to a regime whose possession of those materials would make the United States uncomfortable.

Dr. Marcus Noland of the Institute of International Economics in Washington, D.C. Is a leading expert on Korea. He says North Korea has been involved with criminal activities and criminal gangs around the world and that they are well acquainted with smuggling networks. Noland says because of this, it's feared that North Korea may give weapons away. "I think the idea that somehow some of this stuff could end up in the hands of Al-qaida or some other organization is not completely fanciful," says Dr. Marcus Noland.

Noland says Japan will react to North Korea's nuclear testing. "Japan is going to react, Japan's initial reaction is going to be increased defense expenditure, probably increased cooperation with the United States in things like national missile defense," says Noland. Part of that cooperation, Noland says, could be Japan allowing the U.S. to come into their country and fight the battle with North Korea from there. "It is conceivable to me that Japan, as kind of an intermediate step, would invite the United States to station short range nuclear missiles in Japan as a deterrent to the North Koreans, but under U.S. control as kind of a reassurance to the rest of Asia that this is not a resurgence of unchecked Japanese militarism," says Noland. Noland says Japan could also develop its own nuclear capability.

Noland compared the issue with North Korea to the situation the U.S. was in with Pakistan in 1998. He says in the end, the world saw Pakistan as a nuclear power and he thinks the same thing will happen with North Korea.

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