A fraqueza poderosa da Coreia do Norte

CAMBRIDGE – Quando o Presidente dos EUA, Barack Obama, e o Presidente chinês, Xi Jinping, reuniram-se para a sua cimeira “shirt-sleeves”, na Califórnia, no mês passado, a Coreia do Norte foi um grande tema de conversa. O tema não era novo, mas o tom era.

Há mais de duas décadas, a Agência Internacional de Energia Atómica surpreendeu a Coreia do Norte a violar o seu acordo de salvaguardas e a reprocessar plutónio. Depois de o Norte ter renunciado ao subsequente Quadro Acordado, negociado pela administração do Presidente Bill Clinton, em 2003, expulsou os inspectores da AIEA e denunciou o Tratado de Não-Proliferação Nuclear. Desde então, detonou três engenhos nucleares e realizou uma série de testes com mísseis.

Durante essas duas décadas, os representantes norte-americanos e chineses discutiram frequentemente o comportamento da Coreia do Norte, tanto em reuniões particulares como em reuniões públicas. Os chineses sempre disseram que não queriam que a Coreia do Norte desenvolvesse armas nucleares, mas alegaram que tinham influência limitada sobre o regime, apesar de serem o principal fornecedor de alimentos e de combustível. O resultado foi uma discussão um tanto ou quanto planeada, na qual a China e os EUA iriam realizar pouco mais do que professar a desnuclearização como um objectivo partilhado.

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