Opinion – North Korea issue stuck in a vicious cycle: experts – Global Times

English: area map of Pyongyang Category:North ...

English: area map of Pyongyang Category:North Korea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

China‘s influential newspaper, Global Times, publishes an insightful op-ed on North Korea. It reports that China on Wednesday reminded relevant parties to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions, which do not only include putting pressure on Pyongyang using sanctions but also peaceful and diplomatic means to resolve the issue.

Source: North Korea issue stuck in a vicious cycle: experts – Global Times

The article highlights the difference between Western and Chinese expectations on North Korea. It takes a dim view of UK Prime Minister‘s statement from Tokyo that China needs to do more to restrain North Korea. The article is also quite critical of US policy in relation to North Korea. [For a Western perspective see yesterday’s NYT article]

The Global Times article fails to recognize that North Korea is the aggressor and is potentially threatening innocent people. It’s also in bad taste to highlight Japanese children seeking refuge under their school desks – this is code for ‘see, the mighty Japanese imperial army has no teeth now’.

The US must defend Japan and Guam, so we need to be very careful that North Korean escalations, don’t either deliberately or inadvertently, commit an act of war. Escalation to war level is a real risk and needs to be effectively mitigated. Trump’s tweets don’t help international diplomacy.

I don’t see who’s going to broker ‘peaceful and diplomatic means to resolve the issue’, so are we looking at war?




Opinion – The UK Life Sciences Industrial Strategy – Gov.uk

The UK Life Sciences Industrial Strategy document issued by the UK government is attracting world media attention but the devil’s in detail. There are no assumptions, scenarios, risk analysis/mitigation. If this is typical quality of Brexit papers, no wonder the EU is pushing back.

The report is written by Life Science’s Champion Professor Sir John Bell, and provides recommendations to government on the long term success of the life sciences sector. It was written in collaboration with industry, academia, charity, and research organisations. The report is organised into 7 themes:

  • Health Advanced Research Programme (HARP) proposal
  • reinforcing the UK science offer
  • growth and infrastructure
  • NHS collaboration
  • data
  • skills
  • regulation

Sir John Bell was commissioned by government to put forward proposals for a sector deal in the Industrial Strategy green paper.

Perhaps, I am being too harsh on this report but it doesn’t seem to deal with context, political risk and accept the massive economic downside risks from Brexit?

I am sure that Sir John Bell knows his subject but this report fails to address the economic, social and political risks going forward.

What really concerns me is Theresa May’s government trying to publish a series of similar reports and thinking that they have a strategy for Brexit – it’s dreaming or sleepwalking – and in the cold light of day, it will surely lead to disaster?