The year in cartoons: ping-pong nuclear

Illustration: Garnotte
If tensions between North Korea and the United States have generated as much attention, it is also due to the particular personality of the two protagonists — or table tennis — for this escalation.

The council geopolitical-diplomatic of the year? It is necessary to focus on “the approach was reasonable and not emotional, instead of having a playground where children fight without that nobody can stop them”.

The only fact that the head of the diplomacy of russia (Sergei Lavrov) has thought good to reiterate that this principle is fairly fundamental of international relations illustrates the kind of year that was 2017 the scale of trade between North Korea and the United States : the epic and the novel.


Make the complete list of invectives launched by Donald Trump or Kim Jong-un could divert a good portion of this page. A summary tight would rather that Jong-un is a “rocket man” (human rocket), a “small big” and a ” lunatic.” Donald Trump is ” old ” and “mentally disturbed” — among others.


More important than these gibes of an academic nature, especially the military threats very explicit (and the many demonstrations of the capabilities of shooting in Pyongyang) that are of concern to the observers.


“I disciplinerai by the fire gâteux american “, he promised, Kim Jong-un. Ah yes ? North Korea will face the power of “fire and fury such as the world has never seen,” replied the american president, while predicting the “total destruction” of Korea.


Y a-t-he real danger of war, behind this apparent game of ping-pong nuclear ? Founder of the Raoul Dandurand Chair of strategic and diplomatic studies, Charles-Philippe David speaks rather of a ” test of will and credibility of both sides, where each notifies the other of its intentions, and what he will not accept. In itself, this is not new in international relations “.


More than the nuclear issue, it is the management of this issue that is of concern to Mr. David. “This is not the first time that non-democratic leaders have the nuclear bomb. I can also understand that Kim Jong-un, like his father and grand-father before him, believes that the acquisition of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee of survival of his regime. “

Photo: Garnotte

Thus, in his eyes, the scenario dangerous is not so much that North Korea is a nuclear State more than the idea that Washington might wish to stop this threat once and for all. However, ” you can’t think that one will go to disarm North Korea, said Mr. David. It is illusory, and it is a scenario that would have terrible consequences. You may not think that the north Korean regime will voluntarily agree to dismantle its program. “


So what ? “We must accept that North Korea could be a nuclear State, and to outline a doctrine that is clear in relation to this : what Trump says that any attack against the United States or an ally will be followed by reprisal without appeal. A bit like Jimmy Carter did in 1980 during the crisis with Iran and Afghanistan. “


In other words : to deal with the problem and set clear limits, while keeping in mind that a nuclear attack is not feasible for a person. Everything here is a game of power or of propaganda, but everything should just remain a form of gambling.

Between Trump and Jong-a, I think I fear more the us president
Charles-Philippe David, founder of the Raoul Dandurand Chair

The personalities in question


If the tensions between these two countries have generated so much attention, it is also due to the particular personality of the two protagonists — or table tennis — for this escalation. “It is quite in the domain of originality,” says Charles-Philippe David.


“Even thinking about the mood swings of Nikita Khrushchev [involved in the cuban missile crisis in 1962], the theory of Richard Nixon the [“madman theory,” which was based on the idea of believing in the communist bloc that it was irrational and unstable] or Mao who gave the impression to be a little crazy, I don’t see the comparison, ” notes the specialist.


“And between Trump and Jong-a, I think I fear more the american president,” he adds. When it manages the nuclear, this is certainly not the time to be unexpected and irrational. And obviously, a year of presidency has not changed this trait in Donald Trump. “


But Charles-Philippe David notes ” if the risk of skidding is possible, there is for the moment more of a show and symbols of real evil. It is in a diplomacy of ” tweet “, and, luckily, the words do not kill “.