most dangerous mistake regarding North Korea could result from erroneous
intelligence. It´s a real possibility. I know from a number of examples that
intelligence agencies, even the best resourced and the most experienced ones,
tend to make mistakes on critical matters. That´s particularly the case when
they are under serious political pressure, as it is the case.
the relevant intelligence people come to the conclusion that the North is about
to launch some kind of nuclear or other threatening device, our side might then
decide that the time for pre-emptive action is upon us. In these matters, decisions
are taken fast.
they have been taken, it might be too late to contain and mitigate their
the first point in such a delicate situation as the current one is to make sure
the intelligence work is carried out as professionally as possible, outside any
type of political compulsion. Secondly, it is essential to fully consider the
regional leaders ´opinion. Particularly, the South Korean ones, who are at
present at the end of a decisive presidential campaign for an election
scheduled for May 9. This is their region and in the world of today, their
views are of paramount importance.
North Korea´s dangerously aggressive posture remains a major issue in the
international political agenda. Consequently, the UN Security Council met
yesterday on the matter. This was a meeting at the ministerial level as to
demonstrate the seriousness of the most recent developments related to the
US approach to make use of extreme diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang deserves
support. Diplomacy passes through Beijing. The key to convince Kim Jong Un to
abandon the accelerated missile and nuclear programmes is held by China.
Therefore, the efforts on the diplomatic front must focus on very close
contacts with the Chinese leadership.
is also true that China does not appreciate a deeper US presence in the region.
In particular, it remains strongly opposed to the THAAD missile deployment that
the US has launched in South Korea. But that disagreement should not be an
excuse. China must use all its leverage on North Korea.
US additional show of force can be justified by the recent threats coming from
the North. It should also be recognised that it contributes to intensify the
atmosphere of crisis. But it is also obvious that the main cause of tension
comes from Kim´s options.
North Korean leader must understand that the American policy has changed. It is
in his own interest, besides the interests of his fellow citizens.
the last few hours there have been some noises regarding direct action against
Kim himself. I would not be surprised if it is confirmed that such action is under
review. However, that or any preventive strike – and we have been further away
from a strike than we are today – would cause hell in the Peninsula, and in the
trust that people who decide about these matters fully understand what is at
I only have questions. And they are in a very different field but in the end they
might be of tremendous importance for matters of peace and human rights. And
these are the two most important dimensions in any human life.
let's list the questions. They concern robots.
we teach robots ethics and international law? Do we need to?
there a real threat that robots could go beyond the actions they have been
programmed for? What should be the limits when designing and programming an
extremely smart robot?
it is time to start looking at these interrogations.
campaign for the final round of the French presidential election – to be held
on May 7 – has started. The actions so far show a country that is deeply
divided. And also, leaders that have lost their sense of direction and above
all, the courage to be clear about what is at stake. We are confronted with a terribly
dangerous mix of abysmal personal resentment with a large and widespread dose
of political confusion.
is obvious this is a time that calls for profound changes in the way politics
are conducted in France.
Pen´s camp belongs to the old order. It represents the past in so many ways. Certainly,
not the future.
I see a lot of rage in the ranks of her supporters.
Le Pen's political style and posture reminds me of the caudillos of another era.
should not be blind to the way she conducts her public performances and deaf to
what she says. This candidate and her words are animated by feelings of intolerance,
resentment, negative passions, and violence against the opponents.
attitudes and beliefs should be exposed relentlessly.
recent US statements on the current status of the Iran Nuclear deal are not
wise. They contradict the position of all the other signatories of the
agreement, leaving the US alone on such a delicate matter. That´s what I would
call to paint oneself into a corner by trying to appear smarter and bolder than
the other key members of the international community.
the new war of words coming from Washington towards Iran opens an additional
front of conflict at a time no one has a clear understanding of the Trump
Administration's strategy on Syria and North Korea. Why should they want to have
one more problem on the table at this stage when the two others are already
complex and dangerous enough? And confusing, as well.
assailant that yesterday attacked the police officers on duty at the Champs Elysées
had a long past of criminal behaviour. He spent many years in jail. And all
those who knew him a bit agree he was a deeply deranged fellow.
As we take these facts into account, we must
raise a number of questions about the workings of the penitentiary system, the
failures – or at least, the limitations – of the re-education programmes, the
inefficiency of the back-to-society policies and also the way our institutional
arrangements miss the target when it comes to deal with extremely violent
All these matters need to be seriously thought through, and challenged,
if we are indeed committed to making our environment safer.
worrisome to see the Turkish society being pushed towards more political radicalisation
and deeper national divisions. It´s also a matter of great concern to watch its
leadership moving away from accepted democratic principles. And taking the
country in a direction that is contrary to greater proximity with the EU.
are a number of shockingly bizarre leaders and unacceptable governance regimes
in the world. The North Korean one is certainly the strangest system. But,
above all, it is a very serious menace to peace in the region, not to mention
the human rights violations its citizens suffer on a daily basis.
is also an extremely militarised country. By far, number one on this category.
And on top of it, it is absolutely unpredictable.
unpredictability is the main cause of deep concern in the region and also for
the US, a country that has a strong strategic presence in the Korean Peninsula
and in neighbouring Japan.
the most pressing question is how to deal with such unpredictability. That´s
what is under very active discussion in the special rooms where strategy is
North Korean problem is very much linked to Kim´s power base. Therefore, its
solution passes above all through a package of actions that can undermine the
dictator's personal standing. Among other measures, which also include ridiculing
the man, the diplomatic and economic ones are the most impactful. That means a
very high degree of diplomatic isolation of the regime and the intensification
of the economic and financial sanctions.
question cannot be resolved through bombs and bombastic declarations. Such an approach
would be used by Kim Jong-Un to his own advantage. External military action
against the regime will allow him to further entrench himself in power.