Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

Policy Proposals

2008.07.04 (Fri)

Again, We Oppose the Removal of North Korea from the SST List

July 4, 2008

Recommendations from JINF (Japan Institute for National Fundamentals)

Again, We Oppos e the Removal of North Korea from the SST List


We urge the U.S. not to remove North Korea from the SST (State Sponsor of Terrorism) list, as doing so would violate U.S. domestic law.

We urge Japan to consider taking assertive steps toward strengthen ing independent deterrent force s , which would include exploring the reevaluati o n of the Three Non-Nuclear Principles.

On June 26, 2008, the U.S. government notified Congress of its intention to rescind North Korea’s designation as an SST (State Sponsor of Terrorism). Barring the enactment of a blocking resolution, the rescission may take effect within 45 days (on August 11).

JINF has devoted considerable attention to this problem. In January of this year, we issued recommendations under the title “Keep North Korea on State Sponsors of Terrorism List.” In May , we published additional objections and urgent recommendations. Needless to say, we are deeply disappointed at this latest turn of events.

In our January recommendations, JINF stated that according to U.S. domestic law, the removal of a nation from the SST list requires a Presidential determination that the government of the nation in question has not supported international terrorism for the past six months. The problems listed below demonstrate that the North Korean government has not satisfied some critical requirement s including the above condition .

The fact that North Korea still holds a large number of abductees captive indicates its continuing sponsorship of terrorism in the form of abductions. If North Korea is, in actuality engaged, in nuclear cooperation with Syria, another state sponsor of terrorism, then we have additional proof of its continuing sponsorship of terrorism.

Removal of North Korea from the SST list prior to a thorough examination of that nation s declaration of all its nuclear programs, and prior to the refutation of the suspicion of nuclear cooperation with Syria, would be defying the will of the international community, which opposes North Korean possession of nuclear capability.

By removing North Korea from the SST list, the U.S. would be applying far less stringent standards to North Korea than it did to Libya.

The decision announced by the U.S., i.e., the intention to rescind North Korea s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, seems high-handed, considering that none of these problems has been resolved. In doing so, the U.S. has both distorted its internal legislation and undermined the trust of one of its staunchest allies , Japan. Additionally, the declaration provided by North Korea contains no specific information about the number of nuclear bombs it possesses, the location of nuclear bomb plants, enriched uranium programs, or nuclear proliferation to Syria and other nations. In other words, it is not a “complete and correct declaration,” which the six-party agreement concluded on February 13, 2007 requires. By removing North Korea from the SST list under these circumstances, the U.S. will be effectively legitimizing the nuclear armament of a terrorist nation that has abducted a permanent resident of the U.S. and citizens of Japan, and continues to detain them.

At this rate, Japanese confidence in the U.S. can only continue to plummet. Even those Japanese who have supported the Japan-U.S. alliance most enthusiastic ally will surely be disheartened. A great number of Americans, including members of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have voiced strong protests against the June 26 announcement. Japan must build strong ties with these conscientious Americans.

About the removal of North Korea from the SST list, Prime Minister Fukuda stated that the rescission of North Korea’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism is to be welcomed if it helps resolve the nuclear problem. Mr. Fukuda did not express opposition to the American policy shift. His stance has served to weaken the influence of Americans who are protesting against the rescission, stating as one of their reasons that “doing so would disappoint Japan, our ally.” Now is the time, even at this late date, for the Japanese government to voice its opposition to the removal of North Korea from the SST list, to the U.S. government and to Congress, and to make it absolutely clear that removing North Korea from the SST list will diminish Japanese confidence in the U.S.

The following is an excerpt from the recommendations JINF issued in January 2008.

If Japan feel betrayed by the U.S. in connection with a problem that is of vital importance to the citizens of Japan, those same citizens may come to believe that the U.S. would be unreliable in connection with problems affecting national security as well. In other words, they will no longer feel safe under the nuclear umbrella (cited as the paramount guarantee of security) extended by the U.S. In this sense, we should take note an editorial carried by the Wall Street Journal on November 16, 2007, which mentions the possibility of the Japan going nuclear, once she has decided that the Americans are unreliable. The Japanese will be forced to obtain independent deterrence for their own security if their faith in the U.S. is irretrievably shaken.

Japan must take the lead in resol v in g the abduction problem. We agree that support from our ally is of immeasurable value, but ultimately, finding a solution will be the Japanese government’s responsibility. Japan must continue to confront North Korea with respect to its terrorism in the form of abductions. The time has come to consider taking assertive steps toward strengthening independent deterrent force s , which would include exploring the possibility of reevaluating the Three Non-Nuclear Principles.


Sakurai , Yoshiko

Takubo , Tadae

Ushio , Masato

Endo , Koichi

Oiwa , Yujiro

Kiuchi , Minoru

Shimada , Yoichi

Takaike , Katsuhiko

Tomiyama , Yasushi

Nishioka , Tsutomu