By exploding its first nuclear device, India has become the first non-aligned nation to join the nuclear club. As might be expected, the Indian Government is claiming that the explosion of the device, said to be in the 10-15 kiloton range, was a purely scientific experiment concerned with the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The violent riots which have hit the streets of Jakarta in the last two days and which have involved tens of thousands of demonstrators have obviously given vent to feelings of massive discontent. It is true that in the first instance the main objects of student anger were Japanese business interests which have achieved a stranglehold over several key areas of the Indonesian economy.
Senator Willessee, Australia’s special Minister of State, has just attended the eighteenth Annual Council meeting of the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO), established in 1955 and originally including eight member countries: the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, the US, UK, France, Australia and New Zealand. The military pact.
Contrary to popular belief, the Vietnam war has not ended. Indeed, ever since the beginning of negotiations back in 1968 between the United States and North Vietnam, the war has constantly escalated in so far as it has gradually engulfed Laos and Cambodia as well as the two Vietnams, and involved ever more destructive American fire power.
The recent summit meeting between the Soviet and American leaders has confirmed the trend towards close relations between the two countries. It would seem that this kind of political summitry is to become a regular feature of the international calendar.
For some weeks now, all the headlines of the world’s press have been concentrating, quite properly, on the Middle East war, the emerging oil crisis and the continuing saga of political corruption and deceit within the United States. We have had, therefore, little or no opportunity to be reminded of the forgotten but unrelenting war in Indochina.
One thing is clear: North Korea, regardless of its belligerence, lacks the means to defeat South Korea, or to inflict any military damage on the United States. The motive therefore lies not in the execution of any military threat but in the theatre of threat-making.