Pursuing a shift away from the US in defence

By Choe Yong Nam

The European Union has recently taken some measures to realize its defence plan. The plan includes 13 billion euros of defence fund raising for the development of weapon systems between 2021 and 2027 and the establishment of the PESCO which will coordinate military cooperation between EU member nations. The European Parliament approved the measures last April.

The fund will be disbursed for the joint defence of the EU.

Such a colossal sum of financial support will help the EU member states to develop new military hardware and strengthen cooperation in the military field.

But the US is pointing an accusing finger at such moves.

The EU, however, insists that the realization of the defence plan will make the EU member nations fulfil their obligations to the NATO more properly and the military bloc will also benefit from the EU’s joint efforts for defence.

Such a divergence of opinion is not a new one.

Whether to defend Europe by their own efforts or by relying on the US is a problem the EU member nations have long racked their brains to settle.

The matter of building the EU’s army also has been under discussion for years.

Some European countries have long regarded dependence on the US in the defence field would never guarantee the security of Europe.

The fear that they may suffer an unexpected misfortune in the future if they keep relying on the US in the field of security gets European countries to consider their self-defence.

Asserting that it has been “protecting” European countries despite huge financial burdens in recent years, the US is severely scolding the NATO member nations that they need to boost military spending. It also denies the policies worked out in collaboration with the EU through withdrawal from the Paris agreement for the prevention of global warming and the Iran nuclear deal. It presents unreasonable demands in the economic issues of European countries, including the delivery of Russian gas, import of Iran’s oil, trade tariff and trade dealings with Cuba.

The failure of having a self-protection capacity is a trouble and discontent of EU countries and this is an important factor making them decide to free themselves from dependence on the US.

(Pyongyang Times - June 16, 2019)