US maximum pressure jeopardizes Korean Peninsula stability

By Mu Lu Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/19 22:28:40

Dialogue and consultation should persist with the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue toward a peaceful settlement of disputes. Washington's maximum pressure on North Korea won't help find a solution.

The US has halted fuel deliveries to North Korea, claiming the country was "exceeding its annual ceiling for 2019," AFP reported on Wednesday. However, the information has not yet been confirmed. The US move has undoubtedly jeopardized previous efforts to alleviate the situation. 

Top North Korean and US leaders held summits in June last year and February this year. Although they couldn't reach a consensus during their second meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam in February, their efforts were on the right track that met the two countries' interests.

Now the US insists on maximum pressure through sanctions on North Korea. This will once again complicate the situation. 

The UN Security Council resolution is a starting point to ease tensions. It should be a method to promote regional stability, not a tool for Washington to pressure Pyongyang. The abrupt US initiative to maximize sanctions despite stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia is harmful to the denuclearization process. AFP cited diplomatic sources saying that China and Russia had blocked the US initiative. After talks with President Xi Jinping who visited Russia in early June, Russian President Vladimir Putin made the statements, "We proceed from the premise that there is no, nor can there be, any alternative to the peaceful, political and diplomatic settlement of the region's problems, including the nuclear issue." 

The US has been creating tensions, irresponsibly leading to twists and turns in the negotiations. A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman claimed on June 4 "Had the United States done anything of a little help in addressing the issues on the basis of serious position and sincere attitude for implementing the DPRK-US Joint Statement, the issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula might also have seen much progress." 

As a close neighbor to North Korea, China has always supported efforts to resolve the nuclear issue through peaceful means, and is willing to offer humanitarian assistance to help its people tide over difficulties. This is consistent with a humanitarian spirit. 

Washington needs to keep restraint and restart the dialogue with Pyongyang instead of escalating the antagonism. It should show more sincerity instead of showing off its power. 

Washington may need to consider Seoul's advice. On June 12, South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for "a meeting between the leaders of North Korea and the US as soon as possible" before their willingness for dialogue weakens due to prolonged deadlock.

If the US doesn't know how to overcome the stalemate, then releasing the North Korean cargo ship Wise Honest that it seized can be a start to rebuild momentum for dialogue, Special Advisor to President Moon for Foreign Affairs and National Security Moon Chung-in said on Friday in New York.

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