Besides stick, US should offer North Korea a carrot

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/4/25 23:43:40

US President Donald Trump met with 15 UN Security Council ambassadors at the White House on Monday, delivering his concerns about the status quo in North Korea. He urged the Security Council to be ready to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

At the same time, the nuclear-powered USS Michigan submarine pulled into the South Korean port of Busan on Tuesday morning, and the USS Carl Vinson strike group is heading toward the Korean Peninsula.

The UN Security Council will hold a meeting on North Korea's nuclear issue on Friday. April 25 was the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army. Pyongyang is highly likely to carry out its sixth nuclear test or launch new ballistic missiles from April 25 to 28.

North Korea is facing unprecedented international pressure due to its nuclear and missile programs. The country's economy can hardly bear tougher sanctions and Washington has raised many times the extreme option of initiating a military strike on Pyongyang.

But sticks alone are not enough to prompt North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile activities. The international community should acknowledge the importance of the carrot.

Now Pyongyang is clear about the consequences if it continues to act recklessly. What it is uncertain about, though, is what benefit it will get if it stops nuclear and missile activities.

As for Washington, it should show its sincerity to encourage Pyongyang to move in the right direction and leave room for positive changes.

Sanctions against North Korea should be imposed within such a pattern - as long as North Korea violates UN Security Council resolutions, the sanctions will become tougher with no upper limit. But if North Korea does not carry out new nuclear tests or missile launches within a certain period of time, there should be no new sanctions. Both sanctions and North Korea's nuclear activities should be temporarily frozen.

Major powers should research what North Korea can get once it announces a moratorium on its nuclear and missile tests. The UN Security Council should play an active role to bring Pyongyang in this direction.

Washington had at least broken its promises twice in handling the North Korean nuclear issue, which undermines Pyongyang's trust toward Washington.

In the eyes of the Pyongyang regime, the US aim is to topple it. Pyongyang worries that once it gives up its nuclear deterrence, Washington will overthrow its regime. The Trump administration needs to prove that the US has no intention of doing so.

Without this key, the sticks of sanctions and military threats on North Korea will only lead it to a life-and-death struggle instead of toward a peaceful solution of the nuclear issue.

The Trump government appears determined to solve the issue. But if the solution brings about wars and casualties or even nuclear contamination, the issue is not really solved.

Trump will only make history if he can persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs without severe costs.

The pressing matter of the moment is to prevent North Korea's sixth nuclear test or ballistic missile launches. The international community has acknowledged China's efforts.

From Beijing's perspective, Washington's efforts are not enough. The US is advised to make up for it.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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