UN should back new inter-Korean rapport

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/6 22:56:33

Thanks to the visit of the South Korean delegation to Pyongyang, major improvements have been made in the high-level talks between North and South Korea. After the South Korean delegation returned to Seoul Tuesday, it announced that the two Koreas will hold a summit in Panmunjom late April and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he was open to dialogue with the US regarding denuclearization and normalizing ties. South Korea also said that Pyongyang said that when there was no military threat against North Korea and the safety of the country was secured, there would be no reason to retain its nuclear program. It is the first time North Korea has shown its intention toward denuclearization for quite some time.

In addition, South Korea also noted that Pyongyang showed its understanding for the resumption of US-South Korea military exercises in April and said that North Korea would not conduct new nuclear or missile tests during inter-Korean dialogues. It dispelled the concerns that once the US-South Korean military drills resume, Pyongyang would retaliate and burst the bubble of relaxed ties. 

These improvements are welcomed and inspiring. Will they lead the situation on the Korean Peninsula toward a turning point? The outlook is still uncertain. All the information above was announced unilaterally by Seoul. It is worth noting whether anything is publicly confirmed by Pyongyang.

The US attitude is crucial to the situation on the peninsula. Washington and Pyongyang do not trust each other. No matter what the US says about the improvements, deep down Washington believes that this is a step for South Korea to break from US policy on the peninsula. Washington does not welcome thawing relations between the two Koreas and suspects Pyongyang is using a delaying tactic and trying to drive a wedge between the US and South Korea.

Seoul is indeed distancing itself from US policy on the peninsula. Under pressure from the US, South Korean President Moon Jae-in displayed his nation's greatest diplomatic independence in decades.

The latest developments between the two Koreas, including the upcoming summit, will contain US President Donald Trump's radical policy over the peninsula. But neither Pyongyang nor Seoul has the strength to restrain Washington. They will need support from China, Russia and the UN Security Council to maintain the current status as well as the momentum toward peace and denuclearization.

China should support the most recent development. Beijing sincerely hopes that the North Korean nuclear crisis can be resolved peacefully and that Pyongyang can return to the international community.

Consolidating the latest attitude of North Korea, which was announced by South Korea, and encouraging the US to respond positively to Pyongyang's changes will be the key tasks for the current and future situation of the peninsula. The strength of Seoul is limited. But it is a stakeholder in the peninsula. The South Korean will and wisdom will doubtless be tested in the days and months ahead.

The US should give up its fantasy of bringing North Korea to its knees. Trump's team may think it is their maximum pressure that caused Pyongyang's change. But the reality is that North Korea now has an intercontinental ballistic missile that can allegedly hit targets in the US. No one can intimidate anyone. Negotiation is the only way out.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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