China must prepare for worst in the Korean Peninsula

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-17 0:43:01

South Korean President Park Geun-hye, in a parliamentary address on Tuesday morning, condemned North Korea's "extreme acts of provocation" and claimed that the THAAD missile system would be deployed to deter Pyongyang. In unusually harsh words, Park also said North Korea's nuclear ambitions will result only in speeding up its "regime collapse." The media have viewed her statements as a complete change in her country's North Korea policy.

The US has been accelerating its military deployment around the Korean Peninsula. Nuclear aircraft carriers and offensive nuclear submarines may be stationed there soon. Although some analysts believe it is more like a psychological war, many have agreed that the possibility of escalated tensions and a serious military clash in the Peninsula is rising.

China is clear about opposing chaos in the Peninsula. But whether North Korea's nuclear issue can be solved peacefully is not determined by only the Chinese side. China should make thorough preparations for the worst-case scenario in the Peninsula.

As other sides did not follow China's advice, China does not shoulder any moral obligations for them once the situation gets tough or even when a war occurs.

China should firmly support tighter sanctions against Pyongyang approved by the UN Security Council and implement these measures. China should also contribute its own part to destroying North Korea's nuclear development capability, in spite of opposition from Pyongyang.

Beijing should voice its objection to Seoul's deployment of THAAD. If South Korea insists on doing so, China can take reference from Russia in responding to Eastern European countries' deployment of US anti-missile systems. China will install more defensive missiles in Northeast Asia and take the highest-level precautions against the THAAD system.

As for the US, China should be bold in expressing that the THAAD system and other military deployments around the Korean Peninsula are aimed at China. China should make all-round preparations, including increasing its defense expenditure and raising the number of advanced missiles so as to maintain China's deterrence.

If a war occurs, Chinese public opinion will support the country's actions given how China's security is threatened. The Chinese public hopes that such a war, including nuclear proliferation and refugees, should not go beyond the border of the Yalu River.

A scholar told the Global Times that if the US and South Korea jointly carry out military strikes against North Korea, it is highly likely that North Korea will retaliate. Then South Korea will suffer losses, and US bases there are not necessarily safe. If Washington and Seoul break the Thirty-Eighth Parallel and take comprehensive military action, they should take the possible risks of China's military intervention into account. We support this analysis. 

When the Six-Party Talks failed, Washington and Pyongyang should have shared the blame. The US, a key player in solving Peninsula tensions, should take the larger responsibility. From the big perspective of the Asia-Pacific, the failure to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis is the outcome of US intentions to control Northeast Asia and meddling with China's rise. China and South Korea are friendly countries and they should be clear about this.

China should strengthen its military deployment in Northeast Asia. This will make other sides think twice before they act.

Posted in: Editorial

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