CHINA / DIPLOMACY
China, NK stress need to safeguard regional peace as US envoy urges Pyongyang to talk
Published: Jun 21, 2021 11:13 PM
Noh Kyu-duk (center), South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, poses for a photo with Sung Kim (left), US special envoy for North Korea, and Takehiro Funakoshi, head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, prior to their talks in Seoul on Monday. Photo: VCG

Noh Kyu-duk (center), South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, poses for a photo with Sung Kim (left), US special envoy for North Korea, and Takehiro Funakoshi, head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, prior to their talks in Seoul on Monday. Photo: VCG



The ambassadors of China and North Korea on Monday released articles on the flagship newspapers of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Worker's Party of Korea (WPK) to stress the unshakable friendship and vowed to safeguard regional peace, while US President Joe Biden's special envoy for North Korea also said Monday Washington hopes to see a positive reaction from Pyongyang soon on US offers for talks. 

The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue would have some positive changes on the long-standing deadlock after failed negotiations between the Trump administration and Pyongyang, because North Korea felt the US was insincere. But Chinese experts said that North Korea is telling the US not to play tricks or expect North Korea to distance itself from China, and the Biden administration should at least provide a clearer and sincere plan for restarting dialogue. 

China always welcomes any attempt and effort to promote dialogue to prevent conflict in the region, but China will also prevent the US from using the peninsula issue to contain China. China will make more efforts in the future to consolidate its ties with both North and South Korea, and will increase cooperation in the fields of economy and security with North Korea, analysts said.

China and North Korea should inherit the traditional friendship; to increase exchanges and deepen cooperation; and to safeguard peace and create the future together, Li Jinjun, Chinese Ambassador to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), said in his article published on Monday in Rodong Sinmun, the flagship newspaper of the WPK, to commemorate Chinese President Xi Jinping's 2019 visit to DPRK.

The People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the CPC, also published an article by Ri Ryong-nam, North Korean ambassador to China, on the same day. Ri said that no matter how the situation would change, the great causes of socialism in both China and the DPRK will remain unshakable, and keep marching forward. He wrote that as long as the WPK and the CPC are united, the severe challenges and conspiracy for interruption launched by hostile forces will be crushed. 

Lü Chao, an expert on the Korean Peninsula issue at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday that "apart from commemorating the successful visits and meetings between the two countries' leaders in the past few years, the CPC will celebrate its 100th birthday on July 1, and July 11 will marks the 60th anniversary of the China-DPRK Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty, so the two sides are creating a friendly atmosphere for the further development of the bilateral relationship."

North Korea is also using the chance to tell the US not to expect North Korea to distance itself from China, and solid and strong ties with China are part of the source of confidence for North Korea in dealing with the US, Lü said.

When China and North Korea are jointly creating an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual trust, the US is releasing new signals to Pyongyang as well. According to AP on Monday, Sung Kim, Biden's special representative for North Korea, was in Seoul to speak with South Korean and Japanese officials about the US' stalled diplomacy with the North over its nuclear program and US-led sanctions.

The trilateral talks followed the 3rd Plenary Meeting of 8th Central Committee of WPK on Friday where North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stressed the need to get prepared for both dialogue and confrontation (with the US).

The US envoy said that the US and its allies took note of the North Korean leader's comments and are hoping the North will respond positively to the US proposal of a meeting. 

Zheng Jiyong, director of the Center for Korean Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Monday that "in the short term, North Korea and the US are unlikely to have any direct interaction, because the US proposal for a meeting should at least be based on a clear policy that tells Pyongyang that the Biden administration is more sincere than the Trump administration." 

Biden wants to focus on competition with China, so he is trying to reduce inputs in other regions, and the proposal for a meeting with North Korea is based on a request from South Korea. To what extent the Biden administration wants to solve the long-standing problem of the peninsula remains in question, Zheng noted.

"Pyongyang has already decided to stand closer with Beijing because it has greater economic gains based on solid ties with China, so this will push Washington to consider easing the sanctions, and North Korea has confidence and patience. It's time for the US to consider how to adjust its policy to express further sincerity," Zheng said.

If the US wants to push North Korea to take the first step or make any concrete compromise, the US has no card to play, because it has already used every measure except a military strike to sanction North Korea. And China is unlikely to agree to any further US actions against North Korea, said Chinese analysts. 

Lü said that the US and South Korea will have their joint military drills in August, and this would be a key event for observing whether the US has sincerity to re-engage with North Korea.

The US definitely wants North and South Korea to stand closer with the US and keep a distance from China, and try to bypass China to dominate the solution of the peninsula issue. But these attempts have been proven wrong again and again, "so this time, we hope the Biden administration does not make the same mistake," Lü noted.

Zheng said in order to deal with US attempts to interrupt China's ties with the two Koreas, China will clarify its bottom line with South Korea so that Seoul won't cooperate with the US to contain China. China will also strengthen cooperation with North Korea in economy and security to encourage North Korea's efforts toward denuclearization and make Pyongyang more confident in dealing with Washington. 


blog comments powered by Disqus