Korean brothers advised not to go to war game

15:34, December 21, 2010      

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Both the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are close neighbour of China, and their people are brothers of the Chinese people. China definitely does not want to see any war erupt between them and, otherwise, the external environment for China's economic development will deteriorate due to war turmoil on the Korean peninsula.

So, for the sake of enabling our Korean brothers to live in peace and amity and for the sake of China's own security interest, we have to say what's on our mind to the DPRK and ROK brothers. Both countries should cherish peace and exert their utmost to avoid a possible national tragedy and take into consideration the external environment of peaceful construction in China and other neighbouring countries.

People from DPRK and ROK are kinsmen of the same race, and they belong to the same big Korean family, who are related closely to each other by flesh and blood. The Korean Peninsula was divided by a great power game after the surrender of Japanese intruders at the end of World War II in 1945. Therefore, people on the Peninsula desire the reunification of Korea, and it is just and legitimate.

Against this historical background, however, the evolution of this cause could not be pressed ahead with the use of force. This not only failed to alter the map of the Peninsula but brought calamity to our country unfortunately.

In June 1950, China was forced to send its "People Volunteers" to aid Korea and to protect the motherland, and paid a significant sacrifice. And the relevant security and development were also greatly affected by the war. On the occasion of the armistice, the "United Nations forces" and the DPRK held negotiations on the delineation of waters off the western inter-Korean border, but they disagreed without any result. Afterwards, the "UN Forces" unilaterally defined sea border -- called the "Northern Limit Line" (NLL), a maritime border the DPRK has never recognized.

The ROK government was fully aware of serious differences on the NLL between the north and south, but it had gone ahead shelling the disputed waters in disregard of a strong opposition from DPRK, which was really surprising. Such a provocation is unable to force the other side to alter its position but only intensifies conflicts. In this regard, China is resolutely opposed to it. ROK should value the overall situation above everything else, exercise its restraint, and halt the extremely risky actions of this sort for the security of both sides.

DPRK fired scores of artillery shells to the ROK-held island of Yeonpyeong near their disputed maritime border off the west coast of the Peninsula on Nov. 23, with one ROK soldier killed and 13 others injured. This incident is really shocking. The Chinese side deeply deplores the loss of life in ROK. On its part, DPRK should also attach great importance to this situation, do exercise its restraint and halt high-risk moves against personnel of the other side, in view of security for both sides.

DPRK and ROK have had repeated armed conflicts in waters off the western inter-Korea border and, of late, their escalation upgraded particularly, and Chinese society has been extremely worried about it. We note that DPRK and ROK held their respective positions on the disputed issue, and we also note that the two countries have their respective concepts of sovereignty and justice, but we urgently appeal for both sides to value and pay heeds to the overall situation.

Then, what is the overall situation? It is meant that the people of DPRK and ROK are fellow countrymen, and both sides should grant their people most chances for peace. And what is justice, and it means to protect both the environment for peaceful construction from being wrecked. Moreover, a partial environment should be subjected to the overall environment, and the minor justice should subordinate to the great justice.

Despite fragile peace between DPRK and ROK in the wake of signing the armistice of the Korean War, they scored their due socio-economic development and shunned serious clashes over the half past century. We endorse efforts made by the governments of both DPRK and ROK and their people to safeguard their respective sovereignty; we believe that the governments and people of both sides cherish peace; and we believe that the avoidance of conflicts is the code of action both sides have to abide by.

The Korean and Chinese people like the back of the hand palm are connected. For this reason, we advise Brothers: The war is not a game, and the cost of war is beyond all imaginations and beyond the affordation of any parties. Hence, the two countries should treat each other with sober-mindedness and in a spirit of brotherhood so as to resolve differences via consultations. China is ready to join other nations worldwide in doing its best for the fraternal unity and the eradication of disputes between DPRK and ROK.

As the latest development, South Korea launched on Monday a firing drill from a disputed western border island shelled by the DPRK last month despite the latter's repeated warnings of a counter-attack.

DPRK said later Monday however that it did not "feel any need" to react against the ROK artillery drill off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula, state media reported. Earlier, DPRK on Saturday accused the United States of goading ROK into provoking it, the official new Agency KCNA said.

In another development, DPRK has agreed to allow the return of UN inspectors following its discussions with visiting New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, according to CNN reports on Monday.

By People's Daily Online and its author is Prof. Shen Dingli, Director of the Center for American Studies of the elite Fudan University in Shanghai
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