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Experts call for soft stance on North Korea

By Jia Cheng (Global Times)

13:27, March 26, 2012

Any confrontational approach toward North Korea would not contribute to the development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, analysts said. They also called for relevant parties to make moves on holding negotiations and consultations, which are believed to be the best solution to end the tension.

The second nuclear security summit in Seoul today, which gathers leaders of 53 nations, is set to discuss international cooperative measures to protect nuclear materials and facilities from terrorist groups.

Although South Korea's Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said last week the North Korean issue would not be included in the official agenda of the summit, some analysts have not dismissed the topic at the sidelines of the summit.

"The North Korean issue is unlikely to be avoided, but I think it is appropriate to address it in other bilateral or trilateral meetings," Wang Junsheng, a Korean affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. He urged the leaders to grasp the discretion, since North Korea is not going to attend the meeting, and being overly-critical or reaching any deal on the issue could further worsen North-South Korea relations, threatening regional stability.

Meanwhile, analysts called on concerned nations to take a soft stance to deal with the North Korean issue.

Jim Hoare, former British charge d'affaires in Pyongyang and now a senior teaching fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, told the Global Times, "I have always thought that the confrontational approach does not get us very far, except in being able to claim the high moral ground. I think engagement is a better approach, although I realize that the North Koreans do not make this easy."

"I suspect we are not seeing anything like the whole picture, which makes it difficult to say who is right and who is wrong," Hoare said. "I suspect there will be many more negotiations before a satisfactory result is achieved. The US and South Korea's presidential elections are a complicating factor."

Despite escalating diplomatic pressures and condemnations, North Korea's determination on launching a rocket carrying a satellite has sparked wide speculation on whether the leaders will address the North Korean issue at the Seoul summit.

Pyongyang warned any criticism of its nuclear activities at the summit would be considered a "declaration of war."

China's foreign ministry said that China hopes the parties concerned stay calm and exercise restraint and avoid an escalation of tension that may lead to a more complicated situation.

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Leave your comment2 comments

  1. Name

Canada at 2012-03-2670.36.49.*
Why? Why? Why? are the U.S. and other countries entitled to satellites in space but North Korea isn"t? Why does the U.S. threaten, demonize, constantly conduct military drills, impose sanctions causing immense human suffering on DPRK if they want peace and stability?? If Obama believes in freedom of belief why can"t he accept the North Koreans right to choose a different political system??
See at 2012-03-26124.13.145.*
China be careful or one day the north Korean will point the missle head directly into china

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