Recently, the US and South Korea held a joint military exercise to the south of the Korean Peninsula. In response, North Korea attempted to launch 6 short-range guided missiles. In view of such events, what is future for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula?
Last month, the vice minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenming visited North Korea and South Korea, pursuing the resumption of talks on denuclearization and easing the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula. At the end of January, the special representative of the Chinese government on Korean Peninsula Affairs, Wu Dawei, engaged in negotiations with the US State Department on policy towards North Korea. China expends an enormous effort on the North Korea nuclear issue.
The process of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula depends on the joint efforts of several countries, and especially on America and the North Korea. Only the US and the North Korea can restart talks and improve their relationship in a way that could open the door to denuclearization.
Already in 2014 North Korea has restated its target of denuclearization and emphasizes its willingness to negotiate with other countries. However, the excessive demands imposed by the US in terms of any talks indicate a lack of sincerity on its part. On the issue of military exercises the US does as it pleases; it has even sent B-52 strategic bombers to the peninsula.
The reasons for such conduct of the part of the US derive from the following three attitudes:
First: skepticism. The US claims that the North Korea is not willing to give up its nuclear capacity and worries that any restart of talks will be exploited by the North Korea for its own purposes.
Second: obstinacy. As the world's only superpower, the US has got into the habit of using the policy of "the stick" to move forward its foreign strategy and deal with international hot issues. President Obama is keen on using measures such as pressure and sanctions, especially on the nuclear issue. Any such attempt to force the North Korean's hand by using sanctions and increased military intimidation is an indication of obstinacy. It will only succeed in irritating North Korea and escalating the tension.
Third: lack of realism. The US government continues to hanker after a transformation in the North Korean government. They even expect to use the nuclear issue as a touchstone in Sino-US relations. Hence, the US demands China's unconditional cooperation on sanctions while strengthening its own regional military deployment.
The resolution of the nuclear issue calls for patience, perseverance, courage and determination. Only if the US adopts a realistic attitude to a stable and peaceful picture, restarts the six-party talks, and refreshes the 9.19 Joint Statement, can we achieve a sustainable negotiation process on the nuclear issue.
We hope that the US government will exhibit courage and sincerity, and make a wise choice between political and strategic ambitions, endeavoring to makea contribution to the fulfillment of denuclearization and the resumption of Six-Party Talks.
Read the Chinese version: 朝核问题：美国诚意“去哪儿了”（望海楼); Source: People's Daily; Author:Lu Wen