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As Korean Peninsula tension heats up, China tells US, DPRK to cool it

By Curtis Stone (People's Daily Online)    13:29, October 10, 2017

US President Donald Trump over the weekend continued to signal that war with the DPRK could be on the horizon, saying that "only one thing will work" in dealing with Pyongyang.

"Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!" Trump tweeted.

The vague threat comes on the heels of other recent suggestions that Trump is eager to resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue with hard power. In his first major speech to the UN, Trump threatened to "totally destroy" the DPRK if necessary; and just days later, he took to Twitter to warn that Kim Jong Un's days are numbered, saying that if the Foreign Minister of the DPRK echoes his leader's thoughts, "they won’t be around much longer."

Trump has repeatedly made clear his distaste for dialogue with and preference for military action against the DPRK. "Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now?" Trump tweeted, adding: "I won’t fail." In a different tweet, Trump told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that he is "wasting his time" trying to open the door of negotiating with the DPRK, and that he is prepared to "do what has to be done."

But war on the Korean Peninsula would be catastrophic, and dialogue remains the best option.

To be fair, there is logic behind Trump’s threats against the DPRK. His threats seem to be part of a larger strategy, coherent or not, to instill fear in Pyongyang, so that it will agree to US demands to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs. But Trump’s strategy could backfire bigly. Throwing the steering wheel out the window heightens, rather than reduces, the fear that war on the Korean Peninsula is imminent, undermining efforts to bring both sides back to talks.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying

In response to the latest report, China continued to stress dialogue and negotiation as the most effective way to break out of the security dilemma, and has urged the two sides to stop with the games and cool it with the threats. "The current situation on the Korean Peninsula remains highly complex and severe. We hope that various parties can strictly observe and implement the UN Security Council resolutions, refrain from provoking each other and aggravating the contradiction, [and] exercise restraint and caution to ease the tension," Hua Chunying, spokeswoman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.

China also reiterated that the core of the issue is the security issue between the two sides. "Only by addressing the legitimate security concern of various parties in a balanced manner can we truly open the door to peacefully resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. To this end, various parties need to show more sincerity, sit down at the negotiating table, enhance mutual trust through dialogue, and seek a viable way out for peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through negotiation," Hua Chunying added.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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