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People's Daily Online

Peace on Korean Peninsula needs reciprocal actions

People's Daily Online

By Tian Dongdong (Xinhua) 15:40, January 11, 2015

BEIJING, Jan. 11 -- Washington's flat refusal on Saturday to Pyongyang's proposal of temporarily suspending nuclear tests in exchange for a halt to joint military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea does no good to trust-building and realization of peace on the divided peninsula.

In fact, the offer, which the United States deemed as 'implicit threat', is kind of a goodwill released by the Democratic People's Republic Korea (DPRK) for a peaceful solution to the decade-long crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

The proposal is the latest tension-easing efforts made in recent months by the Kim Jong Un administration towards trust-based dialogue or detente with the United States and South Korea.

Unfortunately, it was not falling to an inviting ear.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki outright slammed that it 'inappropriately links routine' U.S.-South Korea exercises to the possibility of a nuclear test by the DPRK and 'is an implicit threat'.

The U.S. failed to notice, or chose to ignore, the potentially positive change to the intense atmosphere surrounding the Korean Peninsula that could come if the proposal was implemented.

National security is the 'priority of priorities' for any country on the planet, let alone a nation like the DPRK that has been isolated and sanctioned for decades.

Quite contrary to what Psaki has said, the possibility of nuclear tests by Pyongyang and U.S.-South Korea military exercises are not separate issues.

For one thing, the nearly 40-year-old military exercises, which Uncle Sam used as the Sword of Damocles, has failed so far to bring peace and reconciliation back to the peninsula.

For another, the annual large-scale war games in South Korea and 'its vicinity' encourage brinkmanship on the peninsula, and constitutes the main cause -- if not the root cause -- of an anxious and sensitive DPRK.

Believe it or not, a cornered and reckless DPRK is not a blessing to the region or the world at large. Blind arrogance and constant neglect to the olive branches the country has offered might be the last straw for the isolated nation.

Just like what China has repeatedly urged, trust-based dialogue is the only way out of the decades-long stalemate and to the resumption of the six-party talks on the denuclearization on the peninsula, and that has been endorsed by the international community.

It is highly hoped that the United States catch the opportunity and positively respond to the latest offer. After all, peace on the peninsula and rapprochement between long-time foes need reciprocal actions. Now the ball is in Washington's yards.

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