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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Daily Online

Commentary: Pull the North Korean nuclear issue back to the negotiating table

People's Daily Online

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily) 14:11, March 11, 2016

People's Daily published a commentary titled 'Pull the North Korean nuclear issue back to the negotiating table' on March 11. The article gives an in-depth analysis of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's remarks on the North Korean nuclear issue on March 8. It points out in the article that China supports Resolution 2270 passed by the UN Security Council, warning the risks of hesitation and gambling on the DPRK nuclear issue. The article reiterates the importance of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through peaceful means by restarting the six-party talks.

The full text of the article is as follows:

At present, the situation on the Korean peninsula is sensitive and complex, with worrisome signal of further 'estrangement' appearing. As the largest neighbor of the peninsula, China will not sit idly if the stability of the Korean Peninsula is severely undermined. China will not permit any unwarranted damage to its own security and interests.

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2270 on March 2 , imposing a series of sanctions against the North Korean nuclear and missile program, reiterated its support for the restarting of the six-party talks and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula through peaceful means. China has its own interests and concerns on the peninsula, adhering to its bottom line of 'denuclearization and stability". China supports and promotes a comprehensive and complete implementation of Security Council resolutions. It will not accept the nuclear and missile programs of the DPRK.

In fact, this resolution not only focuses on sanctions, but also reaffirms its support for the restarting of the six-party talks. It requires all parties not to take any actions that may exacerbate regional tensions. The international community should realize that it will be a disaster for all if tensions continue to escalate.

Presently, all parties should make accurate judgments of the overall situation, keep calm, show self-restraint and be cautious. No part should act recklessly or without regard of the consequences. As China has stressed repeatedly, sanctions are only means to achieve the end, maintaining stability is a priority, and negotiations are the key to denuclearization of the peninsula. By cutting DPRK's financial channels for nuclear and missile programs, the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council aim at prompting North Korea to return to the negotiating table, promoting the denuclearization of the peninsula, and safeguarding the international non-proliferation regime.

To deal with the protracted Korean Peninsula nuclear problem, it will be risky to take a hesitative or gambling mindset. Any unnecessary action that strengthens military confrontation and any deployment of weapons beyond necessary defense need in the peninsula will make worsen the situation and add new difficulties to the resolution process.

Experience and lessons learned in history show that to any successful solution of a difficult problem would be a comprehensive one. Addressing part of the problem unilaterally cannot achieve a real breakthrough. The ultimate way to solve the peninsula's nuclear issue is getting back to the negotiation table.

As the host of the six-party talks, China has always held an objective and fair stance, and has actively explored feasible options to address the problem with all parties. China proposes to simultaneously start both the denuclearization talk and the peninsula peace agreement talk. Denuclearization is a firm objective of the international community, and meanwhile an armistice-to-peace conversion mechanism is a reasonable concern of the DPRK.

Advancing both talks in a step-by-step and comprehensive way can accommodate the concerns of all parties, clarify the goals of the dialogue and make a diplomatic breakthrough possible. As long as it helps to pull the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue back to the negotiating table, China is also open to other plans, such as tripartite, four or even five-party contacts.

We need take pragmatic and comprehensive measures to solve the peninsula's nuclear problem. All relevant countries should take into account the long-term common interests, maintain sufficient patience and concentration, show wisdom and courage, actively seek dialogue and negotiation, and express goodwill. Despite difficulties lying ahead, all parties must work together.

Only a denuclearized Korean peninsula can maintain long-term stability. Dialogue is the only solution to the existing problems and only cooperation leads to win-win situations. These constitute the common ground of all parties, common interests of all, and the cornerstone of peace.

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