G7 can­not speak for all on DPRK nu­clear is­sue

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

The 2016 G7 Sum­mit, which will be held in IseShima, Ja­pan, on Thurs­day and Fri­day, comes at a time of ris­ing strate­gic ten­sions in Asia.

Ac­cord­ing to the agenda, social is­sues and global growth are to be dis­cussed, as are hot se­cu­rity af­fairs, in­clud­ing the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea’s nu­clear is­sue, which Ja­pan would like to see re­flected in a G7 joint state­ment.

Py­ongyang’s fourth nu­clear test in Jan­uary, in par­tic­u­lar, has fu­eled global con­cerns over pos­si­ble nu­clear pro­lif­er­a­tion on the Korean Penin­sula. How­ever, for some G7 mem­bers, such as the United States and Ja­pan, play­ing up the DPRK’s nu­clear threat is also part of their strate­gic in­ten­tions.

Ja­pan, which is host­ing the two-day talks, is keen to win an en­dorse­ment for its po­si­tion as a “nor­mal state” in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, and is play­ing up the threat of the DPRK hav­ing nu­clear weapons. The US, too, is high­light­ing the dan­gers of the DPRK’s nu­clear am­bi­tions to jus­tify its re­bal­anc­ing to the Asia-Pa­cific.

Nev­er­the­less, the G7 sum­mit that in­volves Canada, France, Ger­many, Italy and the United King­dom, as well as the US and Ja­pan, is still not an ap­pro­pri­ate plat­form for dis­cussing the DPRK nu­clear is­sue, which con­cerns the in­ter­na­tional so­ci­ety as a whole. That ex­plains why it was the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil that passed the four res­o­lu­tions against Py­ongyang’s nu­clear tests.

Ad­mit­tedly, the group plays a cer­tain role in global gov­er­nance, but it was founded over four decades ago to boost eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion in theWest, thus it does not rep­re­sent all par­ties con­cerned in the nu­clear is­sue.

Only two G7 mem­bers— the US and Ja­pan— are part of the Six-Party Talks aimed at de­nu­cle­ariz­ing the penin­sula, which have been in­def­i­nitely stalled since 2008. The other par­ties are China, the DPRK, the Repub­lic of Korea and Rus­sia.

Any con­sen­sus reached by G7 lead­ers on the DPRK nu­clear is­sue, if there is one, will hardly be con­vinc­ing with­out the other par­tic­i­pants in the Six-Party Talks, and may fur­ther com­pli­cate the sit­u­a­tion.

What the all par­ties should do is to fully im­ple­ment Res­o­lu­tion 2270 passed by the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil onMarch 2, which in­cludes eco­nomic sanc­tions against Py­ongyang, as well as mea­sures aimed at bring­ing it back to the ne­go­ti­a­tion table.

Should the G7 mem­bers pro­pose to in­de­pen­dently take ad­di­tional mea­sures, which is likely, the DPRK may seek to en­hance its nu­clear ad­vo­cacy “in re­sponse to the se­cu­rity threats from theWest”, es­pe­cially the US.

The ris­ing ten­sions on the penin­sula are, of course, a re­sult of Py­ongyang’s andWash­ing­ton’s flawed strate­gies as well as the decades-long ColdWar sit­u­a­tion. But it does not mean the G7 joint state­ment can­not touch upon nu­clear non-pro­lif­er­a­tion, given Py­ongyang’s lat­est re­it­er­a­tion of its nu­clear am­bi­tions.

Af­ter the DPRK’s top leader Kim Jong-un as­sumed power less than five years ago, the coun­try has al­ready con­ducted two nu­clear tests. The 7th Congress held by the rul­ingWork­ers’ Party of Korea ear­lier this month, the first ma­jor con­fer­ence of the party in 36 years, also in­di­cated that Py­ongyang will keep pur­su­ing the devel­op­ment of nu­clear tech­nolo­gies as a “re­spon­si­ble nu­clear power”.

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