North Korea still com­mands diplo­matic fo­cus

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHEN WEIHUA in Wash­ing­ton chen­wei­hua@chi­nadai­

We main­tain that ac­tions by the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil should help re­al­ize the afore­men­tioned goals with­out im­ped­ing nor­mal busi­ness co­op­er­a­tion and ex­changes be­tween all par­ties and the DPRK.”

Hua Chun­y­ing, Chi­nese Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs spokes­woman

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is look­ing for­ward to an­other meet­ing with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping on the side­lines of the APEC Eco­nomic Lead­ers’ Meet­ing in Lima, Peru, late this month, ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing on Mon­day.

Hua was quot­ing US Deputy Sec­re­tary of State Antony Blinken who was in Bei­jing on Oct 29 for the in­terim Strate­gic Se­cu­rity Di­a­logue.

In Bei­jing, Blinken met Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi when they dis­cussed, among oth­ers, the Korean nu­clear is­sue. The United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil has been dis­cussing pos­si­ble new sanc­tions against the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea (DPRK) af­ter it con­ducted its fifth nu­clear test in early Septem­ber.

Hua re­it­er­ated Chi­nese stance of re­al­iz­ing de­nu­cle­ariza­tion on the Korean Penin­sula, safe­guard­ing its peace and sta­bil­ity and re­solv­ing rel­e­vant is­sues through di­a­logue and ne­go­ti­a­tion. “It serves the in­ter­ests of all,” she said.

“We main­tain that ac­tions by the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil should help re­al­ize the afore­men­tioned goals with­out im­ped­ing nor­mal busi­ness co­op­er­a­tion and ex­changes be­tween all par­ties and the DPRK,” Hua said.

The mes­sage is seen as a dis­missal of some West­ern re­ports that China might ban all im­ports of coal, iron ore and other ma­te­ri­als from DPRK.

For­eign Min­istry spokesman Lu Kang said on Oct 28 that the res­o­lu­tion should tar­get DPRK’s nu­clear tests and DPRK’s nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams. “As for what kind of res­o­lu­tion will emerge at last from the con­sul­ta­tion among all mem­bers, we shall wait and see,” he said.

In a me­dia roundtable in Bei­jing on Oct 29, Blinken de­scribed the DPRK is­sue as the “top agenda is­sue”.

He said DPRK is get­ting closer to the day when it will be able to marry a minia­tur­ized nu­clear war­head to an ICMB that can reach the con­ti­nen­tal US. “That’s sim­ply un­ac­cept­able,” he said.

Blinken in­di­cated the US’ strong pref­er­ence to work this co­op­er­a­tively with China, but added that “we’ve also been very clear that we will take what­ever steps are nec­es­sary to de­fend ourselves, to de­fend our al­lies and part­ners and to in­sist on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of sanc­tions against the regime.”

The US plan to de­ploy a THAAD mis­sile de­fense sys­tem in South Korea has drawn sharp crit­i­cism from both China and Rus­sia, which be­lieve the sys­tem will com­pro­mise their na­tional se­cu­rity while do­ing lit­tle to de­fend South Korea.

US Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Di­rec­tor James Clap­per said last Tues­day that the US pol­icy of try­ing to per­suade DPRK to give up its nu­clear weapons “is prob­a­bly a lost cause” and the best that could be hoped for is a cap on the coun­try’s nu­clear ca­pa­bil­ity.

Blinken re­it­er­ated that the US pol­icy on DPRK has not changed.

Dou­glas Paal, vice-pres­i­dent for stud­ies and di­rec­tor of the Asia pro­gram at the Carnegie En­dow­ment for In­ter­na­tional Peace, said that re­al­ism will take over. “Re­al­ism is that North Korea has the ca­pa­bil­ity and they are not go­ing to give up,” he said.

“My view is you make a big of­fer. You put ev­ery­thing North Korea says and wants on the table. And if they don’t take the of­fer, use that as the appeal to in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to re­ally tighten the sanc­tions,” Paal said.

He sug­gested giv­ing North Korea the chance to prob­a­bly main­tain the min­i­mum nu­clear ca­pa­bil­ity as a de­ter­rent against the US or oth­ers. “But at the same time, cap that process, so it doesn’t be­come a greater threat and keep that sta­bi­lized,” he said.

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