‘No more new nuke coun­tries’

Bilateral ties would suf­fer if NK loses Chi­nese pub­lic sym­pa­thy: ex­pert

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Yang Sheng

China is against al­low­ing more nu­cle­ar­armed coun­tries in the world, and Chi­nese ex­perts warned that if North Korea loses sym­pa­thy from the Chi­nese peo­ple, then Bei­jing would lose its jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to safe­guard bilateral ties.

For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said on Thurs­day that “whether it is North or South Korea, North­east Asia or other re­gions, there should be no more new nu­clear-armed coun­tries on this planet.” He made the re­marks dur­ing a speech at the Gen­eral De­bate of the 72nd ses­sion of the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly, the Xin­hua News Agency re­ported.

Wang said China is al­ways a force for peace and has made un­remit­ting ef­forts to­ward the peace­ful set­tle­ment of the is­sue. “What­ever changes may take place, no mat­ter how long it will take, and what­ever dif­fi­cul­ties we may face, China will stay firmly com­mit­ted to the de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the penin­sula.”

North Korean for­eign min­is­ter Ri Yong-ho is sched­uled to speak at the UN gen­eral de­bate on Fri­day.

“Ri will very likely try to per­suade the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to ac­cept North Korea as a nu­clear-armed coun­try since North Korea has al­ready de­vel­oped a hy­dro­gen bomb, but For­eign Min­is­ter

Wang has made it clear that North Korea’s diplo­matic ef­forts would fail,” said Lü Chao, a re­search fel­low on North Korea at the Liaon­ing Acad­emy of Social Sci­ences.

Wang is not only speak­ing to North Korea, but to any coun­try think­ing of de­vel­op­ing nu­clear weapons, and coun­tries which want to use North Korea as an ex­cuse to launch their own nu­clear pro­grams, Lü noted.

Mis­guided com­plaint

North Korea’s of­fi­cial me­dia Korean Cen­tral News Agency (KCNA) also pub­lished a com­men­tary on Fri­day com­plain­ing about Chi­nese me­dia as well as China’s sanc­tions on North Korea over Py­ongyang’s nu­clear and mis­sile tests.

KCNA crit­i­cized China’s peace-mak­ing and de­nu­cle­ariza­tion ef­forts, say­ing China is “kow­tow­ing” to the US by im­ple­ment­ing the UN res­o­lu­tions. KCNA called the UN res­o­lu­tions “the dirty ex­cre­ment of the re­ac­tionar­ies of his­tory.”

“KCNA is dis­tort­ing China’s ef­forts to safe­guard peace on the Korean Penin­sula. North Korea should un­der­stand that China op­poses North Korea’s de­vel­op­ment of nu­clear weapons not be­cause of the stance of the US and its al­lies. China’s po­si­tion is based on China’s own na­tional in­ter­ests and its re­spon­si­bil­ity to­ward re­gional se­cu­rity,” said Zheng Jiy­ong, di­rec­tor of Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity’s Cen­ter for Korean Stud­ies.

“North Korea has to­tally ig­nored China’s ef­forts to stop the mil­i­tary ag­gres­sion of the US and its al­lies against North Korea, and to re­sume talks. If China didn’t do any­thing, the US may have de­stroyed North Korea many times over,” Lü re­marked.

“North Korea should not ex­pect China to op­pose the whole in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity over its wrong and dan­ger­ous be­hav­ior. Op­pos­ing North Korea’s nu­clear weapons pro­gram does not only come from the US, it is a stance shared by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing China and Rus­sia,” Zheng added.

This is not the first time that KCNA re­leas­ing com­plaints to China and Chi­nese me­dia. With the in­crease of North Korea’s mis­sile and nu­clear tests in 2017, its com­plaints against and abuse of China are also get­ting more fre­quent and spe­cific.

“This is very un­wise, and has al­ready of­fended many Chi­nese peo­ple. On the Chi­nese In­ter­net, anger to­ward North Korea is ris­ing, and North Korea should un­der­stand that if the Chi­nese peo­ple have no more sym­pa­thy for Py­ongyang, then the Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties would lose the pub­lic opin­ion foun­da­tion needed to main­tain bilateral ties built by both coun­tries’ found­ing fa­thers,” Lü said.

‘Hi­lar­i­ous’ tit-for-tat

On Fri­day, Kim Jong-un, in his ca­pac­ity as chair­man of North Korea’s State Af­fairs Com­mis­sion, re­leased a state­ment in a lively tele­vised speech in re­sponse to Trump’s re­marks at the UN gen­eral de­bate. Kim said, “I will surely and def­i­nitely tame the men­tally de­ranged US dotard with fire,” KCNA re­ported.

In his UN speech, Trump called Py­ongyang a “band of crim­i­nals” and Kim a “Rocket Man” on “a sui­cide mis­sion.”

On Fri­day, Trump said on his twit­ter ac­count that Kim is “ob­vi­ously a mad­man who doesn’t mind starv­ing or killing his peo­ple.”

This hi­lar­i­ous tit-for-tat be­tween US and North Korean lead­ers is un­prece­dented, Lü said. “No US pres­i­dent has made such a state­ment about North Korea’s leader, and Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il also never said any­thing about any US pres­i­dent like Kim Jong-un has. Ap­par­ently, their state­ments are just talk, not ac­tions.”

Pho­tos: AFP

A crowd of North Kore­ans watches a tele­vi­sion news broad­cast of a state­ment by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on a jumbo screen out­side the cen­tral rail­way sta­tion in Py­ongyang on Fri­day. Kim said US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump will “pay dearly” for threat­en­ing to de­stroy North Korea.

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