Little time left to solve Korean Peninsula nuclear issue peacefully

China Military
Huang Panyue

BEIJING, Mar. 22 (ChinaMil) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced on March 19 that they had conducted a successful ground test of a new type of high-thrust rocket engine the previous day.

This was widely interpreted as “a great event of historic significance” for the DPRK’s indigenous rocket industry. And the U.S. president Trump responded that “North Korea is behaving very badly”.

Successful ground test of the rocket engine isn't the same thing as a successful launch, and launching the rocket from the launching field isn't the same thing as commissioning it in the troops and then launching the missile.

Even so, there is no denying that DPRK's rocket research and development (R&D) has made constant progress.

Theoretically speaking, Pyongyang will have its own intercontinental ballistic missiles that could hit the United States sooner or later.

We believe that none of the U.S., South Korea or DPRK wants to go to war at this moment as the situation hasn't come to that point yet.

We also believe that warfare is just a matter of time if DPRK continues its nuclear and missile program.

A long-planned surprise attack or an accident could trigger the war. The Korean Peninsula game won't be protracted forever. A final outburst is inevitable.

In no condition will the international community accept DPRK's legal possession of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

As Pyongyang continues with its nuclear programs, international sanctions will get tighter, and it will eventually be isolated from the rest of the world for a long time.

But Pyongyang, which is getting militarily stronger, won't be a sitting duck. It may adopt some dangerous provocative actions that will lead to new confrontations until a war breaks out in the end.

DPRK has made constant progress in nuclear missiles, and the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is becoming more and more destructive. The longer this crisis drags on, the worse it is for all parties, including the DPRK.

To solve the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, the key is to force the DPRK to give up nuclear weapons in exchange for its most concerned security, but it seems that joint military exercises held by the U.S. and South Korea are not effective in achieving that goal.

Facts show that the effect of military pressure from those two countries has been exhausted, and more pressure will only get the opposite effect.

Relevant countries should drive home to DPRK the following reasons and logic.

First, even if DPRK has developed intercontinental ballistic missiles in the real sense and put a nuclear warhead on it, it won't form the traditional nuclear deterrence in international relations, and its nuclear forces won't translate into the conditions for political stability and resources for economic and social development.

Second, international sanctions won't be lifted as long as Pyongyang doesn't give up nuclear weapon development, and DPRK will never become a normal member in the international community.

China, the U.S. and Russia don't see eye to eye on many things, but they have the same stance on DPRK's possession of nuclear weapons, so it's impossible for Pyongyang to pit them against each other through diplomatic means and create decisive opportunities for it to break the international sanctions.

Third, Pyongyang may imagine that the U.S. would shudder at its primary nuclear devices, but a large power like the U.S. has more confidence and capability than it thinks.

Once a nuclear war broke out between the two countries, their sufferings would be of completely different nature - the U.S. would sustain physical losses, but DPRK might be wiped off the face of the earth for good.

Therefore, the U.S. will take precautions against DPRK's nuclear missiles, but it won't be afraid of it, let alone make concessions.

Fourth, a voluntary abandonment of nuclear weapons is most conducive to DPRK because in that case, it will still have room for bargaining and obtain the security safeguards it wished through the possession of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapon plays the biggest role on the negotiating table, and Pyongyang should take an active part in the negotiations, and get as many interests as possible for the DPRK regime and society in return for giving up its nuclear missile technology to the UN Security Council.

But Pyongyang doesn't trust anyone now, even Beijing has difficulty communicating with it, but they have normal channels of communication at least.

To help Beijing to talk some sense into Pyongyang, the U.S. and South Korea have to adjust their moves and let Pyongyang see that it will have greater security and a brighter future once it gives up its nuclear program.

Washington and Seoul have played the military card for so many years to no avail. It's high time that they change their approach.

China has proposed two-way suspension deal to ease Korean Peninsula tensions. It has remonstrated DPRK, South Korea and the U.S. in earnest in order to properly settle the nuclear crisis on the peninsula.

There isn't as much time left as some imagine to solve the nuclear issue peacefully, perhaps no longer than president Trump's four-year term. All parties should feel a sense of urgency, otherwise we'll have no choice but embrace the devil of war.

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