U.S. must demand North Korea give up all its nuclear weapons

Published on Friday, 25 May 2018 18:40
Written by JAPAN NEWS

It is important to stick to the principle of demanding North Korea’s “complete, verifiable, and irreversible nuclear dismantlement,” without being swayed by Pyongyang.

Countries concerned must strengthen their cooperation so they can achieve concrete results for denuclearization at the U.S.-North Korea summit, scheduled for June 12.

South Korean President Moon Jae In visited the United States and held talks with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump said: “There are certain conditions that we want. And if we don’t [get those conditions], we don’t have the meeting.” By saying this, he expressed his idea that the summit could be delayed if Pyongyang does not meet the conditions set by Washington.

Trump also emphasized that if North Korea’s denuclearization is realized, Washington is ready to guarantee to Kim Jong Un, the chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the safety of the North Korean regime and to support its economic development.

With the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit slated to be held, the war of nerves engineered by Pyongyang will intensify further in the days ahead.

The “reconsideration” of the summit talks was first referred to by a senior foreign ministry official of North Korea. As the reason for reconsideration, he cited Washington’s demand that North Korea unilaterally abandon its nuclear arsenal.

North Korea condemned the latest joint drills of the U.S. and South Korean air forces, and canceled inter-Korean ministerial-level talks. Threatening to cancel planned talks, and deliberately raising tensions to obtain concessions, are tactics that Pyongyang commonly uses.

China must do its part

Kim has justified his country’s possessing a nuclear arsenal as a deterrent to protect its regime from U.S. attacks. It is quite unlikely it will readily relinquish its nuclear weapons. Pyongyang will undoubtedly attempt to obtain “compensation,” such as a guarantee of the regime’s survival and economic assistance, every time it implements small measures for denuclearization.

First, North Korea’s nuclear weapons are to be dismantled and its nuclear materials removed from the country en masse and in a short period of time. The International Atomic Energy Agency and international experts will inspect these moves. Only after North Korea’s nuclear threat has actually been reduced will certain compensation be given. To draw up such a road map for denuclearization, the countries concerned, including Japan, need to deepen their discussions.

It is worrisome that China has been taking steps to weaken pressure on North Korea.

Following Kim’s two visits to China, a delegation from the Workers’ Party of Korea made an economic inspection tour in China. Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed China’s support for North Korea’s economic development. It has also been pointed out that trade between China and North Korea has been on the increase.

It is reasonable for Trump to have expressed his standpoint that China should continue its strict control of its borders with North Korea. As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, China is responsible for thoroughly implementing the sanctions resolutions.

Xi must use his influence on Kim so that the North Korean leader will decide to abandon his nuclear program and shift to a policy of prioritizing his nation’s economy, including implementing economic reforms and opening up its economic system.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Columns on Friday, 25 May 2018 18:40. Updated: Friday, 25 May 2018 18:42.