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Wen Wei Po, Hong Kong

China Has Done All It
Can; North Korea and US
Must Exercise Restraint

By Editorial

Translated By Nathan Hsu

13 February 2013

Edited by Natalie Clager

Hong Kong - Wen Wei Po - Original Article (Chinese)

North Korea turning a blind eye to United Nations Security Council resolutions and proceeding with its nuclear test has elicited strong condemnation from the international community and has once more caused the Korean Peninsula and the whole of Northeast Asia to fall into a state of tension. Although China is willing to maintain amicable relations with North Korea, it staunchly holds its position of realizing the denuclearization of the peninsula, preventing nuclear proliferation and maintaining peace and stability in Northeast Asia. As a responsible great power, China must express its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to North Korea; but the truth is, despite China's efforts, it cannot stop North Korea from proceeding with nuclear tests and is unable to block sanctions from the international community. To address the heart of the problem, six-party talks must resume and mutual trust must be promoted among all sides. Only then can the issue of denuclearization on the peninsula be resolved and peace and stability maintained.

North Korea brushing aside both the U.N. Security Council resolutions and the opposition of the international community while moving forward with its nuclear test comprises a threat to the security of Northeast Asia. The U.K., U.S., France, South Korea and other states have all condemned North Korea's maverick third nuclear test. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the test, criticizing it as a grave violation of the Security Council resolutions. China must also meet its international obligations to oppose North Korea's nuclear test as detrimental to world peace. Accordingly, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement expressing the Chinese government’s firm opposition. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also met with the North Korean ambassador to China to discuss the nuclear test. He requested that North Korea refrain from any actions or statements that will further aggravate the situation.

Although China is North Korea's largest benefactor and holds a certain degree of influence over it, North Korea's repeated disregard for the international community's warnings and Chinese opposition demonstrates that it is impossible for China to prevent North Korean nuclear tests. At the same time, as North Korea's insistence on nuclear tests has brought strong condemnation and isolation from the international community, it is impossible for China to stop other states from imposing broader sanctions. All parties involved must insist on a peaceful resolution to the issue and denuclearize the peninsula under the framework of six-party talks.

In the past, the U.S. has adopted a hard stance toward North Korea, and an enormous strategic conflict exists between the two. In order to promote American democracy and consolidate U.S. interests, the U.S. has labeled North Korea the "Axis of Evil," limited North Korean development on multiple levels and has repeatedly held military exercises directed toward it, which have, to a certain extent, forced North Korea to develop nuclear weapons as a deterrent. China has consistently supported a North Korean return to six-party talks in order to collectively resolve the problems on the Korean Peninsula. It is even more vital that the U.S. examine its policies toward North Korea and change those which heighten tensions on the peninsula. It is also important to work actively with North Korea to create an atmosphere conducive to peace talks, to increase mutual trust and to ameliorate the situation.

Nuclear weapons cannot provide true peace; in the end they will only lead to further sanctions on North Korea rather than protect it. North Korea also must exercise restraint and return to six-party talks as soon as possible. This is not only in accordance with North Korea's own interests, but with those of every country on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.



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