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US Experts Urge China to Do More About N. Korea

Posted July. 16, 2009 08:28,   


Experts at a seminar in Washington yesterday urged China to play a more active role in resolving problems involving North Korea, saying Beijing is the only one that can get Pyongyang to return to the six-party nuclear talks.

The conservative Washington-based Cato Institute held the symposium “Engaging China to Solve the North Korea Problem.” Participants there discussed how influential China is over North Korea and whether Washington has the capability and willingness to persuade Beijing to do more toward Pyongyang.

They mostly agreed that more diplomatic efforts and money are needed to get China’s cooperation. The majority of experts also forecast that Pyongyang will not be willing to return to negotiations since Pyongyang is undergoing a power succession and its military is determined to turn North Korea into a nuclear state.

Cato Institute senior fellow Doug Bandow said the U.S. should reassure China against worry over North Korea’s collapse. He said Washington needs to clearly express that it is willing to share the costs resulting from North Korean refugees with China, and that if South Korea and Japan also agree to share the burden, China will be further relieved.

In the event of North Korea’s collapse, Bandow also said relevant nations should begin discussing what will happen, which responsibility each nation should take, and who will maintain order.

Ted Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at Cato Institute, proposed an alternate plan in which relevant nations need to bring change to the communist regime instead of sticking to diplomacy such as the six-party talks.

Beijing could consider a new scenario to overturn the North Korean regime if offered appropriate rewards, he said, namely U.S. troop withdrawal from South Korea and the weakening of the Seoul-Washington military alliance.

Larry Niksch, an Asian affairs specialist at the U.S. Congressional Research Service, said North Korea’s missiles and missile parts and technology design as well as scientists and engineers have been transferred to Iran via airplanes.

He urged China to use its influence to ban flights linking Pyongyang and Tehran in addition to imposing financial sanctions on North Korea to keep the Stalinist country in check.

Syria, Myanmar and especially Iran have become the North’s new customers for weapons of mass destruction technology, and China should not provide fuel for flights between North Korea and Iran, he added.