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‘Without dual suspension, peace will disappear,' says China

‘Without dual suspension, peace will disappear,' says China

Posted January. 06, 2018 07:35,   

Updated January. 06, 2018 08:10


The contact between South Korea and North Korea should be followed by dialogue with other parties, because otherwise, the possibility of a thaw in the inter-Korean relations will present itself only to disappear shortly like the mysterious udumbara flowers, said an editorial in the Global Times under the auspices of the People’s Daily newspaper, welcoming an agreement between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, to postpone joint military exercises until after the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The editorial was titled “Would the chance of dual-suspension (in which Pyeongyang would freeze its nuclear and missile tests while Seoul and Washington would halt combined military drills) soon disappear just like udumbaras?”

Beijing apparently welcomes a longed-for sign of dual suspension on the Korean Peninsula, but still seems to be concerned about whether this would actually lead to the freeze-for freeze, the resumption of six-party talks, or a dialogue between the United States and North Korea to ease record-high tensions on the peninsula. While stressing the resolution of North Korea’s nuclear issues, China appears to be focusing on the prevention of confusion or a possible war on the Korean Peninsula, which would hamper its domestic stability and security interests. Well reflected in the editorials of China’s state-run media outlets is such an attitude of China that approves of an inter-Korean dialogue but clearly says that the dialogue itself does not mean the resolution of the North’s nuclear issue.

Also, Chinese media stressed yet again that the cause of Pyongyang’s development of nuclear weapons lies in Washington’s hostile policies towards the North including South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises, and that is why dual suspension is needed to lessen tensions on the Korean Peninsula. In this vein, Beijing’s government-run media all supported the inter-Korean dialogue in unison.

“The two Koreas’ exchange of an olive branch on the occasion of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics is worthy of encouragement and praise,” said the People’s Daily. “As this (the issue on the Korean Peninsula) is not an issue that has happened overnight, there can be twists and turns going forward. But if we want to break the vicious cycle of threat and confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, the black hole of conflict can be turned into the dawn of peace.”

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com