US and China World’s Apart on North Korea
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Following tough new Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang, China urged diplomatic outreach to resolve contentious Korean peninsula issues.
It called for mutual respect over Washington’s attempt to impose its will unilaterally. Without responsibly addressing the DPRK’s legitimate security concerns, resolving things will remain unattainable.
On the sidelines of the Asean ministerial meetings in Manila, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on Washington, Pyongyang and Seoul to exercise restraint, working cooperatively together to resolve divisive issues.
He expressed support for initiatives suggested by his South Korean counterpart, indicating Pyongyang may go along, saying:
“My feeling is that the North is not completely rejecting the positive proposals by the South. To China, as a neighbor to both North Korea and South Korea, we support the positive initiatives by the new South Korean government and we are willing to see such contacts happen as soon as possible.”
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho saying Seoul’s proposals to improve ties “lack sincerity…given the current situation in which the South collaborates with the US to heap pressure on the North.”
North and South Korean foreign ministers met briefly on the Asean sidelines – the first time since Moon Jae-in was inaugurated as South Korea’s president in May.
From Manila, Rex Tillerson sought greater regional cooperation in isolating the DPRK.
“There is no future where North Korea holds nuclear weapons or the ability to deliver those nuclear weapons to anyone in the region much less to the homeland,” he blustered.
Talks with Pyongyang depend on its government’s willingness to discuss denuclearization and suspension of its ballistic missile tests, Tillerson saying:
“The best signal that North Korea could give us that they’re prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches.”
“We’ve not had any extended period of time where they have not taken some type of provocative action by launching ballistic missiles.”
“I think that would be the first and strongest signal they could send to us, would be to stop these missile launches.”
China and Russia prioritize responsible diplomatic outreach with other nations. Washington’s approach is bullying and belligerence.
Pyongyang rejected new UN sanctions, saying it’ll continue pursuing development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs – deterrents against feared US aggression.
Meeting with Rex Tillerson in Manila for the first time since new US sanctions were imposed on Russia, Sergey Lavrov called US regional military preparations unacceptable, heightening tensions instead of easing them.
Separately, he met with his Chinese and North Korean counterparts, Wang Yi and Ri Yong-ho respectively, urging restraint to avoid conflict on the peninsula.
Washington wants North Korea’s main deterrent against possible US aggression eliminated. Moscow and Beijing want peace and stability on the peninsula achieved through diplomacy.
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