Commentary: U.S. hosility behind DPRK’s nuclear brinkmanship

By Xinhua Writer Wang Haiqing–

BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — As the world is busy digesting the fourth nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) within a decade, a sobering fact is worth noting: Washington’s antagonist approach has pushed Pyongyang further in the pursuit of nuclear capabilities.

The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, which arose from in the Cold War, has remained a major security conundrum for the region as well as the world, largely due to the tense relations between the United States and the DPRK.

Except for a brief period in the 1990s, mutual distrust and antagonism have defined the U.S.-DPRK ties.

Since 2003, the DPRK has stressed that it would abandon its nuclear program only if the United States abandons its antagonist policies toward Pyongyang.

A great many observers and analysts have also pointed out that any progress toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula hinges on the improvement of U.S.-DPRK ties.

In the past few years, the United States has used various pressure tactics including war games and economic sanctions against Pyongyang, and even refused some rare goodwill gestures by the DPRK.

In response to the DPRK’s latest nuclear test, the United States flew a massive nuclear-capable bomber over South Korea, and it is also gearing up to impose tighter sanctions on the DPRK.

However, history has proven that such pressure tactics could hardly succeed in subduing Pyongyang’s nuclear ambition. On the contrary, they would harden Pyongyang’s resolve to go further in its pursuit of nuclear capabilities.

The DPRK’s nuclear brinkmanship, which indeed deserves worldwide condemnation given its potential to severely disturb regional stability and world peace, may well be seen as a desperate attempt by the country to raise its leverage in wrestling with the United States.

Some Western media and politicians have piled blame on China for failing to halt the DPRK’s nuclear program. But accusing China of being the crux of the ongoing nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula is as absurd as it is irresponsible.

As a neighbor of the DPRK, China is exposed to a great level of risk should a nuclear emergency occur in the DPRK.

China has the strongest motivation to push forward the denuclearization process on the Korean Peninsula, and has played a tremendously positive role in the six-party talks and other endeavors to that effect.

As the Korean Peninsula threatens to become a powder keg, it is imperative that all sides exercise restraint and refrain from any actions that may escalate tension in the region.

The United States and its allies in the region need to make a convincing case about their proclaimed commitment to stability on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.

The DPRK, in the meantime, needs to understand that its repeated failure to honor its non-proliferation obligations will lead to its further isolation by the international community.


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