温家宝訪朝 北朝鮮は6か国協議に戻れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Oct. 7, 2009)
N. Korea must return to six-party talks
温家宝訪朝 北朝鮮は6か国協議に戻れ(10月7日付・読売社説)

In a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il referred to the possibility that his country could return to the six-party talks aimed at scrapping the country's nuclear development program.

Six months ago, North Korea declared it would never return to the six-party talks after the U.N. Security Council condemned the country for its test launch of a long-range ballistic missile.

In the meeting Monday with the Chinese leader, however, Kim indicated North Korea was prepared to attend multilateral talks, including the six-party talks, depending on progress in its negotiations with the United States. This represents a change of Pyongyang's position. The North Korean leader is also believed to have made the statement to receive economic aid in return.

However, it remains uncertain whether North Korea really intends to return to the six-party talks, because it has not changed its stance of focusing on its negotiations with the United States.

The United States has made it clear that it is ready to hold talks with North Korea if the dialogue is intended to persuade the North to return to the six-party talks. It is essential at this time for the United States to sufficiently coordinate with Japan, China, South Korea and Russia--the other parties involved in the six-party talks.


Pyongyang defiant

The problem is that North Korea intends to turn its possession of nuclear weapons into a fait accompli. It has conducted nuclear testing twice, refusing to scrap its nuclear development program.

The U.N. Security Council is right to have imposed sanctions on North Korea with resolutions. The sanctions must not be relaxed in any way until North Korea reaffirms its pledge to scrap its nuclear development program, as stipulated in the joint statement agreed upon in the six-party talks in September 2005, and takes concrete steps to abandon the program.

Wen visited North Korea with an important responsibility as the representative of China, which chairs the six-party talks.

Visiting North Korea in the "friendship year" that marks the 60th anniversary of the two countries' diplomatic ties, Wen was outwardly welcomed with great enthusiasm.

In truth, however, China-North Korea relations have cooled down considerably. Wen's visit marked the first by a Chinese premier to North Korea in 18 years. Chinese President Hu Jintao paid his last visit to North Korea back in 2005. The two countries' relations have become chilly mainly because of North Korea's nuclear development program.


Reluctant to punish ally

China has been cautious about implementing sanctions against North Korea. This policy is believed to be one of the factors that resulted in the situation today.

China apparently took such a stance out of the belief that imposing sanctions against North Korea would shake the country's regime, which would adversely affect stability--and stability is China's top priority.

In reality, as a result of North Korea continuing its nuclear development program, stability in East Asia, including China, has been damaged further.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874 must be strictly implemented so as not to repeat the same mistake. It will be necessary to cut off the flow of proscribed luxury goods as well as goods and money related to weapons of mass destruction into the country. In this regard, China bears heavy responsibility given that more than half of North Korea's trade is conducted with China. Economic levers must be used fully to resolve problems.

Leaders of Japan, China and South Korea are scheduled to meet in Beijing on Saturday. We urge Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Wen and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak to come up with effective strategies to resolve problems involving North Korea.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 7, 2009)
(2009年10月7日01時09分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2009-10-07 14:03 | 英字新聞

<< 補正予算見直し 景気への配慮が... 五輪東京落選 「南米で初」には... >>