Op-ed: Positive momentum on Korean Peninsula should be maintained
By Zhong Sheng from People’s Daily
China remains persistent in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula, and resolving the nuclear issue through talks, Chinese President Xi Jinping said when discussing the situation on the Korean Peninsula and bilateral relations with his US counterpart Donald Trump via phone on Friday.
It has been proved that President Xi is right to insist on a dialogue between the US and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Trump said, adding that the US side highly appreciates and values China’s significant role in resolving the Korean Peninsula issue, and is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with China over the issue.
The phone conversation between the two leaders is of great significance as positive changes have emerged in the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
The talk further confirms the general direction of resolving the Korean Peninsula issue through dialogue and negotiation between China and the US.
It also tells the world that the two countries are strengthening effective communication and coordination over the issue, and that China’s constructive proposals and role on the issue are recognized and appreciated by all parties concerned.
Taking the opportunity of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the DPRK have made intensive interactions since the beginning of this year.
ROK President Moon Jae-in, on February 10, met with Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and Kim Yo Jong, first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and DPRK top leader Kim Jong Un’s special envoy.
Kim Yo Jong delivered Kim Jong Un’s letter to Moon inviting the ROK president to visit Pyongyang. On March 5, Kim Jong Un met with ROK special envoys in Pyongyang and received a letter from President Moon delivered by the delegation.
The ROK and the DPRK have agreed to hold a summit between the top leaders in late April at Peace House, a ROK building in the truce village of Panmunjom that straddles the two sides. If held as agreed upon, Kim Jong Un will become the first DPRK leader to cross the inter-Korean border to the ROK territory.
President Trump said on Friday that his meeting with the top DPRK leader is being planned, and that major breakthroughs are being made in solving the Korean Peninsula issue.
The active interactions are injecting long-waited thaw into the chill on the peninsula. The positive communication has proved once again that dialogue and negotiation is the only right path to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue, and only measures conducive to regional peace and stability meet the common expectations of regional countries and the world.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a statement released on Tuesday, welcomed the advances made during the latest inter-Korean talks and encouraged the two sides to keep the momentum and find a peaceful path forward.
Russia is ready to assist the process in facilitating, expanding and deepening bilateral dialogues between the DPRK and the ROK, Russian deputy Foreign Minister noted on Tuesday.
As a close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has made unremitting efforts and played a unique and indispensable role in solving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through negotiations with a responsible attitude of safeguarding the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.
Signs of a thaw on the Korean Peninsula are closely related to China’s suspension-for-suspension proposal. During the Olympics, the DPRK suspended missile tests, while the US and ROK postponed their joint military drill.
The proposal, which was put forward in March 2017 to defuse the looming crisis on the Korean Peninsula, calls for the DPRK to suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale US-ROK military exercises.
The DPRK has promised to suspend any nuclear test and ballistic missile test-launches if a dialogue mood continues. It has to be admitted that these positive signs are effects of the suspension-for-suspension proposal.
China’s suspension-for-suspension proposal has proven to be a right prescription in creating the basic conditions needed for improving inter-Korea relations.
A virtuous cycle of inter-Korean talks will encourage DPRK-US dialogue, which is in line with the dual track approach proposed by China. The dual-track approach aims to promote parallel progress in the denuclearization of the peninsula and the establishment of a peace mechanism in a synchronized and reciprocal manner, ultimately achieving both goals together.
China’s constructive role in resolving the Korean Peninsula issue is out of its concern for the interests of regional countries and their people, and out of its sense of responsibility to safeguard world peace.
The country will by no means allow war or chaos on the Korean Peninsula, which will not only hurt people of both countries, but also severely threaten interests of China and countries in other regions.
Peace cannot be realized without goodwill, while easing of situation can create opportunities to this end. In this moment the world has already seen light on resolution of the Korean Peninsula issue, all parties concerned must demonstrate political courage and make the right decisions.
Only by keeping the good momentum can the efforts be continued and deepened to push the Korean Peninsula issue toward the direction that the international community commonly expects. China will make unremitting efforts to this end, and hopes other countries will also march toward the common goal.