Launching [Launching Another Crisis]

发布时间:2020-03-26 来源: 短文摘抄 点击:

  When the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) test-fired a stream of missiles on July 5, it drew sharp concerns from a global community perpetually concerned over stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
  According to government reports from South Korea, the DPRK launched at least seven missiles from two sites along its eastern coastline toward the Sea of Japan, including at least one long-range Taepodong-2 missile, which is believed to be capable of reaching U.S. soil.
  On July 6, a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as confirming that the country had indeed test-fired missiles, saying this was part of routine military exercises aimed at increasing the nation’s military capacity for self-defense. The Korean Central News Agency reported the same spokesman saying the DPRK remains committed to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in a negotiated peaceful manner as per the September 19 joint statement of the six-party talks.
  The international community, especially the stakeholders of North Korean nuclear negotiations within the six-party talks framework, responded swiftly to the missile launches by the northeastern Asian nation.
  
  Diplomacy-first approach
  
  One of the most severe reactions came from Japan, whose cabinet decided on the same day of the launch to impose a set of sanctions against the DPRK, including banning their ferry Mangyongbong-92, the only direct passenger link between the two countries, from calling at Japanese ports for six months. Japan also formally presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on July 7, calling for sanctions against North Korea over the missile tests. The draft, co-sponsored by Britain, France and the United States, invokes Chapter Seven of the UN Charter, which authorizes sanctions or even military action.
  However, Japan had to soften its stance after the key members of the UN Security Council agreed to delay a vote on the draft resolution on July 10. But Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said the next day that he hopes the UN Security Council votes on the resolution before the G8 summit starts in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 15. On the same day, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said at a press conference that it would be at least a few days before Japan pushed for another vote.
  “My mission here is not to seek sanctions. My mission here is to make sure that we can all speak with one voice to deal with this real provocative action by the North Koreans,” said Christopher Hill, the chief U.S. negotiator at six-party talks aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear program, who embarked on a hasty trip to China, South Korea and Japan shortly after the missile launch. Although the United States condemned the test launch as provocative behavior, it is against Japan’s appeal to impose punitive UN sanctions on North Korea. Hill said his Asian trip has been focused on how to restart the six-nation talks, which have been frozen since last November.
  
  The South Korean Government issued a statement expressing “deep regret” over the launch of the missiles and an emergency meeting of security ministers was immediately called. But South Korea is also strongly opposed to sanctions against the North. Choo Kyu Ho, Spokesman for the South Korean Foreign Ministry, was quoted by the International Herald Tribune as saying that his government “won’t go fully in hand with Japan, which is leading this movement.”
  Russia also stands by a coordinated diplomatic solution to the crisis and opposes the severe standpoint of imposing sanctions.
  “I think U.S. President George W. Bush has paid scant attention to the North Korean nuclear tension as he is focused on the situation in Iraq and Iranian nuclear crisis. The recent incident is thus the backfire of U.S. neglect of this region,” said Ruan Zongze, Deputy Director of the China Institute of International Studies, speaking on a TV program as a guest speaker July 7.
  
  China’s stance
  
  In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao said July 5 that China is “seriously concerned” over the tension caused by the missile test-firing. Meanwhile, he said the Chinese Government urged the parties concerned to keep calm and show restraint and any actions that might further intensify and complicate the situation should be avoided.
  Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, accompanied by Vice Foreign Minister and Chinese chief negotiator at the six-party talks Wu Dawei, arrived in Pyongyang July 10 for a five-day visit, which was highly expected by other countries to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table of six-party talks.
  Yan Xuetong, Director of the Institute of International Studies of Tsinghua University and guest analyst on a recent TV program, attributed North Korea’s test launch of missiles to retaliating against U.S. financial sanctions starting from last November based on accusations North Korea counterfeited U.S. currency and trafficked drugs. This move enraged North Korea, which claimed the lifting of sanctions is the precondition for resuming talks on nuclear dismantlement with the United States.
  In a Reuters report July 11, DPRK Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Hyong Jun told reporters in the South African capital, Pretoria, where he was on an official visit, “As soon as the United States lifts financial sanctions, we will readily participate in the next round of the six-party talks.” He also said if there are no more exercises designed to disturb the peace in the region, there would be no missile launches. Kim accused the United States of conducting massive military exercises in the waters off the Korean Peninsula with South Korea and Japan, which posed a “serious violation of the principles of sovereignty, equality, reciprocity and non-interference.”
  Meeting with visiting Vice President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of DPRK July 11, Chinese President Hu Jintao called on the parties that are involved in the six-party talks “to overcome current difficulties.”
  
  China and Russia introduced a draft UN Security Council resolution July 12, calling for the early resumption of the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue.
  “China would like to work with the parties concerned to resume the six-party talks as soon as possible,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular press briefing July 12. On the same occasion Jiang labeled Japan’s call for sanctions as an “overreaction,” which “requires a substantial revision.”
  “The biggest worry of all countries, including China, for the time being, is the continuous deterioration of nuclear tensions on the peninsula. Denuclearization efforts must wait for the situation to stabilize. To this end, China will continue its key role in the diplomatic maneuvering between the United States and the DPRK so as to solve the problem under a multilateral mechanism, since China is the only country that can play such a role,” said Yu Jun, a professor at the China National School of Administration.

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