There can be only political solutions on the Korean peninsula (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)
There is no doubt that what we are living through in present is one of the most dramatic developments on the Korean peninsula showing that the threat of confrontation is moving into its hottest phase than ever before. The belligerent rhetoric coupled with reckless muscle-flexing has led to a dangerous situation where one careless step can lead to the most terrible consequences.
We are watching the development of the situation in the region with alarm. On one hand, Russia strongly condemns the provocative nuclear and missile activity by Pyongyang, which is confirmed by our support of the UNSC resolutions 2270 (2016) and 2321 (2016). We call upon the North Korean authorities to end their proscribed programmes, return to the non-proliferation regime and join once again the International Atomic Energy Agency verification regime.
At the same time it is clear that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will not give up its nuclear programme as long as it senses direct threat to its security. That is how the North Koreans view the regular large-scale manoeuvres and exercises by the United States and its allies in the region as well as the latest dispatch of the American naval armada near their coasts. Why engage in silly saber-rattling?
Another destabilizing factor is the decision by Washington and Seoul to deploy in the Republic of Korea elements of the US global missile defence system (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense). We as well as China have repeatedly stated that this step would undermine the existing military balance in the region and pose threat to the security of neighboring countries. Once again, we call upon the US and the Republic of Korea to review this decision. Why antagonise Russia and China?
Military options are completely unacceptable and can only lead to catastrophic consequences. Only diplomatic tools will create conditions for the denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. All parties involved should demonstrate calm and restraint and not make steps that could increase the tension. This is impossible without normalizing the entire military and political situation, putting an end to the build-up of military infrastructure, scaling down the maneuvering and building trust among countries in the region. We are convinced that there is no alternative to a political settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula based on the Joint Statement issued by the participants in the Six Party Talks on 19 September 2005.
The Chinese proposals on “suspension for suspension” and “parallel moves” deserve serious attention as a starting point to overcome the current impasse and renew the negotiating process. We need to seek channels of communication with Pyongyang to lead the Koreans to a substantive dialogue on nuclear and missile issues. We are ready for closer cooperation with all partners in order to settle the nuclear and other issues on the Korean peninsula as soon as possible through mutually respectful dialogue and due consideration of interests and concerns.