US warning against Pyongyang adds uncertainty to Korean peninsula

Washington, April 27 (IANS) The US warning of “other options” against Pyongyang concerning its nuclear and missile programmes will have a negative impact on the Korean peninsula situation, says a Chinese analyst.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner on Tuesday warned that Washington will “look at other options” if North Korea continues its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, Xinhua news agency reported.

However, he did not specify what options the US was considering.

Given the long-standing hostility and distrust between Washington and Pyongyang, tougher US stance will not ease tension on the Korean peninsula, but create a vicious circle on the issue, said Chinese expert Ling Shengli.

An expert at China Foreign Affairs University, Ling said compared with sanctions and isolation, engaging Pyongyang and encouraging economic reform could lead the country to abandoning its nuclear weapons.

Observers and analysts have also said that any progress toward denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula hinges on improvement in ties between Washington and Pyongyang.

However, in a CBS interview aired on Tuesday, US President Barack Obama remained tough, describing the country “a massive challenge”.

He defended a plan to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence missile system on the Korean peninsula, “so that even as we try to resolve the problem of nuclear development inside of North Korea, we’re also setting up a shield that can at least block the relatively low-level threats that they are posing right now”.

China and Russia are opposed to the possible deployment of the missile system which they believe will create a real threat to their security and stability in northeast Asia.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Tuesday said the international sanctions on North Korea have not made a desired change in Pyongyang’s behaviour.

Pyongyang on Sunday announced the test-firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

South Korea’s military said the missile was fired on Saturday in waters off North Korea’s northeast coast and flew about 30 km.

It is believed that Pyongyang might conduct another test before a National Congress of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea scheduled for May 6.

The party congress will be the first major conference in 36 years and the first under the current top leader Kim Jong-un.

–IANS

py/dg

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1 Comment

  1. Chuck
    April 29, 2016 at 5:19 am Reply

    “An expert at China Foreign Affairs University, Ling said compared with sanctions and isolation, engaging Pyongyang and encouraging economic reform could lead the country to abandoning its nuclear weapons.”

    Great, so why doesn’t China get in there and start reforms, instead of sitting on the sidelines with it’s finger up it’s…Friggin’ lunatics.

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