October 15, 2009 07:16
China may be concerned about North Korea's nuclear armament but worries more about the stability of the North Korean regime, an academic said Monday. Yun Duk-min, a professor of the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, told an international seminar on South Korea-China-Japan relations in Seoul sponsored by Dongseo University's Japan Center, "China has been attentive to the resumption of the six-party nuclear disarmament talks rather than to the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue. It merely talks about the principle of a peaceful resolution but offers no specific ideas."
Yun said while the North's nuclear and missile provocations hurt China's basic interests by sparking debate about nuclear armament in South Korea and Japan, Beijing is hesitating to apply pressure on Pyongyang. "In the event the U.S. recognizes North Korea as a de facto nuclear power like India and Pakistan, China worries if participating in strong sanctions will weaken its position."
Jin Jingyi, a professor at Peking University, ascribed the impasse in the six-party talks to the crashing of the geopolitical strategies of the countries involved. "So long as America's Northeast Asia strategy evolves around strengthening its alliances with Japan and South Korea, a resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue is unlikely," he said. "And if America does not cooperate with China, which is emerging as the leading power of the new Northeast Asia, the geopolitical significance of the Korean Peninsula will increase and leave the North Korean nuclear issue unresolved."
Cho Yang-hyun, a professor at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, said the new Japanese government will find it difficult to depart from the previous Liberal Democratic Party's North Korea policy unless external conditions like Washington-Pyongyang relations change. "The island country's Democratic Party administration will avoid a conciliatory attitude toward the North until the Upper House election in July next year," Cho said. "But there are chances for Pyongyang to attempt to improve relations with Tokyo through epoch-making concessions on a DP leadership visit to the North, a Tokyo-Pyongyang summit and the Japanese abductees issue."
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