Expert: six-party talks benefit security in Northeast Asia
( 2003-08-25 16:24) (Xinhua)
Li Dunqiu, secretary-general of the Chinese Society for the Study of Korean History, said that it is unrealistic to hope for too much from the talks, which are expected to last three days.
Nevertheless, Li said, the fact that both the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) are willing to attend the meeting shows a positive signal in solving the nuclear issue.
The DPRK and the United States have been at loggerheads since the breakout of the Korean War over half a century ago. The Korean Peninsula remains one of the last vestiges of the Cold War.
The Korean nuclear issue arose when Pyongyang railed at Washington on its sustained containment policy while the Americans insisted on de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Among the six participants of the meeting, China, the DPRK, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and Japan are key players in ensuring security in Northeast Asia. The United States, meanwhile,has important security interests in the region.
Nothing like these six-party talks on security issues has been held since the beginning of the Cold War.
As the Cold War ended, Li said, the power equilibrium in Northeast Asia was shattered.
"Any unbalanced stalemate can be extremely dangerous," said Li,also a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Northeast Asia desperately needs an effective consultation mechanism for addressing security issues, he said.
"The six-party talks might be a good alternative for future consultations," Li said, adding that China has received international praise for activating the talks.
Any failure at the meeting might worsen the current situation, he said. Pyongyang and Washington should reduce their hostility and distrust, in order to smooth the multilateral talks.
The head-on conflict between the DPRK and the United States hasbeen fundamental, Li said, and without any doubt, the US expansionist security strategy is one factor contributing to bilateral hostility.
Although Pyongyang's security concern is understandable, Li said, the non-nuclearization of the peninsula is in the security interests of all relevant parties, including the DPRK and the United States.
"History tells us that military confrontation results in nothing but
disaster," he said. "Not power politics, but peaceful talks and constructive
cooperation can finally solve any problem."
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