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It's time Pyongyang saw reason

By Zhang Jingquan | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-18 08:02

The situation on the Korean Peninsula is disturbing. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has annulled the Armistice Agreement that halted the Korean War, intensified its rhetoric and moved its missile launchers to strategic sites. The Republic of Korea and the United States have held joint military drills and the United Nations Security Council has imposed fresh sanctions on the DPRK in response. These developments have raised fears of another war breaking out on the Peninsula.

History tells us that countries involved in wars - mostly after being attacked or invaded - were often isolated states like the DPRK. Many would argue against the contention, saying the DPRK has been in isolation for decades, but the fact is it was never as isolated as it is today.

Pyongyang faces the worst possible sanctions. Despite that, it has defied the UN to conduct missile and nuclear tests and thus invited two new sanctions in less than two months, which is rare.

Reacting to the joint US-ROK military drill, the DPRK nullified the Armistice Agreement of 1953. From the perspective of international law, the Peninsula has been in a continued state of war, and the US and the ROK could use even an accidental act by the DPRK to launch a preemptive strike.

The DPRK lacks the support of a major power. Despite making great efforts to resolve the DPRK nuclear issue and restore permanent peace and stability on the Peninsula, China had to make the tough decision of supporting the UN Security Council resolution after the DPRK conducted its third nuclear test.

Even Russia backed the Security Council resolution. Talking to CNN, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia this time agrees with the US, even though Moscow has been on good terms with Pyongyang.

Strategically (and even tactically) speaking, the DPRK is at a great disadvantage. If a war really breaks out, it will face massive food and medical problems.

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