World / Asia-Pacific

Patient work needed to back Korean Peninsula denuclearization

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-12-17 10:28

MOSCOW -- It is impossible to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula rapidly, and all relevant parties should exercise patience and assume undivided responsibility to stabilize the Northeast Asian region, says a senior Russian diplomat.

"Practice shows that long, thorough and patient work is required to heal the entire system of interstate relations in Northeast Asia, to remove mistrust, confrontation and hostility," Russian Foreign Ministry special envoy Grigory Logvinov told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Acknowledging the ups and downs in the "complicated" Korean Peninsula issue this year, Logvinov said the situation has more or less been stabilized, with no major crisis aggravation observed.

"I believe this is mainly due to the efforts of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), whose restraint and responsibility deserve high marks, despite intensive military activity off the Korean Peninsula's shores," he said.

The diplomat said Pyongyang has demonstrated active and "absolutely normal" diplomatic maneuvers in recent months, which reflect the country's desire to build constructive relations with the world.

Recalling a visit to Russia in November by Choe Ryong-hae, a special envoy of DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un, Logvinov said "serious chances" to unblock the long-stalled Korean Peninsula denuclearization process have emerged as Pyongyang showed readiness to resume the Six-Party Talks without preconditions.

Meanwhile, the progress should be made step by step, cautioned the diplomat, Russia's deputy chief envoy to the Six-Party Talks.

"One should not knowingly set goals that could not be reached ... nor to force someone to move faster than it is possible in the given circumstances," he stressed.

Logvinov admitted that there are still many risks regarding the peninsula's nuclear issue, among which a major one is the "catastrophic lack of trust."

"First, there's lack of trust in bilateral relations of the process' participants: the DPRK on one hand and South Korea, Japan and the United States on the other," he said.

Some events that happened around the world have also undermined small countries' belief in international law and political institutions as tools to guarantee their sovereignty, said the diplomat, adding that these sentiments feed those countries' belief that their independence can be secured only by weapons of mass destruction, nuclear one in the first place.

Inertia of confrontation remains strong, as Russia observes increased military beefing-up in Northeast Asia, Logvinov said, adding that the conviction that everything could be solved by the use of force has also persisted.

Russia, which sees the region as its docking device with the flourishing Asia-Pacific region, stands "categorically against launching arms race in Northeast Asia," he noted.

To that end, a multilateral security system must be built in the region, one that takes into account lawful interests of all participants, he suggested, adding that that would help discourage countries from obtaining nuclear weapons and stabilize the non-proliferation regime as a whole.

"It is a highly complicated and delicate process. The vector of movement toward the correct goal must be set, first of all," he said.

Logvinov also spoke highly of China's "indispensable" role in helping resume the Six-Party Talks, and said Russia's basic task is to restart the negotiations under Beijing's chairmanship.

"We don't see any alternative who can replace China . ... That's why we're coordinating our efforts and we always consult what can be done next and what should be done," he said.

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