Commentary: Flare-up of tension reveals impotence of U.S. policy toward Pyongyang
BEIJING, Mar 11, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
by Wang Fan
The United States and South Korea
kicked off a two-week war game Monday amid escalating tensions on
the Korean Peninsula.
The "Key Resolve" exercise, which involves 10,000 South Korean
and 3,500 U.S. troops, has provoked a strong response from the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which on the same
day severed the communication hotline with Seoul and nullified the
armistice halting the 1950-53 Korean War.
For years, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has
experienced periods of both improvement and relapse, like a
chronic disease with no quick medication.
The underlying cause of the long-running crisis is the
simmering feud between Pyongyang and Washington, whose failed
policies toward the DPRK have exhausted the already scarce mutual
trust and dragged the situation into a reinforcing loop of
misunderstanding and animosity.
The United States, along with its allies, has been pressing for
tougher sanctions against the DPRK, taking them as an effective
way to resolve the Korean Peninsula crisis.
However, the recent flare-up of tension has once again laid
bare the ineffectiveness of the U.S. punishment-dominated approach
in its dealing with Pyongyang.
Sanctions will not resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.
The only viable way to reduce tensions is to hold negotiations and
address the concerns of all parties in a comprehensive and
With the peace process on the Korean Peninsula left in
disarray, more efforts are needed to remove suspicion and
hostility through candid and direct talks with all the relevant
For the DPRK, the Feb. 12 nuclear test, a defiant move deeply
rooted in its strong sense of insecurity, ran counter to the
course of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The six-party
talks are the best mechanism to guarantee the peace and stability
of the Korean Peninsula.
Other countries, mainly the United States, Japan and South
Korea, are advised to forbear from any show of force.
Saber-rattling will only roil the already unstable region and
shove Pyongyang further away from the negotiation table.
So far, the Northeast Asian countries have been holding their
breath as the situation evolves, fearing their countries might
suffer collateral damage should conflict erupt.
Indeed, an exacerbating situation on the Korean Peninsula
serves no one's interests in the region. Therefore, all the
relevant parties, including the United States and the DPRK, had
better remain cool-headed and refrain from stoking the flames,
thereby preventing the fragile situation from spiraling out of
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