America, China, and Russia should work together on the issue of North Korea
Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The crisis on the Korean peninsula needs calmness in the corridors of power in Washington and Pyongyang respectively. Yet, in order to reach this, it is essential that the leading powers of America, China, and the Russian Federation work together in order to utilise influences over Japan, North Korea, and South Korea respectively. If leading powers work together then tensions can be reduced because sabre rattling in Washington and Pyongyang, in relation to North Korea’s militarization of weapons of mass destruction, could eventually spiral out of control.
North Korea equally needs to know that any military conflict isn’t in the interest of this nation. This obviously applies to the huge devastation that will follow and the ire of China if Beijing blames Pyongyang for military conflict. At the same time, the North Korean economy will contract at a higher rate and this will further weaken central forces.
Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, said, “We find Pyongyang’s adventurous missile launches unacceptable as they are a violation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions… But that does not mean that others can violate international law in response and use military force.”
Lavrov is obviously taking aim at America but from a conciliatory approach. After all, it is clear that the Russian Federation is condemning the adventurous policies of North Korea based on missile launches and other forms of brinkmanship. However, if Washington left a door open then Moscow is likely to open it because both nations need to reset the geopolitical clock.
China, although unhappy with South Korea and the deployment of the THAAD missile-defense-system, equally seeks to stem the drums of war that are beating in Washington and Pyongyang. Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry of China, stated, “China has been paying close attention to the development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Under the current circumstances, we think all parties should show restraint and not take action that may intensify regional tensions.”
Japan and South Korea have much to worry because any gusto from Washington will endanger the citizens of Japan and South Korea respectively. Hence, the electorate of both nations will hold the natural allies of America in the region accountable. Of course, people of both nations – just like the national governments of Japan and South Korea – are concerned about what to do about the antagonising military bolstering of North Korea. However, historically, the nation of North Korea isn’t known to invade other nations despite constant rhetoric – but the current leader of North Korea appears more volatile.
Modern Tokyo Times alluded to the above by stating in a past article, “It is all well and fine for the Trump administration to threaten North Korea but the reality is that ordinary citizens in South Korea and Japan will face the brunt of such folly. Given this reality, then political elites in China, Japan, and South Korea should focus on a new strategy based on “substantive talks” and with Beijing playing a key role. In other words, hawks in America and North Korea – and Abe must put the people of Japan first instead of any notions of nationalism – need to be contained by China, South Korea, and a pragmatic Japan.”
Mike Pence, the Vice-President of the United States, said the “era of strategic patience” is over with the nation of North Korea. However, it is easy for the Trump administration to make bold statements because North Korea is far from mainland America. Therefore, specialists in Washington can’t simply ignore the political elites in Japan and South Korea.
Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, said it is “important to maintain peace.” However, he equally said, “dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless.”
Hence, it is incumbent on China and the Russian Federation to contain the crisis by appealing to North Korea to take its foot off the military accelerator. Yet, like China alluded to in the area of THAAD being deployed in South Korea, it is important for America to listen to the geopolitical concerns of China and the Russian Federation. Similarly, China understands that in North Korea the political and military elites of this nation feel threatened by endless joint war games by America and South Korea. After all, these joint military drills – while nothing new – are clearly aimed at North Korea.
If progress is to be made in relation to dampening the drums of war, then it is essential for America, China, and the Russian Federation to work together in this part of Northeast Asia. All sides need to look at the worse case scenario because given the nature of North Korea, then no winners will gain from any pre-emptive strike, irrespective of the party that ignites the fire.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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