Russian Federation and Japan seek all Parties to Defuse Tensions on the Korean Peninsula

Russian Federation and Japan seek all Parties to Defuse Tensions on the Korean Peninsula

Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Russian Federation and Japan called for the need to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula. This call was made during a meeting between President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan during their meeting in Moscow.

Putin said, “We are urging all the states involved in regional affairs to refrain from military rhetoric and seek a calm and constructive dialogue… We see the quickest restart of six-party negotiations as a common task.”

It appears that the Russian Federation is pressing for talks based on restarting the six-party negotiations. Indeed, despite the Russian Federation and North Korea sharing a border, it is clear that Moscow isn’t overtly troubled from a geopolitical point of view.

Of course, political elites in Moscow fear a possible refugee crisis in the short-term, and possible encroachment of America if North Korea collapses – a view shared by China. However, unlike South Korea and Japan who are on the frontline of rhetoric between America and North Korea, it is apparent that China and the Russian Federation don’t view any threat of military strikes on either nation if the Korean peninsula imploded – based on the worse case scenario. Therefore, statements by Putin have been very constrained and based on appealing for calm and focused on proper dialogue between all parties.

Reuters reports, “Separately, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on North Korea and other countries on Thursday to avoid behavior or rhetoric that could increase tensions around Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. Speaking at a news conference in Moscow after talks, the two leaders said they had agreed to cooperate closely to try to help defuse tensions around North Korea.”

The Russian Federation and Japan both share the need for North Korea to abide by resolutions agreed by the United Nations Security Council. This applies to North Korea ceasing to develop nuclear weapons.

Abe said, “President Putin and I have agreed that Japan and Russia will cooperate and call on North Korea to fully comply with the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions and refrain from further provocations.”

North Korea opposes past resolutions based on its perceived threat from the United States. China, in relation to THAAD being deployed in South Korea, is also worried by the role of Washington. Yet, China is equally unhappy with North Korea upping the ante. Therefore, China seeks a solution based on dialogue.

Yang Yujun, a Defense Ministry spokesperson from China, said, “The deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea damages the regional strategic balance and stability. The Chinese side is resolutely opposed to this… China’s military will continue to carry out live-fire military exercises and test new military equipment in order to firmly safeguard national security and regional peace and stability.”

It is apparent that the Russian Federation perceives itself to be an honest broker because this nation is focused on favorable relations with all sides. Of course, current tensions exist between Moscow and Washington but, despite this, Putin prefers to reset the clock. Until then, the Russian Federation will focus on favorable regional relations in order to defuse the crisis. Also, the meeting between Abe and Putin – along with powerful relations between China and the Russian Federation – is a clear reminder to America that Moscow’s geopolitical clout is far greater than many nations seem to acknowledge.

Overall, it is important that Japan and the Russian Federation work closely together. Indeed, it is imperative for Japan. After all, if a major conflict broke out on the Korean Peninsula then the real possibility of Japan being attacked exists.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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