Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

US should change approach to DPRK

By Hu Mingyuan (China Daily) Updated: 2014-03-25 07:41

Leaders from more than 50 countries and international organizations are attending the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague from March 24 to 25, with the focus on nuclear security and the prevention of nuclear terrorism.

Just ahead of the summit, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired 30 short-range rockets into the sea off the east of the Korean Peninsula early on Saturday. The rockets, which are believed to be old Soviet-developed FROG rockets that the DPRK has had since the 1960s, flew for 60 km before crashing into the sea, Yonhap said. One week ago, the DPRK had fired 25 short-range rockets into the sea off its east coast. It's widely believed the short-range-rocket launches by the DPRK this month are an "armed protest" against the ongoing annual ROK-US military drills.

The DPRK's launching rockets in protest against ROK-US military drills in fact is nothing new, which has highlighted the difficulty in resolving the DPRK nuclear issue.

Shortly after taking office, US President Barack Obama set forth his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, with preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism the first priority, and promised to make painstaking efforts to this end.

However, the Obama administration has made little effort to solve the crisis over nuclear program of the DPRK. Since Pyongyang carried out its third nuclear test, the DPRK nuclear crisis has escalated, and although the situation has eased somewhat, the outlook is still not optimistic.

Pyongyang has adopted a new strategy of carrying out economic development and building nuclear armed forces simultaneously, and it now proclaims itself as a nuclear power in its Constitution. It sees developing nuclear weapons as necessary for its self-preservation, so Pyongyang will not give up its nuclear weapons development program without security guarantees. According to US satellite images, Yongbyon has begun to produce nuclear fuel, and the construction of the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri is proceeding smoothly. If Pyongyang conducts a fourth nuclear test, it will trigger a new round of confrontation, which will seriously threaten peace and security in Northeast Asia.

The United States continues to pursue a tough policy toward the DPRK, demanding complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all nuclear capabilities by Pyongyang, and claims that if Pyongyang wants to hold direct talks with Washington, it must first improve diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea.

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