Nuclear deal with Pyongyang possible
Moscow and Beijing considers an opportunity to locate the American missile defense system in South Korea to be a threat to security and are working on a settlement of the situation together, the Ambassador of Russia to China, Andrei Denisov, told Sputnik Agency. The talks between the USA and South Korea on THAAD location began in early March, after North Korea had tested nuclear weapons on January 6th and had launched a satellite ballistic missile on February 7th, which had broken the UN SC resolutions.
“We, as professionals, first and foremost, should think how to find a way out of the current situation. The first nuclear test in North Korea was made in 2006. Ten years passed, there were enough resolutions, declarations, an unprecedented sanctions regime was introduced, but so far the regime has not brought results. We see only the intensification of the nuclear rocket program of North Korea,” Alexander Zhebin, the head of the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, says.
According to him, the sanctions are not working, and this was confirmed by the example of Iran: “The problem seemed to be unsolvable, until Iran was offered a serious, specifically designed project of the response measures that the West would have been ready to take towards Iran if it had curtailed at least one program that was assessed by the West as potentially military. Such a package of measures has not been suggested to North Korea so far, which will take into account both the security interests and the interests of the economic development of North Korea.”
Zhebin thinks that the package should include the recognition of the unconditional right to the peaceful atom of Pyongyang: “If the international community, as it is said, requires Pyongyang to return to the NPT, the agreement expressly provides each state with the right to have peaceful energy, even more, commits the nuclear states to provide the non-nuclear countries help in the development of peaceful nuclear energy, of course, under international control, the involvement of IAEA and other international institutions.”
Moreover, according to the expert, the package should include the right of Pyongyang to peaceful use of space exploration: “Pyongyang acceded to the appropriate treaty and signed the relevant conventions. The country believes that these universal treaties are superior to the individual applications and the Security Council resolutions. And it has some reason to think so in this sense.”
Alexander Zherebin wonders: “The nuclear powers and those countries that are very jealous of the fact of the launches made by Pyongyang do not pay attention to the numerous launches of military missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads that take place in the same days, when Pyongyang makes it, but by other non-nuclear countries. These non-nuclear countries are either prospective commercial partners or intentionally used by the great powers in their geopolitical interests, such as India against China and so on. It points to clear double standards of the attitude towards North Korea, the policy of which does not satisfy the United States and prevents the realization of its geopolitical interests in the region, and the attitude of the same United States to shares in the nuclear field, particularly in the area of ballistic missile tests capable of carrying nuclear warheads by other non-recognized nuclear powers.”
Thus, the expert concludes that compromise in the sphere of missile launches and in the sphere of peaceful use of nuclear energy are two key elements of any future deal with Pyongyang in order, clearly, first, to freeze its military nuclear and missile programs, and then to embark on their phasing.