12 June 2017

News Report: Why ‘Trump Has More Chances to Resolve DPRK Nuclear Issue’ Than Obama Did

As North Korea continues sending defiant messages that it will continue pursuing a weapons program despite Washington’s warnings, Sputnik spoke with a South Korean deputy, Song Young-Gil, who said the US needs to change its approach toward the DPRK in order to resolve this conflict.

It is necessary to create such conditions that the DPRK itself would abandon nuclear weapons according to the deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Song Young-Gil.

In an interview with Sputnik, Gil said that although South Korea cannot accept the nuclear status of the DPRK, it is vital to recognize that for any country in the world the most important task is security and economic development. 

Keeping that in mind, it then becomes clear that there is nothing surprising with what the DPRK is doing.

According to the deputy the DPRK is primarily trying to develop its economy and its nuclear weapons.

Looking at the geopolitical situation in the region, the deputy said that the Russian president is one of the few people who could listen carefully and understand the position of North Korea and at the same time, try to convince the DPRK of an alternative option.

Perhaps a dialogue would begin if the US ceased introducing various strategic weapons to joint military maneuvers in the region, since merely demanding that the DPRK stop nuclear and missile tests altogether remains futile. 

"North Korea needs to declare the possibility of renouncing nuclear weapons, and that should not happen as a result of intimidation,” Gil said.

He added, “When you put forward this demand as a prerequisite for the talks that means that you simply do not have the will to negotiate.”

According to the deputy, the position of Russia and China calling for the suspension of South Korean-US drills in exchange for the suspension of missile launches by the DPRK seems quite rational.

Talking about the new US administration and its position on the North Korean issue, the deputy said that in his opinion, Donald Trump has more chances to resolve the nuclear problem of the Korean peninsula than his predecessor.

“Obama's policy of so-called strategic patience eventually boiled down to laziness to do or to say something and the North Korean nuclear problem only got worse,” the deputy said.

Gil also pointed out that Trump had previously stated his readiness to meet and hold talks with the leader of the DPRK.

"Trump is at least actively trying to do something, so the period of his presidency can turn out to be good instead of bad for the Korean peninsula,” Gil said.

At the same time, China and Russia, in his opinion, could also play a more constructive role: not only speaking in favor of de-escalation on the Korean peninsula, but also actively negotiating with Kim Jong-un. 

“North Korea knows very well what it's like to live between the great powers and it tries to behave well without crossing the red line,” the deputy said.

He added that it is necessary to ensure that the DPRK itself takes the path of reform and openness. However, as pressure in the region builds up, such an opportunity becomes less achievable.

The deputy pointed out the discrepancy between the DPRK's widely perceived aggression and its healthy relationships with Russia and China.

“Although Russia and China have huge reserves of nuclear weapons, South Korea does not feel threatened by them because the two countries have normal diplomatic relations with it,” Gil said.

He stressed that it is important to maintain good diplomatic relations and focus on the economic growth of the DPRK and the region as a whole.

This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.