South Korea seeks Russia’s help to put an end to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, according to a South Korean Foreign Ministry official.
South Korea asked Russia on Wednesday to assist in ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program due to the Kremlin’s “constructive” role in the recent Iranian nuclear deal.
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The request from Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, came during bilateral talks ‘behind the scenes’ of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that takes place in the Malaysian capitol this week.
“Our minister assessed Russia’s constructive role in the Iranian nuclear issue and asked for Russia’s contributions to keep that momentum and resolve the North Korea nuclear issue,” the South Korean Foreign Ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
The long-drawn talks between North Korea, Russia, South Korea, the United States, China and Japan are aimed at ending Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
Besides, Russia is also a member of the P5+1, which managed to reach a nuclear deal last month that allowed to stop Iran’s uranium enrichment program in exchange for lifting sanctions that had been crippling Tehran’s economy for many years.
How probable is ending N. Korea’s nuclear program?
It was also reported that Yun and Lavrov had also discussed bilateral ties between Seoul and Moscow, which will mark their 25th anniversary in 2015.
The parties pointed at the success of an inter-continental rail project that had been completed last week. South Korean Eurasia Express traveled 9,000 miles from Beijing and Vladivostok before arriving back at Berlin last week.
It must be pointed out that bilateral trade between Seoul and Moscow surged to a record-breaking $26 billion in 2014.
However, a deal to curb North Korean nuclear weapons program does not seem in the cards now as Pyongyang has repeatedly made it clear that it is not interested in giving up its nuclear weapons program. Therefore, a deal similar to the one reached with Iran in July is unlikely at this moment.
South Korea will not give up its hopes and will try to involve China, North Korea’s closest ally, in the efforts to persuade Pyongyang to at least consider going back to the six-party talks.
On May 9, 2015, North Korea successfully launched a ballistic missile from a submarine, which traveled about 150 meters.
North Korea is ‘prepared’ to beef up its nuclear capability
A week ago, North Korean Ambassador to Russia, Kim Hyun Joon, said that there is a big difference between the nuclear issues of the Korean Peninsula and the nuclear issue of Iran.
Kim Hyun Joon also said that Pyongyang is prepared to beef up its nuclear capability as a response to U.S. actions and urged Washington to cancel joint military drills with South Korea.
“It must be pointed out that resolving of the Iranian nuclear dossier was the result of long-term efforts by Iran aimed at recognizing its sovereign rights on peaceful nuclear developments as well as lifting of long-lasting unjustified sanctions against Iran,” Kim Hyun Joon told Russian state-owned Interfax in an exclusive interview.
“One must say that the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula and the Iranian nuclear dossier are absolutely different in nature. It is well known that the DPRK is already a nuclear state in both content and form. Just as any other nuclear state it has its own respective interests,” Kim said.
Kim also noted that North Korea is not interested in a dialogue that would be dedicated to matters of “unilateral and initial refusal” as well as freezing of its nuclear program.
North Koreans counter U.S. nuclear threats and hostile policy
The nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula is an “inevitable” and “expected” result of “nuclear threats” and “hostile policy” from the U.S. that have been going on for half a century, according to North Korean Ambassador to Russia.
Kim pointed out that for the past over 60 years, the U.S. “has been carrying out large scale military exercises with the use of nuclear weapons in order to strangle our country” and “has been pursuing the most barbaric policy of economic blockade.”
According to Kim, the U.S. stationed over one thousand of nuclear warheads on the territory of South Korea, which have been posing a “constant threat” to North Korea for the past over 60 years.
Recently, the U.S. “has actively used human rights issues that fully contradict the reality that is formed in the DPRK,” Kim noted.
“In order to counter such a hostile policy and nuclear threats on behalf of the United States, the DPRK was forced to resolutely protect its sovereignty and start creating nuclear arms,” Kim said.
“This proves that there is a huge difference between Iran and the DPRK,” he concluded.
North Korea plays into the hands of U.S.
Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un once again said about the “need” to prepare for a war against South Korea and the U.S.
However, such claims is the only way for Kim’s totalitarian regime to survive, according to Russian political expert Oleg Sokolov.
“It must be understood that the entire totalitarian regime of North Korea hangs on the leader’s rhetoric about the ‘need’ to destroy the U.S. and South Korea. The leadership of the country must show its people such aggression and clearly define the country’s enemies. This is how the North Korean ‘machine’ works right now,” Sokolov said in an interview with ValueWalk.
Constant reminders about the need to prepare for a war against the enemy is a great way to keep North Korea in the list of the most intimidating countries in the world, according to Sokolov. “It’s also a great way to make the whole world talk about Kim Jong Un. Kim’s threats is the way he communicates with the world,” Sokolov added.
The expert also notes that the U.S. stations its anti-missile defense systems in the region against China and Russia under the pretext of ‘protecting the world against’ North Korea. “Therefore, North Korea plays into the hands of the U.S.,” Sokolov concludes.