金総書記訪露 対「北」協力は核放棄が前提だ

N. Korea must give up nukes to get economic benefits
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 25, 2011)
金総書記訪露 対「北」協力は核放棄が前提だ(8月24日付・読売社説)

On his first visit to Russia in nine years, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il traveled about 5,000 kilometers by train to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in eastern Siberia on Wednesday.

Kim’s visit to Russia follows his trip to China in May. This burst of summit diplomacy with Chinese and Russian leaders is probably a calculated attempt by Kim to strengthen ties with two major powers that share borders with his country to help guarantee his regime’s survival.

Russia has been particularly positive toward Pyongyang.

Ahead of Kim’s visit, Moscow decided to offer 50,000 tons of food aid to North Korea, which has been plagued with food shortages.

Russia will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vladivostok in autumn next year.

This will be a crucial opportunity for Russia to accelerate resource development in Siberia and its entry into the Asian market.

From this strategic viewpoint also, Russia is keen to stabilize the situation on the Korean Peninsula.


Tripartite cooperation plan

In a congratulatory message he sent to Kim on Aug. 15, the 66th anniversary of the end of Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, Medvedev proposed that Russia, North Korea and South Korea cooperate in energy development and railway construction.

This clearly indicates Moscow’s intention to strengthen its presence in Asia.

In concrete terms, the plan calls for building a natural gas pipeline vertically down the Korean Peninsula and opening a North-South railway that would link with the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Based on an agreement reached during summit talks, Russia and South Korea have held consultative meetings to discuss the supply of Russian natural gas, and transport routes via the Trans-Siberian Railway to the European market.

If realized, this ambitious project would ease tensions on the peninsula and stabilize the situation in Northeast Asia.

The project also would greatly benefit North Korea, which could earn rent for land used for the pipeline and receive electricity.


Preconditions for help

However, we think this economic cooperation should go ahead only if two conditions are met.

First, North Korea must not launch any military provocations against South Korea.

Confidence-building between the two countries is essential.

Second, Pyongyang must make good on the promise it made in the joint statement issued after six-nation negotiations in September 2005 to abandon its nuclear development program.

North Korea should also discontinue its uranium enrichment, which some observers fear could lead to a new nuclear weapons development program.

If Russia wants to push economic cooperation, it should use it as leverage to coax North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

It is important that Medvedev has an opportunity to convey these concerns to Kim.

At the very least, Moscow should continue to call on Pyongyang to allow inspections of its uranium enrichment facilities and put on hold nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 24, 2011)
(2011年8月24日01時39分 読売新聞)

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: Uncategorized パーマリンク



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