‘Unlike S. Korea, there are no foreign troops stationed in N.Korea, a truly sovereign state’
China knows North Korea’s defense and security is not a bargaining chip, and can’t force the DPRK to do something. What the US should do instead of pressuring China is devise a new policy toward the DPRK, says Brian Becker from the ANSWER Coalition.
The US tested its THAAD missile system on Tuesday by shooting down a simulated incoming intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM).
Meantime, Pyongyang has warned any military confrontation will "inevitably lead the US to self-destruction," and vowed to "turn America into a pile of ash."
Although the exercise was planned months ago, it is being seen as a response to North Korea's missile test a week ago.
After that test, Donald Trump expressed dissatisfaction with China for not putting more pressure on North Korea.
RT: China seems to be angry now about the US behavior on the North Korean issue. Chinese FM spokesman commented, "If China is striving to put out the fire, while the others are fueling the flame... how can China's efforts achieve expected outcomes? How can the tension be eased? How can the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue be resolved?" Do you think this is a fair criticism?
Brian Becker: From the beginning, Donald Trump has exaggerated the significance that China plays in the decision-making of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. North Korea is a sovereign country. Unlike South Korea, there are no foreign troops in North Korea. North Korea has developed an independent policy; it was independent during the Cold War period. It had a balance between the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union, the United States and South Korea. It has had many decades of having a policy of self-determination, or self-reliance.
The Chinese never had the ability to tell North Korea what to do. Donald Trump either did not understand this - in other words, a failure on his part to understand the relationship - or he was just trying to do arm-twisting against China. We can see now from China’s statement that they have run out of patience. That they consider it to be an abrogation of US responsibility to find a way to come to a solution to the Korean crisis. The Chinese know the US actually could do a great deal by offering bilateral talks with North Korea and suggesting a peace treaty to bring the Korean War to an end once and for all which is the real goal of North Korea.
RT: But surely Washington has fair expectations from Beijing - no one but China can persuade North Korea to give up on its program?
BB: No, the US position is completely wrong. China has a great deal of trade with North Korea. By the way, the North Korean economy is growing fairly robustly right now, partly as a consequence of trade. The sanctions don’t prohibit all trade. And China’s trade with DPRK is legal. Moreover, China understands what the Pyongyang government thinks, the Kim Jong-un government thinks: they believe that nuclear weapons are absolutely essential for their own security.
The US government carries out war exercises simulating the destruction of North Korea twice a year; they just did a nuclear bomb dropping drill. China knows North Korea is not going to give up its nuclear weapons. There is no point in trying to starve North Korea or choke off all trade. North Korea still won’t abandon its nuclear weapons because it is a matter of survival for the government...China knows full well that North Korea’s defense and security is not a bargaining chip, it is not up for sale. And they can’t force the DPRK to do something that it won’t do. What the US should do instead of pressuring China is come to a new policy toward the DPRK, including allowing DPRK to feel secure, meaning that it won’t be invaded, it should stop simulating the destruction of North Korea with war exercises, and in exchange ask the DPRK perhaps to cap its nuclear program. But it won’t get rid of its nuclear weapons.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.