There can be only political solutions on the Korean peninsula

Ambassador's view
Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011). Follow him on Twitter @Amb_Yakovenko
There can be only political solutions on the Korean peninsula
There is no doubt we are living through one of the most dramatic developments on the Korean peninsula, showing the threat of confrontation is moving into its hottest phase.

The belligerent rhetoric coupled with reckless muscle-flexing has led to a dangerous situation where one careless step can lead to the most terrible consequences.

We are watching the development of the situation in the region with alarm. On the one hand, Russia strongly condemns the provocative nuclear and missile activity by Pyongyang, which is confirmed by our support of UNSC resolutions 2270 (2016) and 2321 (2016). We call upon the North Korean authorities to end their proscribed programs, return to the non-proliferation regime and once again join the International Atomic Energy Agency verification regime.

At the same time, it is clear that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will not give up its nuclear program as long as it senses a direct threat to its security. That is how the North Koreans view the regular large-scale maneuvers and exercises by the United States and its allies in the region as well as the latest dispatch of an American naval armada near its coast. Why engage in silly saber-rattling?

Another destabilizing factor is the decision by Washington and Seoul to deploy in the Republic of Korea elements of the US global missile defense system (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense). Russia, as well as China, have repeatedly said this step would undermine the existing military balance in the region and pose a threat to the security of neighboring countries. Once again, we call upon the US and the Republic of Korea to review this decision. Why antagonize Russia and China?

Military options are completely unacceptable and can only lead to catastrophic consequences. Only diplomatic tools will create conditions for the denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. All parties involved should demonstrate calm and restraint and not make steps that could increase the tension.

This is impossible without normalizing the entire military and political situation, putting an end to the build-up of military infrastructure, scaling down the maneuvering and building trust among countries in the region. We are convinced that there is no alternative to a political settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula based on the joint statement issued by the participants in the Six-Party Talks on 19 September 2005.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.