Dangerous games on peninsula will have no winner

Updated: 2016-02-16 08:06

By Zhang Jingquan(China Daily)

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First, the sanctions should be only about denuclearizing the Peninsula, not overthrowing the ruling parties of some regional powers and suppressing local economic vitality.

They must also pay closer attention to local residents' well-being and survival, so as not to create a new humanitarian crisis and economic chaos. They cannot be too broad either - only the nuclear materials and technologies, missile research, and luxurious goods should be restricted. And, as the successful settlement of the Iranian nuclear crisis indicates, sanctions work better when diplomatic meditation is involved too.

Now that Pyongyang has made clear its ownership of nuclear weapons, observing the September 19 Joint Statement, which was issued after the fourth round of Six-Party Talks in 2005, can start by encouraging nuclear cooperation for civil use.

Such being said, the DPRK's Asian neighbors, the US, even the European Union, can cooperate to reach an agreement on the civil use of nuclear resources, and invite the DPRK to participate. If that works out, the international community may seek to persuade Pyongyang to destroy its nuclear arsenal.

What will happen after, not before, the nuclear issues are resolved, should top the agenda of future negotiations, because it is somewhat hampering relevant countries' willingness to cooperate.

As two major negotiators, Beijing and Washington might find it difficult to coordinate if they still have concerns about each other. The US seems to see the DPRK nuclear crisis as a strategic opportunity to implement its rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific, which is no way in the interests of China. Therefore, the two countries should hold candid talks to carefully address each other's strategic concerns before another round of multinational negotiations.

The author is a professor at the Northeast Asia Studies College of Jilin University in Jilin province.

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