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Situation in Korean Peninsula: Main Players Restrain from Taking Unilateral Responsibility

Daily Express

The situation in the Korean peninsula continues to remain tense. During the weekend the North Korean leader declared that they tested a medium-long range ballistic rocket capable of carrying a heavy nuclear warhead. Experts note that, if true, the step will bring North Korea closer to launching nuclear-tipped missile able to reach the US mainland, sky News reports.

Japan, South Korea, China, US and Russia were quick to respond to the latest ballistic rocket test by North Korea.

On the occasion, the newly-elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in "strongly condemned" it, however his press secretary stressed the need for dialogue: "The president said while South Korea remains open to the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, it is only possible when North Korea shows a change in attitude," Express reports.

In addition, South Korea sent special envoys to the US, China, Germany, Japan and Russia with the aim of explaining the new government's policy towards North Korea.

In his turn, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: "We will continue to closely coordinate with the United States and South Korea to respond to the North Korea situation," the same source reports.

The statement issued by the China's Foreign Ministry reads: "China opposes relevant launch activities by North Korea that are contrary to Security Council resolutions," Reuters reports.

In this context it is rather interesting to refer to the reactions from the US and Russia. Based on the statement released by the White House, one can judge that the Trump’s administration tried to underestimate the threat posed by North Korea to US instead underlining the threat it posed to Russia. The statement particularly reads: "With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil – in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan – the President cannot imagine that Russia is pleased."

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is at an international forum in Beijing, restrained from aggressive statements.

"We are categorically against the expansion of the club of nuclear powers," he noted at the same time, however, adding: "We must stop intimidating North Korea," the Telegraph reports.

It should also be noted that the UN Security Council is expected to meet to discuss the North's latest missile launch at the request of the US, South Korea and Japan.

Judging from the reactions received from the main players involved, at least at this stage, the parties seem to restrain from counteractions instead trying to come to terms with North Korean leaders via dialogue. Another important point to stress is the fact that neither of the parties mentioned seem to be willing to resort to unilateral actions, instead preferring to cooperate with other players concerned. As for Trump’s administration, loyal to their foreign policy strategy demonstrated so far, they seem to avoid taking the full responsibility for the situation, instead trying to involve other players; the stance that was vividly demonstrated in the White House statement on the issue  with the mentioning of Russia.

To sum up one can note that such a restraint stance by the main players, combined with an acknowledgment to immediately resolve the situation can result in their cooperation on the issue. 

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19.12.2017
   
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