by Xinhua Writer Ma Mengli
The U.S. plan to deploy an advanced missile defense system in South Korea is no solution to the Korean Peninsula predicament, only to pour oil on the flames.
Such a move, meanwhile, smacks of a deliberate attempt to take advantage of a precarious situation partly of Washington’s own making to reinforce its dominance in the region at the cost of China’s as well as other countries’ legitimate interests.
The United States claims that the mooted deployment of Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system is in response to “provocative” moves by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
However, the THAAD deployment goes far beyond the defense needs of South Korea. As the system’s coverage means it will reach deep into the Asian continent, it will undermine the strategic security interests of China and other neighboring countries.
Furthermore, it will gravely jeopardize the multilateral efforts to promote Korean Peninsula reconciliation and denuclearization, and thus undermine peace and stability in the region.
Given that, the plan will not only complicate the already fragile situation in the region, but also escalate tensions in Northeast Asia. No wonder it has met with strong opposition from the South Korean people.
While the mounting tension on the Korean Peninsula is catching global attention, a sobering fact should never be forgotten: The nuclear crisis there is actually an offspring of the deep-rooted distrust and hostility between Washington and Pyongyang.
In the past few years, the United States has used various pressure tactics, including war games and economic sanctions, against Pyongyang, and dismissed some rare goodwill gestures by the DPRK.
Now, as Washington’s antagonistic approach has pushed the DPRK further down the path of nuclearization, the United States, instead of making tangible moves to defuse the crisis, is using the escalating tension as a cover to ramp up its already massive military buildup in the Asia-Pacific.
At such a sensitive moment, any move that would escalate tension on the Korean Peninsula should be avoided, and any attempt to use the crisis to serve selfish motives and violate other nations’ legitimate interests should be firmly opposed.
Maintaining peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and resolving the issue through peaceful means are the consistent stance of China, which has so far played a tremendously positive role in the six-party talks and other endeavors to denuclearize the peninsula.
It is of utmost urgency for all parties concerned to exercise restraint, abandon counterproductive moves, and heed China’s advice that dialogue is the only viable way out. Enditem