Mikhail Gorbachev: Dialogue Only Way to Resolve Korea Crisis: Rossijskaya Gazeta, Russia
Mikhail Gorbachev, the last general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the USSR’s last head of state, knows a thing or two about nuclear talks. This past weekend, Gorbachev contributed this article to Russia’s Rossijskaya Gazeta about how the world should deal with the nuclear challenge of Kim Jong-il’s North Korea.
Here’s some of what Gorbachev had to say:
“The goal should be to find a way to resume the political and diplomatic dialogue – and in particular, the six-party talks. To switch gears to a military mode would be a mistake. But such calls are already being heard. … In Japan, the North Korean nuclear test became an ace in the hands of those who support remilitarization. ‘In the sphere of defense, we must possess a sword as well as a shield,’ declared a leading Japanese political analyst. In turn, the U.S. said it would be willing to support the ‘potential for preventive strikes against enemy bases.’ From there, it’s not far until the main ‘taboo’ of post-war Japanese policy is violated – abstention from nuclear weapons.”
“It must be made clear to the North Koreans that their behavior will not remain without consequences. But those who put all of their hopes on strengthening sanctions must consider two things. First of all, the North Korean people, who are experiencing tremendous deprivation, must not be held hostage to the North Korean nuclear issue. Second, the consequences of the collapse of a nuclear state could be disastrous. ”
“Much will depend on those members of ‘the big six’ … China in particular, has a right, in all candor, to tell North Korea’s leadership that all of this could end badly, first and foremost for North Korea itself. And it has a right to ask questions. For instance, from whence is this ‘threat to the sovereignty of the country’ that the DPRK leadership offers to justify its nuclear tests? Is it rational to accuse the Security Council of ‘hostility’ – which means China, Russia and Europe, which have exerted such great efforts to steer the problems of the Korean Peninsula away from an impasse?”
“The art of politics consists in not turning a problem into a threat, and a threat into a military conflict.”
By Mikhail Gorbachev, Former President of the USSR
Translated By Yekaterina Blinova
June 6, 2009
Russia – Rossijskaya Gazeta – Original Article (Russian)
The news of the North Korean nuclear detonation on May 25 of this year found me in the demilitarized zone of the Korean peninsula, where I had been invited to participate in an unveiling ceremony for the “Peace Bell” at the 38th parallel – the demarcation line of the armistice that ended the Korean war in the early 50s of the last century.
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