Exercise restraint on Korean Peninsula

NORTH Korea has defied Donald Trump’s demands to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes, launching a missile from an eastern port city on Sunday morning which apparently failed to hit its target as it immediately blew up soon after the launch. However, it drew strong response from regional countries as well as the United States.
US Vice President on a visit to Seoul described the North Korean move as provocation and assured South Korea of Washington’s full support against any threat. In recent months and years, we have seen the North persistently pursuing nuclear and missile programmes despite tough international sanctions and pressure from different countries. This situation warrants a fresh start of diplomatic effort in order to save the peninsula from any instability. Opening another front in this part of the world will not serve any purpose but will further exacerbate world peace and security. Instead of pushing the sanction-hit country further to the wall, it is time to re-engage with Pyongyang and in this regard the assistance of the good offices of China could also be sought which has good relations with the leadership of North Korea. In fact during six party talks in 2005, North Korea had reached an agreement to suspend its nuclear programme in return for diplomatic rewards and energy assistance. Regrettably negotiations collapsed after the last round of talks in 2008. We believe that six party talks still is the most relevant forum to address the issue. However, for talks to succeed, influential capitals will have to offer incentives to North Korea in return of getting its weapons programme closed. Greater responsibility also rests with North Korea to avoid escalation and sit with regional and other countries to find amicable solution of the problem. It is in the interest of its own people as isolation has only added to the woes of North Korean people.

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