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Editorial: Nail down Kim Jong Un’s true motive for “denuclearization”

  • March 29, 2018
  • , Sankei , p. 2
  • JMH Translation

Ahead of a U.S.-North Korea summit, Workers’ Party of Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea suddenly visited China.


The dictator’s move surprised the international community and various speculations are spreading. We need to cool-headedly discern whether he initiated the action to overcome a crisis involving the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and missiles.


We should note that in the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un said, “I am committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”


It is North Korea that should promise denuclearization and make it happen. Kim Jong Un’s true intention is to weaken the U.S. “nuclear umbrella,” and we doubt that he is calling it denuclearization.


Kim Jong Un seeks to lower the deterrence of U.S. Forces Korea and China keeps in step with the DPRK. If the latest summit meeting was arranged to discuss such a scheme ahead of the prospective U.S.-North Korea summit meeting, it could hamper the progress of the U.S.-DPRK summit.


Chinese media outlets reported on Kim Jong Un’s remarks about denuclearization. The North Korean leader reportedly said that his stance of aiming to realize denuclearization remains unchanged, which is the “instruction” of his late father General Secretary Kim Jong Il and late grandfather President Kim Il Sung.


It should not be forgotten, however, that North Korea has repeatedly conducted nuclear tests and launched missiles and that Kim Jong Un is the one who declared “the historic achievement of completing the state nuclear force.” We wonder which country has aimed to realize denuclearization?


South Korea’s special envoy who visited North Korea early this month also reportedly heard from Kim Jong Un about the “instruction for denuclearization.” Such an instruction  is insubstantial, and we should take it as an external stock phrase uttered to induce an atmosphere for reconciliation.


What Kim Jong Un should do is only to announce internally and externally that North Korea will give up its nuclear and missile development and move forward with the verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.


Kim Jong’s Un’s visit to China was his first foreign trip after becoming the supreme leader in 2011. At a critical moment for the fate of the regime, he probably judged that he should involve China.


China has economically supported North Korea, which describes the relationship with China as a “blood friendship” ever since the outbreak of the Korea War. Beijing has protected North Korea whenever possible by defying UN Security Council sanction resolutions against the DPRK.


Such a stance has enabled North Korea to maintain its dictatorship and became a factor that aggravated the nuclear and missile crisis. Japan and the U.S. worked on China. As a result, China recently joined economic sanctions against North Korea, and there were signs indicating the worsening of China’s relations with Pyongyang.


China bears a great responsibility for realizing a complete denuclearization. North Korea must not be allowed to gain national interests in the security area by taking advantage of the scheduled U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. Japan should closely work with the U.S. and South Korea to deal with the situation.

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