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Chinese envoy warms against ROK-US military exercise

Korean-language business daily, Maeil Kyungje, reported on April 29, 2014 that newly accredited Chinese Ambassador Qiu Guohong in Seoul has stated, “The Republic of Korea and the United States should not carry out the ROK-US military exercise because it is for occupying Pyongyang.”
Speaking at an informal meeting with journalists at the Chinese Embassy in Seoul on April 28, according to Maeil Kyungje, Ambassador Qiu said he has heard that it was the biggest military exercise so far carried out on the premise of occupying Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. Then he said it was true that the military exercise was irritating North Korea.

▲Chairman Kim Jong-un of North Korea

The ROK-US military exercises are mostly designed for defense purposes to discourage the North Korean regime from developing nuclear weapons and missiles and from making provocations against the South.
North Korea is seen to carry out its 4th nuclear test soon and if this should take place it could encourage the advocates of nuclear armament in the Republic of Korea, which has been continuously growing among the people in the face of increasing North Korean military threats and intimidations.
A recent opinion survey published in Seoul showed 64% of the people demanding the development of nuclear weapons on its own for self-defense vis-?-vis 28% against it.

Ruling Saenuri Party Presidential Hopeful Chung Mong-joon for the 2017 race, who has almost twice the support rating of the runner-up (Chairman Ahn Cheol-soo of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy), strongly advocates South Korea’s independent development of nuclear weapons.
President Park Geun-hye, too, strongly warned that if North Korea should carry out the 4th nuclear test it would trigger a heated nuclear arms race among the Northeast Asian countries and that there would be little justification to stop them. North Korea’s further development of nuclear weapons and missiles could stimulate South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and a number of other countries in Asia to go nuclear for their self-defense?as well as India and Pakistan who already have nuclear weapons.

Efforts for nonproliferation of nuclear weapons thus going out of control, the new trend in favor of nuclearization could also drastically increase the number of countries in other regions of the world, who would not wish to be left out of the new club of nuclear countries.
Surrounding China, geographically, are Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia--as well as Russia who is one of the two nuclear giants of the world.
If the dreaded phenomenon should become a reality China would have to find itself completely surrounded by nuclear-armed countries, some of them much more sophisticated in quality and incomparably larger in quality than those possessed by North Korea.

Reports indicate that South Korea could make nuclear bombs within six months if she is allowed to do so and in a short span of time the South Korean nuclear weapons would by far outstrip those of North Korea both in quality and quantity.
As President Park Geun-hye stressed, the Korean peninsula should remain free from nuclear weapons and that in this regard the dangerous North Korean regime should not be permitted to possess nuclear weapons, let alone any further development.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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