In the News – Chinese paper urges Beijing to oppose N. Korea’s nuclear power claim

In the News – Chinese paper urges Beijing to oppose N. Korea’s nuclear power claim

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) — A leading Chinese newspaper has urged Beijing to oppose North Korea’s nuclear power status proclaimed in its revised constitution.

The Global Times, an English-language Chinese newspaper under the People’s Daily, said in its June 2 editorial that any legalization of North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons can stimulate South Korea and Japan, and prod Taiwan to demand its right to nuclear arms, triggering a chain reaction of nuclear armament in Northeast Asia.

In its revised constitution, North Korea proclaims itself as a nuclear armed state, according to its full text seen by Yonhap News Agency last Wednesday on the North’s “Naenara” Web site.

Seoul and Washington have immediately dismissed the claim, saying they would not recognize North Korea as a nuclear power.

The Global Times editorial is the first unofficial response from China, as the Beijing government has kept mum on the issue so far.

“China should not join the two (Seoul and Washington) and help them exert pressure on North Korea. However, it is also necessary for China to criticize North Korea’s latest move and oppose its intention to legalize its nuclear status,” said the editorial posted on the paper’s Web site.

“China needs to make efforts to deter North Korea from possessing nuclear capabilities, or at least openly oppose North Korea’s move to attain them,” said the editorial, noting that the historical friendship between the two should facilitate their frank communication.

The paper went on to clearly say that it is not in China’s interests to be held hostage by North Korea’s radical moves.

“At the moment, the most urgent thing is to prevent North Korea from conducting a third nuclear test, the consequences of which would be unimaginable for Northeast Asia. Besides trying to persuade North Korea, China should publicly voice its opposition at once,” it said.

In a related development, Rep. Chung Mong-joon, a presidential aspirant of South Korea’s ruling Saenuri Party, said Sunday that time has come for South Korea to arm itself with nuclear weapons capabilities in response to the North’s declaration of nuclear state status.

“North Korea’s nuclear armament has become a reality. We should also equip ourselves with our own nuclear weapons capabilities beyond the strategy of depending on the U.S. for nuclear weapons,” Chung, a seven-term lawmaker, said in a news conference.

Chung, a former ruling party chairman now competing in Saenuri’s presidential primary, had previously called for the deployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea.

“Paradoxically, peace cannot be guaranteed on the Korean Peninsula, without our possession of at least nuclear capabilities,” he said.

 

Original article can be found here.

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