People’s Republic of Korea (Xinhua) --
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have reached an unprecedented
level in 2017 due to a nuclear test and multiple missile
launches by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and
constant U.S.-South Korea joint military drills.
crisis has also been worsened by the exchange of personal
insults and confrontational rhetoric raising the specter of war
between the United States and the DPRK.
Many describe the situation on the Korean Peninsula as the
greatest threat to international peace and security and the
international community remains concerned that any
miscalculation or misunderstanding could lead to unexpected,
even disastrous consequences.
The DPRK conducted several missile tests this year, including
three involving intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and
an alleged H-bomb test in disregard of the various UN
resolutions banning it from such activities.
Its actions have drawn worldwide condemnation and prompted
the UN Security Council to impose even tougher sanctions.
The DPRK justifies its nuclear and missile programs as a
sovereign right of self-defense against the threat of the United
States, and has vowed to continue strengthening its nuclear and
Pyongyang also threatens to launch a missile attack on the
U.S. pacific island of Guam, which serves as the base of
strategic bombers frequently visiting South Korea.
It also claimed the "Hwasong-15" ICBM it tested on Nov. 29 is
"capable of striking the whole mainland of the United States."
While the DPRK is going further in its pursuit of nuclear
capabilities, the United States and South Korea have upped the
ante by holding frequent large-scale joint military drills in
South Korea and waters near the peninsula.
With tens of thousands of troops in South Korea, the United
States has sent three aircraft carrier groups, B-1B strategic
bombers, stealth fighters, nuclear submarines and other
strategic assets to the peninsula for war games.
It also carried out a number of ICBM tests simulating strikes
against the DPRK.
The military maneuvers were accompanied by dangerous rhetoric
by U.S. President Donald Trump, who threatened to "totally
destroy" the DPRK if it continued to pose a threat to America.
Washington has so far refused to hold talks with Pyongyang,
demanding that the latter halt its nuclear and missile programs
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said earlier this month
that any military action on the Korean Peninsula would have
"devastating and unpredictable consequences."
His remarks were echoed by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot
Wallstrom, who noted that the international community has to
"exhaust every avenue for diplomacy and dialogue."
UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey
Feltman visited the DPRK in December and said after the visit
that it is important to "open or re-open technical channels of
communication such as military-to-military hotline to reduce
risk and signal intention to prevent misunderstanding and manage
Meanwhile, South Korea has also expressed willingness to seek
a peaceful solution to the crisis, rejecting any military
option. In a conciliatory gesture, it invited the DPRK to take
part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in the South Korean city of
China, which shares a land border with the DPRK, has made it
clear it wants a nuclear-free, peaceful Korean Peninsula, and
has been strenuously working toward that end, including
proposing a political solution based on a
suspension-for-suspension proposal and a dual-track approach.
The suspension-for-suspension initiative calls for the DPRK
to suspend its nuclear and missile activities and for the United
States and South Korea to suspend their large-scale war games.
The dual-track approach involves parallel efforts to move
forward both denuclearization and the establishment of a peace
mechanism on the Korea Peninsula.
The Chinese proposal has won extensive support from the
international community, which in recent months adamantly called
for a peaceful solution to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.