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U.S., S. Korean military drill not helpful to regional peace

08-16-2011 16:52 BJT

BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Joint military drills - code named Ulchi Freedom Guardian - conducted by the United States and South Korea would by no means promote regional peace and stability, and instead likely endanger the delicate status quo on the Korean Peninsula.

Though the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has urged the two participants to cancel their annual saber rattling, the demand was apparently brushed off by Washington and Seoul without considering the consequences.

DPRK's official newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Tuesday said the muscle-flexing is provocative and warned about an "all-out war," adding that "The Korean Peninsula is faced with the worst crisis ever."

It has been widely accepted within the international community that negotiations are the best possible way to denuclearize the peninsula and to install peace and stability not only between Pyongyang and Seoul, but also in northeastern Asia as a whole. And the long-stalled six-party talks still remain the best hope for that cause.

The DPRK said recently it is ready to return to the multilateral dialogue with no preconditions attached and would implement the Sept. 19 joint statement on the principle of simultaneous action.

However, the no-precondition promise was lukewarmly received by either the United States or South Korea.

Pyongyang's pledge was the latest of it efforts to revive the six-party dialogue. Its past such moves, producing no substantial results, have always been interrupted from time to time owing to a series of incidents including the sinking last March of a South Korean naval vessel and fire exchanges between the DPRK and South Korea in waters off the west coast of the peninsula in November.

A lack of trust and a wait-and-see attitude taken by the U.S. and South Korea have also complicated the peninsula's nuclear conundrum.

China has for the past urged and remains unchanged that all related parties should exercise maximal restraint and do nothing to put regional peace and stability in jeopardy. China is not in favor of setting pre-conditions for the talks.

Therefore, the most urgent task for the U.S. and South Korea to do at the moment is not to trigger another round of tension in the region during their war games and fully consider the security concerns of the neighboring countries.

They should also cease conducting any activities deemed to be proactive and aggressive to the DPRK in the future, and take serious steps together with other countries involved to denuclearize the divided peninsula.

"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal," said the late U.S. civil rights leader Doctor Martin Luther King.

The United States and its ally need to redigest Doctor King's words and remember that lasting peace could never be established through military coercion.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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