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Why North Korean and U.S. Negotiations Will Fail?

Sajad Abedi

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The failure of the ongoing negotiations, while North Korea is willing to suspend its nuclear and missile program, will definitely Washington make, in the face of international criticism, disrupting the talks and not having an honest approach to addressing the crisis.

After a stormy period of the nuclear reciprocity threat and the North Korean and American leaders’ strife towards each other, which pushed the world to the brink of a devastating war, now the situation has changed in general and there are constructive and positive constructive messages of the desire for dialogue and Tensions are released daily by Trump and Kim Jong-un. The most recent developments in recent days have revealed the controversial travel of Mike Pompeo, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to Pyongyang, the establishment of a direct contact between the two Koreas, as well as North Korea’s surprise announcement in suspending its nuclear and missile program. Which have contributed to a ghostly security vision of the peninsula at once to make a clear horizon for peace. Accordingly, the question now is whether we should look forward to a historic bargain so that almost the last bastion of the communist system (based on the collective economic system) is also conquered by the leader of global capitalism, thus witnessing a new chapter in the relationship between the United States and North Korea.

A record of North Korea’s willingness to negotiate and resolve conflicts with the United States and the West can be found several times in the past.

In October 1994, the United States and North Korea launched a deal called “An Agreed Framework” in which Pyongyang committed to stop its nuclear program under the protection of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguards (IAEA) Slowly By contrast, it was promised to build two nuclear reactors for civilian use and 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil per year and other aid, including food aid.

But ultimately, this agreement was followed by the failure to build the promised reactors because of the continuation of Western sanctions against Pyongyang and the failure to implement food assistance programs due to disputes, and Pyongyang secretly continued its nuclear research program.

On February 29, 2012, the United States and North Korea announced a new agreement, called “Mutual Day Agreement.” Under this plan, North Korea has pledged to suspend its uranium enrichment program and its missile tests, and continue to prevent international monitoring of its nuclear program. Instead, the United States also announced it will send Pyongyang food aid to 240,000 tons.

But the agreement, like the “agreed framework”, did not last long, and months later, the United States stopped supplying its food aid on the pretext of continuing North Korea’s missile program in the form of satellite launch.

The Korean leader, quoting the media, has said he does not want to experience what happened to Gaddafi in Libya and Saddam in Iraq, who were attacked by a Western military strike. But the fact is North Korea’s addiction to nuclear weapons is far beyond the recent US intervention in Iraq and Libya.

Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of the current Korean leader, even considered a nuclear weapon even before the communist regime in Pyongyang on September 9, 1948. At the end of World War II, thousands of Korean workers were fired from Japan and settled in the northeastern part of the Korean Peninsula occupied by the Soviet Union. Many of them were engaged in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were attacked by the United States in August 1945. They returned to their country with stories of “Resurrection” weapons, which brought enmity to the United States with fear of being completely destroyed.

This fear became more and more pessimistic among not only North Korean leaders, but even the people of the country, which the United States intended to launch nuclear attacks against the North. On December 9, 1950, US commander General Douglas MacArthur even said that he had provided a list of 26 atomic bombs to prevent the development of the North Korean army and its Chinese allies.

Also, in September 1956, the United States decided to deploy nuclear weapons on South Korean territory, in breach of clause 13 (d) of the cease-fire agreement. The decision was made at various stages in 1957 and 1958. The efforts of the Soviet Union and its allies in the United Nations to prevent the decision of the United States did not get anywhere.

On the other hand, North Korea began to build ground-based underground conventional weapons near the obstacle area, with South Korean and American troops capturing these weapons. In 1963, North Korea helped the Soviet Union to acquire nuclear technology and weapons, but this request was not accepted. Nonetheless, the Soviets agreed to help North Korea’s peaceful nuclear program, including training its experts. Later, China opposed North Korea’s similar request.

North Korea has since demanded that nuclear weapons be used to counteract and prevent a possible US strike, thereby guaranteeing its survival. In 1965, a nuclear research reactor at Yongbyon in northern Pyongyang opens and launches North Korea’s nuclear program. The Yong-byon Center was established with the assistance of the Soviet Union. In the 1960s and 1970s, more than 300 North Korean nuclear scientists were trained at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, the Bowman Technical School, and the Moscow Energy Institute. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian and German scientists continued to assist in the development of the country’s nuclear program in Korea.

Eventually, on October 3, 2006, the North Korean Foreign Ministry announced in response to US threats that it was planning to test a nuclear bomb and that this happened historically for Korea three days later.

Another issue that makes it impossible to look at the results of possible talks between the leaders of the United States and North Korea optimistically is the reality of the indirect involvement of China and Russia and other regional actors in the issue. Of course, the North Korean nuclear crisis is not just a two-way issue between the United States and Pyongyang, and other major powers, including China and Russia, are involved.

From one perspective, while Trump considers the Security Council’s sweeping sanctions as a factor in turning North Korean leaders to the negotiating table, with a closer look at the matter, the main reason for Pyongyang’s willingness to negotiate under current conditions is to push China on Korea. North and Beijing has been accompanied by international sanctions against the country.

After four costly nuclear tests, 2012 has been closely linked to Beijing with international economic development sanctions. Also, according to the UN report in July 2017, rainfall in North Korea dropped dramatically, affecting food shortages. Under these circumstances, Beijing’s policy to reduce the import of textile and fuel products from North Korea is a major contributor to Pyongyang’s engagement with Trump.

But why has China, which has always used North Korea’s support as a leverage to pressure the United States and its allies in the region and prevent the Alliance’s two rivers, now has a policy of protecting Korea’s non-stagnation? The answer to this question should be America’s mainstream strategy in the Far East to confront the uprising of China, which has come to power since the Obama era, and has now been intensified in the Trump era. Under the pretext of Korea’s nuclear program, the United States deployed its own nuclear weapons bombers in South Korea, under the pretext of Korea’s nuclear program and the need to support its allies, and during the Trump period, intensified its military presence in East Asia, and the establishment of the Advanced Thad developed Missile Defense System (THAAD) in South Korea and Japan accelerated. The system, with a range of about 1,000 km of radar, is capable of monitoring the depths of China’s soil and parts of Russia’s soil, which will be a major contributor to the strategic advantage of the United States against these rivals. The sensitivity of this issue is better understood when it comes to the fact that Washington, in three important documents, determines its foreign policy and national security strategy during the Trump era of China and Russia as the most important threats to national security and US hegemony and the necessity he has cited them.

On the other hand, North Korea’s past record has shown that Pyongyang has in the past also welcomed the negotiation process for resolving disputes and ending hostilities.

Therefore, it can be admitted that the Pyongyang tendency to negotiate cannot be considered as a surrender to the will of America. But what it seems certain is that with this move, North Korea, China and Russia have thrown the ball on the American soil. The United States looks at the continuation of military presence and the strengthening of these forces near the borders of China and Russia from a strategic imperative to maintain its own interests and prevent China from gaining power. This need is similarly raised by other US allies in the region, such as Japan. Therefore, it can be expected that the failure of the negotiations ahead with North Korea refusing to suspend its nuclear and missile program will surely put Washington in a position of international criticism to disrupt talks and lack honest approach to resolve the crisis. . Indeed, the United States is now facing North Korea’s willingness to negotiate with the demands of China and Russia to reduce its military presence in the region in order to bring about talks. An issue that White House policymakers are not willing to accept.

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East Asia

Standing up to China: Czech mayor sets a high bar

Dr. James M. Dorsey

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A Czech mayor’s refusal to endorse Beijing’s One China policy potentially sets a high bar as Western powers grapple with how to respond to allegations of excessive use of violence by police against Hong Kong protesters and the implications of leaked documents detailing a brutal crackdown in China’s north-western province of Xinjiang.

Prague mayor Zdenek Hrib rejected a sister city agreement between the Czech capital and Beijing in late October because it included a clause endorsing the One China policy, which implicitly recognizes China’s sovereignty over Taiwan, as well as Hong Kong and Tibet.

Mr. Hrib argued that the agreement was a cultural arrangement and not designed to address foreign policy issues that were the prerogative of the national government.

The mayor’s stance has since taken on added significance against the backdrop of US President Donald J. Trump’s signing of legislation that allows for the sanctioning of Hong Kong officials, embarrassing Communist party leaks that document repression in Xinjiang, the election of a new Sri Lankan government that intends to adopt a tougher policy towards China, and simmering anti-Chinese sentiment in Central Asia and beyond.

Mr. Hrib’s rejection was in fact a reflection of anti-Chinese sentiment in the Czech Republic as well as opposition to the pro-China policy adopted by Czech president Milos Zeman.

To be sure, Mr. Hrib, a 38-year old medical doctor who interned in Taiwan, was shouldering little political or economic risk given Czech public anger at China’s failure to fulfil promises of significant investment in the country.

On the contrary, Mr. Hrib, since becoming mayor in mid-2018, appears to have made it his pastime to put Mr. Zeman on the spot by poking a finger at China.

Mr. Hrib visited Taiwan in the first six months of his mayorship, flew the Tibetan flag over Prague’s city hall, and rejected a request by the Chinese ambassador at a meeting with foreign diplomats to send Taiwanese representatives out of the room.

Beijing’s cancellation of a tour of China by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra in response to Mr. Hrib’s provocations forced Mr. Zeman to describe the Chinese retaliation as “excessive” and his  foreign minister, Tomas Petricek, to declare that “diplomacy is not conducted with threats.”

Perhaps more importantly, M. Hrib was taking a stand based on principles and values rather than interests. In doing so, he was challenging the new normal of world leaders flagrantly ignoring international law to operate on the principle of might is right.

“Our conscience is not for sale,” said Michaela Krausova, a leading member of the governing Pirate Party of the Prague city council. Ms. Krausova and Mr. Hrib’s party was founded to shake up Czech politics with its insistence on the safeguarding of civil liberties and political accountability and transparency.

While couched in terms of principle, Mr. Hrib’s stand strokes with newly installed Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s intention to wrest back control from China of the island’s strategic Hambantota port that serves key shipping lanes between Europe and Asia.

Hambantota became a symbol of what some critics have charged is Chinese debt trap diplomacy after Sri Lanka was forced to hand over the port to China in 2017 on a 99-year lease because the government was unable to repay loans taken to build it.

“I believe that the Sri Lankan government must have control of all strategically important projects like Hambantota. The next generation will curse our generation for giving away precious assets otherwise,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.

Fears of a debt trap coupled with the crackdown on Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, which targets not only Uighurs, but also groups that trace their roots to Central Asian countries, have fuelled anti-Chinese sentiment in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.

“Given that China is likely to continue to expand its presence, further irritating local publics, the temptation of opposition groups to exploit such anger will only grow. If that happens…the anti-Chinese demonstrations that have taken place to date will be only the prelude to a situation that could easily spiral out of control, ethnicizing politics in these countries still further,” said Central Asia scholar Paul Goble.

Beyond Xinjiang, anti-Chinese sentiment in Central Asia is fuelled by some of the same drivers that inform Czech attitudes towards China.

The shared drivers include unfulfilled promises, idle incomplete Chinese-funded infrastructure projects, widespread corruption associated with Chinese funding, and the influx of Chinese labour and materials at the expense of the local work force and manufacturers.

Beyond Xinjiang, Central Asians worry about potential debt traps. The Washington-based Center for Global Development listed last year two Central Asian nations, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as risking China-related “debt distress.”

Warned China and Central Asia scholar Ayjaz Wani: “Chinese principles in Central Asia are hegemonic. China has always interacted with Central Asian states without regarding their cultural identities, but according to its own vested interests… However, the ongoing anti-China sentiments may be coming to a tipping point.

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Old wine in new bottles: Chinese containment policy in South Asia

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A lot of discussion in international relations scholarship is concentrated upon how US maximizing its security presence in the Asia-Pacific region. It is trying to contain, growing Chinese Influence to protect its national interest.It was described by former US President Barack Obama as a pivot Asia policy. But in the case of South Asia, United States is strengthening its ties with India to boost it as a force to contain Chinese emerging influence. It was termed by John J Mearsheimer as buck-passing in which a world superpower will give power and authority to another state to try to contain the influence of an emerging world hegemon. The Indo-US nuclear deal and former President Barack Obama’s remarks about the inclusion of India inthe United Nations Security council demonstrates that the United States is helping India to rise as the regional hegemon. India considers itself as an important actor at international level.It is increasing its political clout internationally but in South Asia, it can face a new kind of isolation. This is evident from the three recent events that occurred in a span of only 10 days in the first half of October

On 07th October Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan visited China with high-level delegation. He met there with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other important officials, it was his third visit to China since he came into power. During the meeting, both leaders, Imran Khan and Xi Jinping, discussed strengthening bilateral relations which are already at a higher level in terms of military and economic partnership. China is already working on a project to invest more than $50 billion under the name of China Pakistan Economic corridor let alone the cooperation on strategic and political issues. During the course of the visit, officials from both sides discussed Free Trade agreement which will be helpful in solving the problem of trade deficit for Pakistan. Total trade volume between China and Pakistan is around $15 billion in which Chinese export to Pakistan is of 13 billion. This Free Trade Agreement will open up about 90% of the Chinese market to Pakistan and will reduce trade deficit. During his meeting with Imran Khan, Xi Jinping accepted Kashmir as a disputed region and asked both parties to solve it through peaceful means.

All this happened just a few days before the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India.Although both countries have made some progress on economy-related issues, no concrete efforts have been made to solve more radical issues like Indo-China border dispute in the northern Himalayan region. However more astonishing for India was that Xi Jinping visited Nepal after India. Nepal is a landlocked country crammed between two South Asia giants India and China. India is present on three sides of Nepal and considers it as its backyard. Both countries did have very solid relations and 60% of total Nepalese trade is done with India. In 2015 when Nepal adopted new constitution, relations between both countries soured. Although it was the internal matter of Nepal, India put an unofficial blockade for Nepal, which stopped all the supplies including food and medicine. Blockade continued for more than two months and it created a severe crisis because Nepal was already damaged by a strong earthquake in early 2015 in which more than 9000 people died. This blocked proved decisive in changing behavior of Nepalese leadership though they were complaining of Indian hegemonic role for many years. Nepal turned toward China for their needs. China also responded in a very positive way. Besides reconstructing earthquake effected areas, China also provided 1.03 million liters of fuel. In 2017 Nepal signed China’s Belt and Road initiative and pledged to construct a railway line which will connect China with Nepal directly. This initiated a new beginning in China-Nepal relations.

When Xi Jinping arrived at Katmandu, China by this time was thelargest foreign direct investor in Nepal.It was the first visit by any Chinese president in the last 23 years.During the course of his visit, 18 agreements were signed between Nepal and China, including a railway link between China and Nepal.

These three important tours in less than ten days present the new geopolitical reality of the region. Although the Chinese president visited India but this visit was sandwiched between Imran Khan’s visit to China and Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal. Pakistan is an arch-rival of India in South Asia and Nepal which historically remained in the Indian sphere of influence,  is slowly slipping away from it.it clearly demonstrates containment policy by China in which China is progressively growing its influence in South Asian states. The Story does not end with Pakistan and Nepal but other South Asian states like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka now also have very strong ties with China.it represents in a new normal situation in which South Asian region is no longer dominated by India. Though India is showing to the world that it is solely protecting peace and stability in the region but reality has changed In fact South Asian states consider it as dominating power evident from its relation with Pakistan and blockade of Nepal. With growing Chinese influence in South Asia containment of India is now very much a reality.

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How Australia is becoming China’s Australia

Sisir Devkota

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If it were not for China, Australia’s population inroad scheme would take a serious hit. Out of more than 0.7 million international students, more than 30% Chinese are pursuing degrees in universities. Australia lives along the values of  the Western culture, but when it comes to its economy, rather dishonourably; it has had to lean towards the East. Chinese consumerism compensates for a healthy Australian economy and while it stands stronger on its democratic values, Australia, now faces a paradoxical relationship with the Asian hegemon. For instance, it is quietly ignoring the protests in Hong Kong. During recent elections, the Australian Prime Minister was mocked on WeChat; his funny nuances were subject to ridicule in the Chinese social media.

Now, Australia is facing the task. It is fighting a battle to save its identity against a consumer band, governed by communist policies. China’s message is clear; an interference of any sort is not welcome, else the consequences are going to be economical. Emancipated Chinese students in Australia have been protesting against the government backlash in Hong Kong. Resultantly, back home in China, apartments were raided and their parents taught the lesson of conformity. A lesson of nationalism that has blossomed outside its territories. Australia is swallowing up the hypocrisy. On its own land, it cannot protect the values of freedom and democracy.

Wang LiQiang or as he would like to be known as “William”, took to the Australian authorities for his involvement in spying activities. In his own admission, William was conducting intelligence operations and most significantly, assassinations on Australian soil. William is only one among high profile spies that have been operating in Australia. Ironically, his testament sufficiently reflects the Australian attitude towards Chinese interference, which has essentially been negligent and non-conversational. Notably, William’s particular mention about operating a system of political donation will nevertheless disturb Australian administrators. They will realize that it is only about time when China will explicitly begin to reassert its influence. The police did not find Wang Li Qiang; instead, he volunteered to surrender. Especially, coming from a senior Chinese operative, the message could not be clearer.

On the outset, China and Australia maintain a well-documented “good relationship”. However, administrative hierarchies in Canberra are also accused of implying a very positive attitude towards presenting and defending bilateral ties. As much as economic interests have motivated the Australian behaviour of non-acceptance, politicians do not shy away from painting an over simplified picture of Chinese problems that are realistically, complex in nature. As Prime Minister Scott Morrison handled the allegations of a Chinese backed ring that was trying to plot a spy in the parliament; the government has tried too hard to overlook the obvious. Mr. Morrison urged his citizens to not draw anxious conclusions, instead; he suggested that Australia would need to be vigilant from the threats that it faced more broadly. The substitutability of discourse that is apparent in Australian politics, marks a rather gifted trade-off for China and its actions. Andrew Hastie, parliamentary head of intelligence and security, claimed that such incidents did not surprise him. As more evidences would suggest, Chinese interference was knocking at the doors.

In terms of China, there are two faces of Australian political rhetoric. One that is motivated by the larger interests in the administrative chairs of governance, overlooking the infiltration for personal benefits. Secondly, the critiques emanating from opposition politicians and the likes of intelligence chiefs, for instance ASIO’s former Directorate General, Duncan Lewis, warned that China would take over Australia in a matter of time. Elsewhere in the borders of the communist giant, two Australian MP’s were denied travel entry, citing largely undetermined reasons. With a population of merely 25 million inhabitants, 1.8 million Chinese students have migrated to Australia for education. The dragon is marching towards the continent, in a first, the troops are ready on site.

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