The leaders of South Korea and China raised pressure on North Korea to renounce its nuclear ambitions on Thursday, saying they were “adamantly” against the development of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.
In a joint statement issued after the summit between Presidents Park Geun-hye and Xi Jinping in Seoul, the two sides also stated the need to create conditions for the resumption of the six-party denuclearization talks. The talks involving the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia have been dormant since late 2008.
“While the North has called for the unconditional resumption of the talks, the two sides agreed that there needs to be certain conditions for the resumption of the talks,” said a senior official at Seoul’s Foreign Ministry, declining to be named.
Seoul had reportedly pushed to single out North Korea for denuclearization in the joint statement, but failed to do so. The statement said that the two sides support efforts to make substantive progress on “denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula” through various forms of meaningful dialogue among the chief negotiators of the six-way talks.
“In most international documents, ‘denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’ has been used (to refer to North Korea’s denuclearization). Those documents include U.N. Security Council resolutions,” the official explained. “Thus, denuclearization on the peninsula is perceived in and out of the country as meaning the North’s denuclearization.”
During Thursday’s summit, Seoul also gained Beijing’s support for President Park’s so-called Dresden reunification vision although Pyongyang has blasted it, saying that the vision aims to achieve reunification by absorbing the North.
During her visit to Dresden, Germany in March, Park unveiled a package of proposals to lay the groundwork for reunification, including extending aid to mothers and their babies; building infrastructure in the North in return for rights to develop underground resources; and increasing bilateral exchanges in various sectors.
In the joint statement, the two sides also urged the North to make good on its denuclearization commitments and expressed their resolve to continuously abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions involving anti-Pyongyang sanctions for its nuclear and missile development.
By Song Sang-ho (firstname.lastname@example.org)