Fresh thinking required on Korea crisis

14-Mar-2013 @ 8:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Bold new thinking is required to solve the looming nuclear crisis in North Korea, a senior MEP said.

Charles Tannock, Conservative spokesman on foreign affairs in the European Parliament, said efforts should focus on persuading the Democratic Republic Republic of Korea (DPRK) to sign the international nuclear comprehensive test-ban treaty and ultimately to unify peacefully with its neighbour South Korea.

He told MEPs sitting in Strasbourg: "North Korea remains one of the most isolated and brutal dictatorships, with a dangerous nuclear programme that risks a regional nuclear arms race.

"The recent atomic test and experiments with weaponising its nuclear payload means that the international community must redouble efforts to get North Korea to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to reunify peacefully with the South."

He told an emergency debate on the Korean crisis that in order to get China fully "on board" and to ensure its co-operation, since it would not tolerate US troops on its border, it might be necessary for the 6 powers, including in particular the USA, to agree to a complete demilitarisation of the Korean peninsula. He said that could be further guaranteed by a united Korea agreeing to become a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Dr Tannock went on: "We must remember that Russia is still angry that NATO expanded to East Germany, which it wrongly claims it was promised wouldn't happen. That is why China needs a huge carrot with guarantees to abandon its North Korean ally.

"An NAM-reunited Korea, with even perhaps a transitional government with some of the less objectionable elements of the DPRK regime included, may be a price worth paying to avert eventual economic collapse of the country, or even war.

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