Τρίτη, 2 Ιουνίου 2009

North Korea's 'Calculated Chess Move'

North Korea's 'Calculated Chess Move'

un Zhe is a professor at the Institute for International Studies at Beijing's Tsinghua University. In an interview with SPIEGEL, 

he discusses North Korea's recent nuclear tests, the friction they have caused with China and how China and the US can bring North Korea to the negotiating table.

SPIEGEL: Despite China and North Korea being close allies, Beijing failed to stop Kim Jong Il from conducting another nuclear test. Has China lost its influence over its former comrade in arms?

Sun Zhe: The North Koreans certainly did not listen to us. They currently don't view their relations with Beijing as a strategic priority. Their policies are completely oriented toward the Americans. There, they are playing a high-stakes game of poker.

SPIEGEL: What do the North Koreans really want?

Sun: They want to be treated as an equal partner by the US and by the other Western countries. And they absolutely want to have diplomatic relations with Washington.

SPIEGEL: And for that you have to detonate atomic bombs?

Sun: On the face of it, it indeed seems very strange. But it is a precisely calculated chess move. The North Koreans want to be noticed; they want to show something. However, with their tests, they disregarded the fact that the world is currently preoccupied with the financial crisis and swine flu.

SPIEGEL: What should Beijing's reaction be?

Sun Zhe: The North Koreans certainly did not listen to us. They currently don't view their relations with Beijing as a strategic priority. Their policies are completely oriented toward the Americans. There, they are playing a high-stakes game of poker.

SPIEGEL: What do the North Koreans really want?

Sun: They want to be treated as an equal partner by the US and by the other Western countries. And they absolutely want to have diplomatic relations with Washington.

SPIEGEL: And for that you have to detonate atomic bombs?

Sun: On the face of it, it indeed seems very strange. But it is a precisely calculated chess move. The North Koreans want to be noticed; they want to show something. However, with their tests, they disregarded the fact that the world is currently preoccupied with the financial crisis and swine flu.

SPIEGEL: What should Beijing's reaction be?

SPIEGEL: The North Koreans don't really seem all that bothered by sanctions.

Sun: Right. And that's why I think it is more important for our government to start talking with the Americans again.

SPIEGEL: To what purpose?

Sun: President Barack Obama should resume normal relations with North Korea, send some professors to Pyongyang and do something. That's the only chance for bringing North Korea to its senses. In Washington, there are more and more voices calling for a rethinking of America's policies toward North Korea. China should also work on this issue through talks with the US. We don't need hard sanctions; we need a strategy of "soft landing" for East Asia.

Interview conducted by Andreas Lorenz

1 σχόλιο:

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Marlow