More than two decades ago the fall of the Berlin wall in Germany marked the end of the “cold war”, the history of fierce fight of two super powers and their allies as well as the start of reorganization of international relations based on democratic principals. Unfortunately, these positive changes did not affect the Korean peninsula, where a tough confrontation between not only two absolutly opposite social and political systems, but also among the biggest military groups in the world, armed with modern weapons maintained on the both sides of 38 parallel for more than 60 years.
In fact, the peninsula balances on the verge of military and political crisis, when any tiny reason may provoke full-scale war. The tragic events of 2010 showed how unstable and tense the situation is.
Sometimes we can hear critical voices towards several aspects of Russian policy regarding Korean peninsula. I would like to answer that Moscow’s calls to the conflict parties to reveal maximum restrained and suspended position possess not theoretical but particular practical sense. The matter is that the situation on the Korean peninsula directly affects security of the Russian citizens, who live in the neighboring Far East regions, influences the large-scale rapid development plans of these Russian territories. By the way, from this point of view establishment in the future of the democratic, prosperous and friendly towards us united Korea fully reflects Russian political and economical interests.
We are convinced that there is no alternative to political and diplomatic settlement of the situation. Moreover, the Six-party talks is the optimal mechanism for making necessary decisions on all the issues, including the main-nuclear problem.
Using our obvious advantages, in particular good relations with both Korean states and advanced strategic dialogue with USA, China, Republic of Korea and Japan, Russia is doing everything possible to normalize the situation on the peninsula, to resume interkorean dialogue and create conditions to restart the Six-party talks.
Taking into consideration reduction of tension since the beginning of this year, Russia worked actively with all parties concerned, particular with the representatives of North Korea this February, March and May, including a special visit of the Head of our delegation, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. A. Borodavkin, to Pyongyang and we achieved certain positive results. In particular, North Korea officially abandoned its preliminary conditions to resume the six-party talks, which were: to remove sanctions of the UN Security Council and sign the Peace treaty instead of Armistice agreement of 1953, and also agreed to include its “uranium enrichment program” to the agenda of the Six-party talks. Some people may say that it is not enough but we, in contrary to those adhering to the principle “all or nothing”, consider that achieved results open the perspective of narrowing the differences in positions of all participants in order to resume the talks.
During the conversation with North Koreans we expressed our support not only for the renewal of dialogue and arranging cooperation between North and South but also achieved the confirmation of Pyongyang’s interest in discussion of trilateral (Russia- ROK-DPRK) economic projects such as the connection of railways of three countries, construction of gas pipeline and integrated energy system, connecting Russia and the Republic of Korea through the territory of the North Korea. We are convinced that these projects will be economically and politically attractive, of course in case of creation of necessary political conditions.
And, finally, one more issue which is Russia responsible for. The history of the conflict on the Korean peninsula, origin and aggravation of the North Korea nuclear problem, last year’s tragic incidents in the Yellow sea have clearly highlighted the long felt necessity of establishing the mechanism of peace and security in Northeast Asia. Russia as a chair of a special Working group within the framework of Six-party talks even during the two year’s suspension of the negotiations, continued to work on the draft of the document named «Guiding principles», on which such mechanism may be based. It’s central idea is a provision guarantees of security to all countries in the region, including North Korea, which is known to justify its nuclear program by the threat of aggression from USA and the Republic of Korea. We are sure, there will be necessary in future to make a multilateral document not only with political, but also with juridical obligations based on international law. I consider that such mechanism could become one of components of the future security architecture in the whole Asia Pacific region.