Does China support Pyongyang? Can the Chinese intervene in a possible conflict between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States? Senior officer at the Center for Korean Studies at the Institute of the Far East, Yevgeny Kim, gave an interview to Pravda.Ru, in which we spoke about North Korea's nuclear program and the possibility of the denuclearization of South-East Asia.
"North Korea is a closed and little known country in many ways. Yet, who raised the question of a nuclear threat? After all, there are American atomic bombs in South Korea."
"China has been involved in this actively during the recent years, but one should not attach much importance to it. The mandate of the six-party talks was about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The question is not only about the elimination of nuclear weapons in North Korea. One should remove US nuclear bombs from South Korea and exclude a possibility for any type of nuclear weapons to appear on the Korean Peninsula on the whole.
"US nuclear-powered submarines with nuclear weapons, US aircraft carriers with nuclear weapons and US aircraft with nuclear weapons violate the regime of the nuclear-free zone in South Korea. Look at the Goa Declaration that was signed by the leaders of Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa. There are more than one hundred articles in this lengthy declaration, but it contains no word about the North Korean nuclear issue.
"Last year's BRICS declaration did not mention anything about the the North Korean nuclear issue. Therefore, the leaders of the five countries do not believe that North Korea is guilty of this problem."
"Vladimir Putin said once that no one will touch a country if this country has a nuclear bomb. If it does not have a nuclear bomb, this country may experience the fate of Libya. What is Russia's stance on North Korea? Does Russia recognize the right of North Korea to have a nuclear bomb?"
"The Americans would have shipped air defense systems to South Korea regardless of what kind of weapons North Korea would have had - nuclear or not. Russia is one of the great powers that has nuclear weapons, but Russia is not interested in the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Of course, Russia would not like to see the emergence of new nuclear powers in the world.
"At the same time, Russia understands why other countries have nuclear weapons. Russia always says that all countries should proceed from the interests of equal security. Why should the USA be worried about the presence of nuclear weapons in North Korea? North Korea cannot attack the USA. Even if North Korea has launched missiles into space, it does not mean that those missiles can carry nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons have to be delivered to the territory of another state, and a missile has to reenter the atmosphere, where plasma can destroy it, but the missile has to remain guidable in such conditions to deliver its nuclear weapons to the target. North Korea does not have the technology."
"Why does China keep silence?"
"China understands the reason, for which North Korea has to develop its nuclear weapons. The Chinese realize that the Americans deploy air defense complexes to contain China and Russia, not North Korea. The Americans do not even hide the fact that they have another nuclear warhead to be delivered to Germany. Nowadays, one can test and further improve nuclear weapons without a physical explosion, and North Korea would need to switch to methods of mathematical analysis."
"What will determine the economic development of North Korea - Sangun or reforms?"
"Reforms, definitely. Sangun - the policy of the supremacy of the army - appeared in the mid-1990s, when the country was in dire straits. The country was forced to unite as a military camp and create the mobilization economy. Sangun made it possible to overcome a very difficult period in the history of North Korea, and the country continued its development, where rigid military control was not required. Now they conduct reforms."
"Do you think a nuclear war may break out on the Korean Peninsula?"
"No, a nuclear war will not break out on the Korean peninsula, as North Korea will not use military weapons first. The Americans have a theory of pre-emptive nuclear strike on North Korea, and Russia too, by the way. North Korea does not have such a theory."
Interviewed by Said Gafurov
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