George Bush’s hysterical tirade pertaining to the imaginary “axis of evil,” his threats to North Korea, characterized by Pyongyang as “moral leprosy,” were perceived rather negatively in Beijing and Seoul.
Seoul is alarmed: Bush’s rhetoric, which included North Korea in the mythical axis of evil, threatens to bury the peaceful process between the North and South Koreas forever. The Korea Times wrote, being concerned about the bellicosity of the American president: “Normalizing relations with the U.S. is seen as the North's ultimate diplomatic aim, whose isolated economy is suffering from a severe lack of hard currency after decades of sanctions. The setback in Pyongyang-Washington ties due to the Bush administration's hard-line North Korea policy also bogged down inter-Korean relations last year. There have been fears that the renewed tension between North Korea and the U.S. recently will interfere further with inter-Korean family reunions and dialogues, which have lately shown signs of getting back on track.
The tirade of the State of the Union speech pertaining to Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the “axis of evil” was perceived by the world as the new targets of the American aggression. Beijing also took notice of this issue. The USA’s anti-terrorist action was verbally approved by the Chinese administration, but its potential continuation was totally denounced. China is interested in the normalization of the relations with the United States, and there is not much time left before Bush’s official visit to China. Nevertheless, his hysterical attacks were given an diplomatic and accurate estimation.
"The Chinese side is not in favor of using such terms in international relations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said. "We always advocate the principle of equality of all countries when dealing in state-to-state relations, otherwise it can only undermine the atmosphere for seeking resolution and harm the maintenance of world peace and stability," he said.
George Bush can detract the Americans from his sins in connection with the company Enron with the help of the mass provocations both in the Middle East and in the Far East, like how Bill Clinton raised his rating by means of threatening Iraq, bombing Serbia, and getting away with it. This is the danger of the moment, which brings up the idea that Pyongyang’s “moral leprosy” label is far from being unfounded.
Andrey Krushinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov