In a speech at China’s National Defence University, Mr Rudd said Pyongyang’s antics threatened China’s foreign policy objectives because Asian nations were beginning to co-operate on regional anti-ballistic missile defences, which could work against China as well as North Korea.
And he said some in Japan and South Korea were pushing for their countries to develop nuclear weapons of their own. Mr Rudd cited North Korea’s threats to bomb the US and its allies and to reduce the South Korean capital of Seoul to a smouldering ruin.
As he spoke, the US was confirming that it had sent two B-2 stealth bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, to drop munitions on a target range on a South Korean island. The US withdrew its nuclear weapons from the peninsula in 1992 and the unspoken message behind this latest “routine exercise” was that it was able to attack from afar.
Mr Rudd told the officers the situation was becoming increasingly dangerous and the world was looking to China to use its influence with North Korea to calm the situation. “Our Chinese friends would also appreciate that other countries of the region have profound concerns about both the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program of North Korea and its inflammatory declaratory language concerning its preparedness unilaterally to use armed force against the South and other ‘unnamed aggressors’ in Asia,” Mr Rudd said on Thursday night. ” . . . the most immediate and significant threat to a new form of strategic co-operation between Beijing and Washington, and between Beijing and the rest of the region, lies in the North Korean nuclear program.”
Everyone else had failed in their diplomatic efforts, he said.
And while China had gone to considerable lengths to try to change North Korea’s behaviour, Pyongyang had rewarded it by launching its third underground test during China’s Spring Festival holiday and then declared its renunciation of the 1953 armistice when China was announcing its new leadership to the world.
“North Korea’s nuclear posture is of itself causing the US and its allies in the region to enhance their co-operation on ballistic missile defence in order to counter the North Korean threat,” Mr Rudd said.
“Such ballistic missile defence co-operation also of course has wider implications for China’s national and security interests beyond the Korean Peninsula.
“China’s own global foreign policy standing is suffering and will continue to suffer as a result of North Korean adventurism.
“North Korea today has become not just a global pariah state but a dangerous one for so many of China’s friends and neighbours, not least South Korea.
“There is also an emerging debate within both Korea and Japan about their own future nuclear postures given North Korea’s emerging capabilities and aggressive public language towards both.”
Julia Gillard goes to China for five days next week where she will meet its new leaders, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.Source: The Australian – Rudd calls on China to calm N Korea Via: CraigHill.net – Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd calls on China to calm North Korea
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