North Korea and China came together in unison, insisting on the suspension of joint exercises between the US and South Korea and easing of sanctions against North Korea. The North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs sympathized with China’s claims by introducing China’s claims on its website when China increased pressure on North Korea to stop training at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). North Korea has been silent on calls for the return of dialogue between the two countries. South Korea and the US have a policy of drastically reducing the scale but conducting the exercises as scheduled, so the structure of a confrontation between South Korea and North Korea and China appears to be prominent over the joint exercise. As China, which is in conflict with the United States, once again showed off that it is North Korea’s ‘behind the scenes’, it appeared as a variable in the resumption of dialogue.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, “Under the current situation, the ROK-U.S. joint exercises are not constructive.” should also be avoided.” Clearly opposing the ROK-U.S. joint exercises and demanding a halt. “An effective way to break the current deadlock is to ease sanctions on North Korea and create a positive atmosphere in which dialogue and consultation can resume,” Wang said.
Then, on the 7th, the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on its website “China’s opposition to the US-South Korea joint military exercise” and introduced Wang’s remarks. The North Korean foreign media Unification Sinbo reported on the 8th, “Every time a joint military exercise took place, there was a risk of war on the Korean Peninsula (Korean peninsula), and serious difficulties were often created for the development of inter-Korean relations and the movement for national reunification.” did.
The ROK and the US emphasized North Korea’s return to dialogue at the ARF meeting. US Secretary of State Tony Blincoln said, “North Korea has not changed its position that it will meet anytime, anywhere without conditions, as long as it designates an authorized negotiating representative.” Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong also expressed expectations for inter-Korean cooperation. However, Ahn Kwang-il, North Korean ambassador to Indonesia and ASEAN ambassador to Indonesia, who attended the meeting as the North Korean delegation, insisted, “There is no change in our will for peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
The opposition party, the People’s Power, protested, calling it “interference in internal affairs.” In a statement from the opposition presidential candidate Choi Jae-hyeon, former Auditor General Choi Jae-hyun criticized, “It is unacceptable for China, as a third party, to argue about whether or not the training will be held.” Rep. Park Jin of People’s Power, who is running for the presidential election, also pointed out that “it was a calculated remark intended to shake the ROK-U.S. alliance by riding on North Korea’s deterrent claims.”