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Expert warns peace agreement can’t be reached on Korean Peninsula without Russia and China

May 29, 2018, 22:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Back in 2017, Moscow and Beijing put forward a joint proposal

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MOSCOW, May 29. /TASS/. An agreement between South Korea, the United States and North Korea on settling the situation on the Korean Peninsula won’t have legal value, if the interests of Russia and China are ignored, Director of the Asian Strategy Center at the Institute of Economics within the Russian Academy of Sciences Georgy Toloraya told TASS on Tuesday.

"The US-North Korean negotiations are now going on in two tracks [the talks between North and South Korea and between the United States and North Korea], which suggests that from the very beginning of the demarche by US President Donald Trump, the cancellation of the negotiations was a trick, a bluff in order to try to get the best conditions from a deal with Kim Jong-un," the expert said.

"The North Korean leader surely won’t agree to full denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula but will apparently give some concessions to help Americans save their face," he noted.

"In this game, Kim Jong-un wins and Americans are forced to solve somehow the North Korean nuclear problem or pretend solving it," the expert added.

"This scenario quite suits Russia but the situation when South Korea, the United States and North Korea agree behind Russia’s and China’s back is unacceptable," Toloraya said.

"What does not suit us is that if [South Korean President] Moon Jae-in comes to Singapore and the three parties [the heads of the United States, South Korea and North Korea] agree on a document [on settling the situation on the Korean Peninsula]. The legal value and the obligations of this kind of a document are dubious; in any case, such a new regime of maintaining peace leaves out both China and Russia," the expert noted.

"For us, this is hardly acceptable, if the most important issue concerning security near our borders is decided without us and with disregard for our interests," he stressed.

On July 4, 2017, Moscow and Beijing put forward a joint proposal on a dual freeze: Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear tests and also US-South Korea military drills. The Russia-China joint plan envisages moving towards the political process through this initiative.

Toloraya believes that it is now time for Russia "to step up its diplomatic efforts." "Besides, it would be nice to see a summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un," the expert said.

A summit meeting between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was initially planned to be held in Singapore on June 12. Last week, the US president sent the North Korean leader a message, informing him that the meeting couldn’t take place due to Pyongyang’s hostile statements.

However, soon after that Trump said the US still intended to hold the first US-North Korean summit on June 12 in Singapore.

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