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Russian experts outline scenarios for Korean Peninsula

November 28, 2017, 9:53 UTC+3 SEOUL

Experts believe the Korean crisis leads to a political confrontation between China and the United States

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© AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

SEOUL, November 28. /TASS/. Russian experts taking part in the eighth Asian conference of the Valdai International Discussion Club presented a report outlining scenarios of events that may take place on the Korean Peninsula.

The experts say that the "report outlines a number of scenarios for the paths Asia may take in the next 20 years, and what the choice of each of these paths will mean for Russia and its role in Asian affairs." After holding discussions with other experts and conducting various studies, the authors shaped "three scenarios for the development of Asia: The Warring Kingdoms (Multilateral Nuclear Balancing), Bonanza! (Free Trade Asia), La Belle epoque (Continuation of the Asian Paradox)."

Political confrontation or decrease in US influence

According to the first scenario, "the Korean crisis leads to a political confrontation between China and the United States, as well as to the explicit failure of the non-proliferation regimes, as the DPRK will be de facto, but not de jure, recognized by the international community as a country with nuclear potential." At the same time, "from Russia’s perspective, the region slipping into a state of deterrence of everyone by everyone is a quite unfavorable scenario, albeit not fatal - due to Russia’s traditional advantage in the military-strategic sphere," the report says.

Under the Bonanza! scenario, "a compromise is likely to be reached, which will prevent the worsening of the Korean nuclear issue and outline ways to resolve it in a way that is satisfactory for all regional players. A compromise on the Korean issue will be part of a more global agreement in the area of regional security between China and Russia, on the one hand, and the United States and Japan, on the other hand." "The result will be a gradual decrease of the importance of US security guarantees and, as a consequence, US political influence in the region as a whole… and the gradual growth of Chinese influence in the countries of Southeast and South Asia," the experts noted.

The third scenario says that "the sides will not be able to overcome their military-political contradictions, neither will they let the situation deteriorate to a critical level." "This scenario implies the possibility of preserving the paradigm, where no country in the region is hostile to Russia. However, in the longer term, negative stagnation will limit the possibility of Russia getting involved in regional affairs on both economic and political levels," the report’s authors stressed.

Report’s goal

Andrey Bystritsky, the chairman of the board of the Valdai Discussion Club’s Development and Support Foundation, told TASS that the authors of the report did not seek to predict the future. "The report’s goal is to set the tone for debates and highlight the trends that will affect the situation in the region the most," he said.

The Seoul conference has shown that the parties are ready to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula," Bystritsky noted. "Moreover, we have seen that these countries have a lot of common views," he added.

"We would be glad to see North Korean experts among the participants in our conference," Bystritsky stressed. "However, under the current circumstances and due to the poor level of communication it does not seem possible," he said.

Valdai Club’s Asian conference

The eighth Asian conference of the Valdai International Discussion Club took place in the South Korean capital of Seoul on November 27-28. The event involved more than 30 experts from various countries of the region, including Russia, China, Japan, India and Australia. Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov was the major Russian speaker, informing other participants about Moscow’s initiative to resolve the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

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