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Yellow Sea incident can postpone inter-Korean talks — expert

October 07, 2014, 18:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia’s experts think conservative groups in Pyongyang and Seoul can use the exchange of fire between naval patrol boats in the Yellow Sea in order to postpone the inter-Korean talks
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South Korean army soldiers

South Korean army soldiers

© AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. Conservative groups in Pyongyang and Seoul can use the exchange of fire between naval patrol boats in the Yellow Sea in order to postpone the inter-Korean talks, Russia’s expert said on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, the dispute between the North and the South in the Yellow Sea has not been settled yet. Every party has its version where the dividing line should pass that is why often incidents occur there,” the director of Korean research programmes at the Institute of Economy in the Russian Academy of Sciences, Georgy Toloraya, said.

“No one will think that it is necessary to change these instructions when inter-Korean relations thaw. That is why when South Koreans saw a North Korean boat violate the line that Seoul considers the border they opened fire,” he said.

Now it is difficult to say what party is guilty. “Every party has its truth,” Toloraya said.

He expressed hope that the incident has no impact on the Pyongyang-Seoul agreement on holding talks. “Although the DPRK can postpone the talks because there are opponents to rapprochement with the South. The same is related to South Korea where there are strong conservatives and hawks that can say the incident proves the DPRK’s aggressive nature,” he said.

“Now the situation depends on politicians as they show wisdom and caution,” he added.

Commenting on prospects for resuming the six-party talks on the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula, Toloraya said, “The situation is crystal clear.”

“We [Russia] have grounds to believe that this is the most rational format for solving the Korean problem in the long run, not only the nuclear problem,” he said.

“Until recently the US, Japan and South Korea have agreed with this position,” Toloraya said.

Now Washington is giving up a dialogue with Pyongyang under the “strategic patience” pretext - in fact, it is looking forward to the collapse of the North Korean regime. “South Korea’s position is the same. They [the US and the Republic of Korea] put forth demands unable to meet: preliminary denuclearisation or Pyongyang’s certain ‘sincerity,” he said.

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