By Elias Mhegera – Media practitioners have been urged to call for global peace in the wake of international turbulences and bloodshed which have affected a large population of innocent civilians including women and children.
The call was a strong message to fellow journalists by Mr. Chen Ping Deputy Editor of the Global Times a Chinese local news paper with a wider international readership, when he spoke to a team of visiting African media practitioners at the Renmin University recently.
“Persistent reporting by media practitioners will eventually halt massive wars going on now here and there because of various uncalled for justifications.” He remarked during a discussion.
Although the main focus of discussion was the North Korea nuclear issue but he challenged that this is just a reflection of what ‘flexing muscles’ could produce if negotiation processes are abandoned.
He condemned wars which have been fought recently under the guise of fighting terrorism or removing dictators from power is it happened in Libya, Iraq, and Egypt.
He warned that an endless series of wars increases poverty and hence leads to a failure to the disadvantaged people to meet their necessary demands and hence they are ravaged by poverty.
He elaborated that two issues have now turned Asia an area of a military and political stalemate. One is the North Korea nuclear threat and another one is that of the South China Sea tussle.
Concerning the North Korea crisis already there have been international resolutions condemning it for its nuclear tests, but also calling for its neighbors particularly China to abide to the already decided upon resolution of sanctions.
“It has been speculated that North Korea has been showing a tough stance because China has abandoned to adhere to the imposed sanctions,” he remarked.
He supported his country’s stance of implementing ‘selective sanctions’ based on the fact that if all were to be implemented they could lead to devastative effects of the ordinary citizens.
Revisiting the nuclear capability history he said that since 1962 North Korea also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) started researching on nuclear capability. However it was just in 1991 when the US started to call for the denuclearization of this country.
In December 21, 1991 North Korea and South Korea signed an agreement on denuclearization giving hope that the tension would now cease. This again was followed by another agreement in 1994 between the US, North Korea and South Korea on the same issue.
But this agreement came to an eventual halt after the death of Kim IL Sung in July 8, 1994. The US which had played an important part in convening the two parties relaxed in anticipation that Kim Jong il who assumed power from his father will not pose any tough challenge and probably the aristocratic regime would have eventually collapsed.
This did not happen even after the death of Kim Jong il and eventual succession of his son Kim Jong-un. He explains that it is under the incumbent regime that nuclear threat has become even more pronounced.
“There are two main reasons for this turn of events; first is for the fact that the incumbent leader strives to entrench himself in power and show not only his own people but the whole world that his age is not a limiting factor, but also as a bargain chip with the US,” he asserts.
Mr Chen says it has been a common practice for the US to discuss directly with nations which have been seen to pose a nuclear threat but this has never been the case with North Korea which now has created a noisy bang.
Another impeding threat of international magnitude is the South China Sea. According to this editor there are open and seen players but behind the scenes there other players who manipulate situations.
He indirectly defends his country’s decision of not turning out in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), in response to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), due to the fear of the unseen players. Already the Court has issued the verdict which was in favour of the Philippine which represented other interested parties.
He reminds that the unseen players are now causing unnecessary tension in the area. The co-operation between South Korea, the Philippine and Japan is seen as a deliberate threat to China.
But also the justification of Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on claims that it is a counter measure to the North Korea Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is also seen as a long-term plan of militarizing this area with an intention to threaten China.
Efforts to reconcile with Cuba, Russia and even attempts by foreign interests in the Joint Security Area (JSA), the so-called “Bridge of No Return” crosses the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) between North Korea and South Korea are mere attempts to find ways to move closer to China.
This bride was formerly used for prisoner exchanges at the end of the Korean War in 1953. The name originates from the final ultimatum that was given to prisoners of war brought to the bridge for repatriation: they could either remain in the country of their captivity or cross the bridge to return to their homeland.
“Already China is in full alert that it is being engulfed through the North Korea nuclear crisis and the South China Sea which means it must be cautious of movements to and from the Asian continent.
Moreover there are promises that through the 2270 UNSC resolution the best intervention for China are to ensure there is no war between North Korea and South Korea.
While the US has kept on denying of any involvement in the conflicts in this area, but history tells that there was once an American colonization of the Philippine Islands, a Pacific Ocean archipelago which was conquered from Imperial Spain, in the three-month Spanish–American War (1898); that led to its annexation to the ‘American Empire’.
It has also been claimed that it was under the great support of the US then President Ronald Reagan that Philippine President Corazon Aquino managed to survive many coup attempts in the mid 1980s an indication that the US has always been behind affairs of this nation.
And this is whether it is openly or covertly, and for that matter the claim by China that there was a lot of the US machinations behind the recent South China Sea cannot be denied altogether.