Russia takes the center stage again.
“Russia’s principled position is that North Korea’s nuclear status is unacceptable for it,” he stressed. In his words, the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula could only be solved if the entire situation in the sphere of security was changed. “Much has been done in the past ten years but still it was not enough, so no considerable progress can be seen now,” he noted.
He said NAPCI could reach no progress unless it involved North Korea. “North Korea is a major part of Northeast Asia, so, it is vitally important to involve Pyongyang into this cooperation. Moscow is trying to do that and plans to continue its participation in the six-party talks,” the Russian diplomat said.
Timonin said “soft” and “tough” solutions to regional problems should be realized concurrently. “Much is being said now about “soft” cooperation but we should bear in mind that further success will depend on settling serious security problems. We can reach no breakthrough in other sphere without them,” he underscored.
The Russian diplomat called on all parties concerned to spare no effort to involve North Korea into dialogue through expanded economic cooperation. He cited Russia as a positive example in this respect. “We are doing it, in particular, in the sphere of railway transport, and we expect other parties to be more active too. This way, we will be able to make the NAPCI a serious movement covering the entire regional agenda,” he said.
NAPCI is South Korean President Park Guen-hye’s initiative. According to the South Korean leader, Asia is suffering from a gap between the growing economic interdependence on the one hand and inferior political and security cooperation, on the other hand. This initiative was advanced as a tool to deal with these challenges.