Wednesday, Dec 04, 2002
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By P. S. Suryanarayana
The Joint Statement, which the two leaders signed at the conclusion of their talks in Beijing on Monday, was released by the Chinese authorities today. The two leaders underlined the importance of both the United States and North Korea "catering to mutual concerns'' by normalising their relationship through a process of adhering to all the accords that the two sides had reached in the past. The U.S.-North Korean Framework Agreement of 1994 was cited in this context. These formulations by China and Russia were in sync with the broader international sentiment, except for their insistence that the U.S. too address North Korea's demands under the rubric of "mutual concerns''.
However, Mr. Jiang and Mr. Putin sough to put the issue of Pyongyang's suspected wayward ways in some perspective by advocating inter-Korean rapprochement and the normalisation of ties between Japan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.
While the shared views of the two leaders on North Korea are considered significant in view of the strategic connections among these three countries over the years, the real thrust of the statement goes beyond the immediate international urgency of not allowing Pyongyang to become much more than a paper tiger (which is what the DPRK is still supposed to be in certain Western quarters).
Commending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which links China and Russia to certain Central Asian Republics, the two leaders characterised the SCO as "a pillar in the future structure of a multi-polar world''. While this might be regarded as an essential aspect of the world-view "in the eyes of the dragon'', a political idiom scripted by Yong Deng and Fei-Ling Wang, the statement was eloquent on the totality of the strategic world as well.
Mr. Jiang and Mr. Putin placed the Iraqi situation squarely within the collective jurisdiction of the U.N. Security Council.
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