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Regional Peace Building: The Korean Peninsula and North-east Asia

10 June 2010, Centre for Asian Pacific Studies, Lingnan University

In Search for New Peace System in Northeast Asia: Russia’s View
Alexander Zhebin
Director, Centre for Korean Studies, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Moscow

The fundamental, key issue which members of any future peace regime in Northeast Asia are to resolve is defining an acceptable for all  four “big countries” in the region – Russia, the U.S.A., China and Japan -  place for the future united Korea in the future regional security system. Many politicians and experts in the U.S.A., the ROK and Japan have already listed the re-unified Korea as a member of the tripartite alliance of USA-Japan-ROK, to which Australia has been already linked. However, such approach is unlikely to satisfy Moscow and Beijing. Both countries are likely to perceive such a union as a deterrent against Russia and China. Such alliance would be tantamount to the emergence on Russia’s eastern borders of a body similar to NATO, under the umbrella of missile defense system which is actively deployed by the U.S.A. and their allies in the region. The intention of the U.S.A. to continue to rely primarily on their bilateral military and political alliances with some countries in the region, rather than on multilateral mechanisms for the maintenance of peace and security constitutes and, apparently, in the foreseeable future, will remain a major obstacle to the establishment of an effective mechanism for security and cooperation in NEA. Strategy aimed at turning future united Korea into a de-facto forward base of maritime powers - the United States and Japan - against continental - China and Russia can hamper and is already hindering both the establishment of a reliable and sustainable peace system in Northeast Asia, the solution of the nuclear problem on the peninsula and the re-unification of Korea. Russia believes that the future peace system in the region must be fair and provide all countries in the region with such external conditions that are most conducive to sustainable socio-economic development.

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