Experts: DPRK test may trigger new arms race

Updated: 2016-01-06 16:06

By Zhang Yunbi(chinadialy.com.cn)

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Test further frustration of Six-party Talks

Zhang Liangui, an expert in Korean studies at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said he believes that the Wednesday test is "not a surprise" as Pyongyang has renewed its official commitment to its nuclear plans in recent years.

The Wednesday test is also a further frustration for the stalled Six-party Talks, Zhang said.

The Six-party Talks, which group the DPRK, the Republic of Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia, were launched in 2003 but stalled in December 2008. The DPRK quit the talks in April 2009.

Zhang said that the rest of the parties of the Six-party Talks should take further measures to prompt the DPRK to give up its nuclear plan.

Next arms race may be around the corner

Yu Meihua, director of the Center for Korean Peninsula Peace Studies under the China Reform Forum, said the United States and its allies in Northeast Asia "will take Pyongyang's test on Wednesday as an excuse to initiate the next arms race in the region".

Yu made the comment after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea announced earlier on Wednesday that it had successfully carried out its first hydrogen bomb test.

"Now the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea have one more excuse for reinforcing their military cooperation and relevant deployment in the Korean Peninsula," Yu said.

Yu estimated that that the peninsula denuclearization process will be delayed and slowed, and said the test was not conducive to the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

The Six-Party Talks, which group the DPRK, the ROK, the United States, China, Japan and Russia, were launched in 2003 but stalled in December 2008. The DPRK quit the talks in April 2009.

Regarding the United Nations, Yu suggested that fresh sanctions may be imposed, external pressures on the DPRK will mount, and its pace of economic cooperation with foreign countries will possibly see a slowdown.

Nuclear test made to show increased strength

Yu Meihua, director of the Center for Korean Peninsula Peace Studies under the China Reform Forum, said that from Pyongyang's viewpoint what it described as its H-bomb test on Wednesday was a clear indication of its increased weapon technology.

Yu was speaking after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea announced on Wednesday that it had successfully carried out its first hydrogen bomb test.

The test also served as a major step in the DPRK's plan boost its military power, Yu said.

Pyongyang believes this is a necessary countermeasure to protect it from threats posed by the United States, Yu noted.

"The latest test will boost the top leader's image and the solidarity among the domestic public," Yu suggested.

The test may have consequences for Pyongyang's relationships and cooperation with Seoul, Beijing, Washington and Moscow, Yu said.