Ask Xi to cut oil suppliesKorean President Moon Jae-in will fly to Beijing on Dec. 13 for a four-day state visit to China. He goes with a load on his shoulders at a time when the security situation on the Korean Peninsula has never been so perilous. His visit to China, the only state that can talk sense into Pyongyang, comes amid speculation that Washington will be pulling out families of American troops from South Korea in March. He therefore must work out a concrete solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis with the Chinese leader next week.
Beijing has the key to making Pyongyang stop its weapons program without using military force and causing a war in the region. Through summit talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, President Moon must persuade Beijing to take radical measures such as cutting off its oil supplies to North Korea. China has been refusing to turn off the oil pipeline to its neighbor, citing potential damage to the lives of North Koreans.
However, a bigger humanitarian catastrophe is at stake if North Korea perfects nuclear-tipped missile technology and threatens the security of humanity. Only China’s strong show of resolve and action can contain the reckless regime and pull it to the negotiating table.
On another tricky issue of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) antimissile system, President Moon must be assertive, as it involves our sovereignty. He must argue that South Korea benefits China in many ways through interactions via the economy, culture and human resources.
He must stress that bilateral relations must be balanced and based on mutual respect to sustain a lasting and reciprocal relationship. We hope the upcoming state visit could set a new milestone in the Seoul-Beijing relationship before the year marking the 25th anniversary in normalization of diplomatic ties ends soon.
JoongAng Ilbo, Dec. 7, Page 34