Unilateral Disarmament A Huge Mistake for North Korea: Russian Analyst

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A political analyst based in Moscow warned the Pyongyang government about Washington’s non-commitment to international treaties, including the Iran nuclear deal, and said it will be “a huge mistake” for North Korea to disarm unilaterally.  

“The American hawks view the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization as a process of North Korea’s unilateral disarmament, with no conditions attached for the US to fulfill,” Dmitry Babich said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.

“In the context of Trump’s leaving the nuclear deal between Iran and the Group 5+1, it would be a huge mistake for North Korea to disarm unilaterally,” he added.

Babich, born in Moscow, has been an active journalist for over 25 years, focusing on Russian politics. Graduating from Moscow State University, Babich has had a successful career in Russian journalism. He has previously been a senior correspondent at the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily, RIA Novosti, and Russia Profile magazine. Between 1999 and 2003, Babich was a foreign editor at The Moscow News before returning to Russia Profile in 2009 as acting editor-in-chief. His core areas of focus include Russia’s modern political history, international relations. Babich is currently working as a political analyst at Sputnik International and is a frequent guest on BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN commenting on international affairs and history.

The following is the full text of the interview:

Tasnim: US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un concluded their recent historic summit in Singapore by signing a deal that included a pledge to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” What do you think about the agreement and how do you predict its success given Washington’s non-commitment to international treaties?

Babich: What do I think about Trump-Kim deal?  I think it is just a declaration of intentions, which may not bring any results. Trump just tried to score some PR points on the situation which is in fact very dangerous and unpredictable. The American “hawks” view (the) Korean Peninsula’s “denuclearization” as a process of North Korea’s unilateral disarmament, with no conditions attached for the US to fulfill.

North Korea, meanwhile, expects some real guarantees of its own security. I am not sure Trump is prepared to give such guarantees since his words do not count for much. A few weeks ago Trump insulted Kim Jong-un in all ways. Several days ago, Trump heaped praise on the same person he had called names. Now, three weeks after the “historic” summit Trump extended for a year the sanctions which target not only the North Korean arms industry but also the fuel supply to North Korea. DPRK is a mountainous country with cold climate, so Trump’s decision is, in fact, targeting humans, increasing the suffering of millions of men and women. But the UN, various human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, do not give a damn. It tells you a lot about them. And about the reliability of the US government.

Tasnim: Trump recently attacked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a tweet over the New York Democrat's criticisms of the North Korea summit. Schumer said the summit was “what the Texans call all cattle and no hat”. What do you think about the domestic disputes over the deal?

Babich: The belligerent spirit of the Democrats is shameless. Here we have the president whom they accused of being aggressive and war-mongering – here we have him STARTING to use diplomacy with such a difficult and suffering country as North Korea. And what do we get from the “liberal” and “pro-people” Democrats? They are all worried about Trump canceling the habitually dangerous South Korean-American military exercises on the border of North Korea! A nice lot they are, those American “peace-loving liberals.”

Tasnim: As you know, Trump in May announced the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, US, Britain, France, and Germany). Prior to the move, the US had repeatedly violated the international pact by imposing numerous sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Given Washington’s non-commitment to such an important international agreement, what would be a guarantee of success of the US-North Korea deal?

Babich: In the context of Trump’s leaving the nuclear deal between Iran and the Group 5+1, it would be a huge mistake for North Korea to disarm unilaterally. However, please note one thing: the American liberals and their supporters from the EU are hypocritical when they castigate Trump for walking out of this deal. If Obama had done it, they would have found some reason to support him. Currently, the liberals in the US and the EU just want to remove Trump from power, trying to replace him by some ‘certified neo-liberal,” if not by Hillary Clinton, then by someone like Mike Pence. Ultraliberal ideology is the real cement that united Obama, Blair, Merkel, Macron and other Western leaders of the 1990s-2010s with blood on their hands. Hillary had a “certificate of excellency” from this ideology, as did Obama. Trump does not have it, so despite his aggressiveness and murders (the attacks against Syria, support for the crudely nationalist regime in Ukraine), the ultraliberals still want to remove him. They use the scandal with the nuclear agreement as a tool, not having any pity for the Iranian people. If Obama attacked Iran breaking this deal, I bet the EU would support him, as well as the Anglo-Saxon allies of the US (Canada and Australia).  

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