Striking a balance

THE United States, it appeared in this column yesterday, preferred not to escalate tensions with China while reports talked of cooperation between the latter and Pakistan in nuclear activities.

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Published: Sat 21 Feb 2004, 1:05 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:14 AM

Washington needs the help of China to address and resolve more important and urgent issues such as the the nuclear arms of North Korea, which pose a threat to US directly, namely its military bases in South Korea. Because of such threats, the US retracted from its strict attitude by declaring yesterday its willingness to solve the problem by peaceful means, while Pyongyang refused to discuss its programme on the enrichment of uranium before the commencement of the six-way talk, scheduled to be held on February 25. Countries taking part in the deliberations are the two Koreas; China; Russia; USA; and Japan.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Disarmament Affairs John Bolton said, "I believe that the absence of administration in North Korea to discuss the uranium enrichment programme which it is possessing might have made President Bush to retract from his plan to find out a peaceful diplomatic solution to the crisis." Despite the threat, the factual position of US in Iraq and the date of holding the American elections, which is drawing nearer, will prevent Bush administration from involvement in military escalation against North Korea. Moreover, it's likely that President Bush may try to score a political victory in order to boost his support in his election for a second term as president.

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