08:03 GMT +321 August 2019
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    South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myung-Gyun (L) shakes hands with North Korean chief delegate Ri Son-Gwon during their last meeting at the border truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas

    'Foreign Intervention the Main Thing Preventing Korean Unification' - Scholar

    © AFP 2019 / Dong-A Ilbo
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    The Pentagon is dreading the potential of an inter-Korean reconciliation, with Pyongyang urging all Koreans at home and abroad to make a breakthrough for unification without the involvement of foreign countries, North Korea expert Leonid Petrov told Radio Sputnik

    Sputnik: North Korea has called for all Koreans to prevent foreign countries from ending the unification process. Is it likely that the US will allow Seoul to carry out this process?

    Leonid Petrov: It’s an important question because all these nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles are not designed to intimidate South Korea, but rather the United States, to provide a sort of deterrence against a potential US invasion, or a regime change or preemptive strike. So what North Korea has demonstrated is quite compelling, and South Korea realizes that it is much better to resume the reconciliation process with the North, which has a means of deterrence and that if the US attacks North Korea, South Korea will be held hostage and war is inevitable. […] The Korean reunification process has to be peaceful, based on self-reliance without any interference from foreign powers and not ideology-based; so foreign intervention is the main thing that has been preventing Korean reunification for the last 60 years. Keeping foreigners away from the intra-Korean reconciliation process is extremely important and that’s what North Korea has been talking about.

    Sputnik: Do you think the US actually welcomes the North’s rapprochement with the South, or it has its own agenda? 

    Leonid Petrov: The Pentagon is dreading the potential of an intra-Korean reconciliation because the US sells the sense of security to its South Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese allies. [Any] improvement on the inter-Korean reconciliation front, would decrease the sale of armaments by the US military-industrial complex. Sooner or later, the American troops will have to be removed from the Korean peninsula, from Japan, from the region in general. If North Korea stops being dangerous and unpredictable, then there is no need for the security alliance, and this is what Washington politicians understand very clearly. That’s why they don’t want North and South Koreans to talk, but the Winter Olympics provide a forum for this, and that’s the advantage of sports diplomacy vis-à-vis nuclear intimidation.

    READ MORE: Two Koreas May March Under Unification Flag at Olympics — Seoul

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

     

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    foreign intervention, hurdles, reunification process, two Koreas, Leonid Petrov, Koreas
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