South Korean Experts Consult Kazakhstan’s Denuclearization Experience to Form Own Strategies in Central Asia 

NUR-SULTAN – The South Korean Embassy in Kazakhstan has organized a Nov. 25 webinar to discuss the security situation on the Korean Peninsula and Kazakhstan’s experience in nuclear disarmament.

Semei-Nevada activists demanding to close the nuclear test site in Semei (also known as Semipalatinsk). Photo credit: e-history.kz.

The South Korean experts stressed the value of Kazakhstan’s experience in voluntarily renouncing its nuclear potential. Cheon Myeong Guk, a research fellow at the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis (KIDA), stressed that Kazakhstan can be a great role model for North Korea.

“I think the most important factor in denuclearization in a nuclear-armed state would be the appeal of the idea to the top leader,” the expert said. “The successful denuclearization of Kazakhstan was due to First President Nazarbayev’s vision of Kazakhstan’s development… He recognized that without denuclearization of Kazakhstan, international prosperity and security would not be possible.” 

Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan Ashikbayev noted that this discussion is very relevant and important in ensuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and the world. He also expressed Kazakhstan’s readiness to support initiatives and dialogues that can resolve the situation on the Korean peninsula.

Korean Ambassador Ku Hong-seok in Kazakhstan during Nov. 25 webinar discussing the security situation on the Korean Peninsula. Photo credit: the Korean embassy in Kazakhstan.

“The security situation on the Korean Peninsula is truly important. In the context of ensuring long term peace in the region and in the entire world. The topic of denuclearization is also very much close to the heart and mind of every citizen of Kazakhstan. I would say it is enshrined into our DNA,” Ashikbayev said.

“We are ready to continue to share our experience for a nuclear-weapon-free world and ready to support and participate in all further initiatives to ensure the bright future for the Korean Peninsula and nation,” he added.

In August 2021, Kazakhstan will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the decree on the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. Kazakhstan has firmly and consistently advocated for a peaceful, diplomatic settlement of the crisis around Pyongyang’s nuclear program during the two years of its non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council in 2017-2018.

Photo credit: the Korean embassy in Kazakhstan.

The experts also discussed South Korean strategies in establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula and the current state of inter-Korean relations.

South Korean Ambassador Ku Hong-seok stressed that despite certain difficulties in the recent negotiations on denuclearization, the South Korean government firmly believes that the constant interest in the issue of denuclearization of North Korea will eventually bring lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. The South Korean authorities will constantly strive to implement the policy of peace on the Korean Peninsula, he said.

Approximately 70 representatives of foreign diplomatic missions, representatives of scientific and academic circles, and government agencies attended the virtual meeting.

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