"Key resolves" for South Korea
Aleksandr Vorontsov, the head of the Korean Department at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow.
I think, one of the tasks of this operation is reflected in the maneuvers’ title “Key Resolves” – first of all, “Resolves”, resolves to protect South Korea, resolves to contain or to deter North Korea. It’s according to the American or the South Korean interpretation. Of course, it’s very large-scale maneuvers - more than 2 thousand hundred people from both sides, - and quite prolonged - they will last about 10 days. Sure, against the background of the previous situation, when, in the last year, we had very hot, really hot clashes between North and South Koreans in the sea, it’s very important to understand that in this area of the sea exactly these maneuvers will take place. Because if the so-called northern limitation line once again will be disputed on by joint American - South Korean navy, it’s possible to expect the response of the North Korean side.
But, from another side, we should underline that these resolves are routine, they are conducted every year, and from this side, the argumentation of Americans and South Koreans that it’s really peaceful and very routine maneuvers, maybe, have some grounds. But, at the same time, we may understand North Korea, which, in January of this year, put forward a number of peaceful proposals, to South Korea, first of all, and to the United States also, aimed at the reduction of the military activity. And you know that even with the North-South military initiations, talks on the military line took place - unfortunately, they were not successful. But, nevertheless, North Korea tries to demonstrate its peaceful approach after the last year of very hot clashes. And, these very large-scale maneuvers, if they are the response to this peaceful line, of course, they can be accepted by North Korea quite negatively.
To find out more on the issue, read or listen to our In Focus program from March 1, 2011 in Radio section.