by Xinhua writer Luo Jun
BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Recent weeks have seen speculations swirling on global media that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is about to conduct another nuclear test.
The rumored increase of activity at the DPRK's main nuclear test site adds to the already simmering tension on the Korean Peninsula, which has long been trapped in a vicious cycle of suspicion and hostility exacerbated by repetitive provocation and intimidation.
The gloomy picture serves as the backdrop of U.S. President Barack Obama's ongoing Asia tour, which takes him to South Korea on Friday after a three-day visit to Japan.
And it should also function as a wake-up call for Washington and all other parties involved that it is high time they rolled out sincere measures in concert to de-escalate tension, dispel suspicion and start building strategic trust needed to underpin any permanent solution.
Bellicose rhetoric and counterproductive moves poised to pour oil on the flames should be avoided so as to create a favorable -- at least less noxious -- environment for an early resumption of the stalled six-party talks, the most viable way out of the decades-old conundrum.
For the United States and its allies in the region, they need to make a convincing case about their proclaimed commitment to regional stability. Demanding the DPRK to back down on the one hand but flexing military muscles at its door on the other is not helpful; it would only ratchet up Pyongyang's distrust and sense of insecurity.
For the DPRK, it needs to understand that a nuclear-armed Korean Peninsula serves the fundamental interests of none. It is imperative that it comply with its due international obligations and refrain from such moves as nuclear and ballistic-missile tests.
China has rightly persevered in calling for calm and restraint as well as steadfast political efforts in pushing for the denuclearization of the peninsula and safeguarding regional peace and stability.
Restoring tranquility on the Korean Peninsula is no mission impossible, but it requires all stakeholders -- not least the United States and the DPRK -- to acknowledge their coexistence in the future and begin acting in line with their true, long-term interests.
A nuclear-free, peaceful and prosperous Korean Peninsula is what its inhabitants and all nations in the region deserve and have awaited far too long. The task is daunting, the road ahead is rough, but the struggle will be worth it.