Director of Mongolian Institute of Geopolitical Studies
Major General (Ret.)
Changes in international situation. General tendency of development of international relations in the North East Asia
The intensive development of globalization in the beginning of 21st century has led to broadening of interstate relations and multilateral cooperation. The international dimension of this change embraced political, military-strategic, social and economic spheres of life, thus forming new, closely-knit relations of states and giving a universal character to the relations between states. At the same time, it is evident that these global universal changes that are racing with time are also raising many unresolved issues. The international situation in North East Asia in recent years has been moving towards greater stability. This is a direct outcome of both radical changes which are taking place throughout the world and the developments in different regions. However, the notion similar to the ‘common European values” has not yet developed in the North East Asia. This region can be divided into several sub-regions and enormous efforts are being made to promote unity and common values. Except the North Korea’s nuclear program, the prevailing situation and future perspective of international relations in general and the situation in North East Asia show that there is a low probability of serious or large scale conflicts blowing up in the region. At present, the countries of the region jointly with the USA are trying to solve opposing stances and disputed issues related to the Korean Peninsula through the six-party talks, and develop an economic integration and common security mechanism, but so far without much success.Issues related to Mongolia
Obviously, the major changes in the external environment of Mongolia after the end of the ‘Cold war’ and the new tendencies in development have led us to link our future development and security with the Asia-Pacific region, especially in partnership with China, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States within the framework of North-East Asia. In the Asia-Pacific region there are several zones where maintaining balance of power is vital. Mongolia once in the past had an experience of being in the centre of Soviet-Chinese power confrontation, but managed to rid of this dangerous situation. Our experience could be useful for the countries located in such zones. Although Mongolia is a small country, but we oppose a direct military support. In peacetime Mongolia shall not join any military alliance, dislocate or transit any foreign troops on/through its territory. Mongolia declared its territory free from nuclear weapons. To my mind these are our contribution to the global and regional security process. Our neighbors understand this and provide Mongolia with all possible support in due course. Such stand of Mongolia is positive in developing relations not only with our country, but also for relations between North East Asian countries as well.
Participation in international peacekeeping and anti-terrorism efforts
In discussion about Mongolia’s relations with North East Asian nations we can’t avoid issues of Mongolian Armed Forces activity in international peacekeeping operation and anti-terrorism efforts. The reason is that, an active particiaption of Mongolia in these international efforts is an important contribution by a small nation with marginal political and economic influence on international arena to common efforts to overcome challenges facing our and other regions. Successful participation of Mongolian military personnel and units in the UN and other international peacekeeping operation has had positive effect on growing recognition of Mongolia on international arena, as well as upgrading our armed forces capability to the international standards. Mongolian Armed Forces are now an integral part of international peacekeeping cooperation in North East Asia.
Korean Peninsula: Mongolia’s position
North East Asia includes two Koreas, Japan, China, Russia and Mongolia. Thus we consider our possible participation in processes developing in our region and our contribution to peaceful settlements of disputed issues as matter of our active foreign policy towards peace and peaceful existence as well as our duty before regional neighbors and our honor as a member of the UN. Mongolia’s policy on this issue is consisted of two parts. Firstly, we give much importance to making Korean Peninsula a nuclear weapon free region. Secondly, we consider that any attempt to urgently change current situation on Korean Peninsula by force will not only deteriorate the situation, but can lead to armed conflict. Considering this, we believe that North Korea should not be isolated on international arena. In order to achieve realistic results in solving Korean Peninsula issue we understand that it would be more effective to invite and welcome involvement of North Korea into international cooperation, and it might be an important part of the policy aimed at solving its nuclear program issue by peaceful talks.
Mongolia’s policy towards nuclear weapon free status
Mongolia’s initiative to establish a single-state nuclear-weapon-free zone is receiving growing support from the international community. Mongolia’s successful conclusion of a trilateral treaty with China and Russia will help it to become a full fledged member of an emerging network of nuclear-weapon-free zones. It will not only institutionalize its status officially by international law but would also mark a huge success for Mongolia’s peaceful foreign policy and serve as an important leverage in raising the country’s positive image and reputation on the international stage. Furthermore, it can serve as an important contribution to the creation of a collective security system in North East Asia.