By Keith Luse
We are witness to an accelerating trajectory of events which may culminate with the loss of additional Korean and American lives on the Korean Peninsula as well as disorder in Northeast Asia. Increased attention has focused on a range of North Korean actions deemed provocative by that country’s neighbors and the international community including nuclear tests and missile launches. The United States and South Korea continue to insist that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program. The North Koreans are pressing that the U.S. must first enter into a peace agreement.While American officials maintain they are open to negotiations, North Korean leaders are convinced the U.S. will be satisfied with nothing less than collapse of the Kim Jong Un government. A plethora of U.S. officials in Congress and the administration are exasperated by North Korean provocations and what they view as ongoing cycles of North Korea’s willingness to have dialogue (charm offensives) after having engaged in provocative actions. On the North Korean side, the American political system is often considered bewildering.
If the president of the United States were to achieve agreement with North Korea, North Korean officials ponder whether Congress would allow or block implementation of the deal. North Korean leaders are also uncertain that a U.S. president would be capable of ensuring full executive branch cooperation and implementation of any agreement. Neither side is budging. The “tit for tat” between North Korea and the U.S., the ROK and the UN is elevating. – NK News
By Keith Luse