North Korea Extends a Good Faith Olive Branch
Days ahead of an April 27 inter-Korean summit, seen as prelude to DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and Trump meeting in May or June at a location to be decided, a statement by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency said the following:
“Starting from April 21, North Korea stops nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. The North will also close the nuclear test site in the north of the country to confirm its obligation to stop nuclear tests.”
KCNA quoted Kim saying “(f)reezing nuclear tests is an important process of the global nuclear disarmament, and North Korea joins the international effort intended to fully stop nuclear tests.”
“We will never use nuclear weapons if there is no nuclear threats or provocations against our country. In any case, we will not transfer nuclear weapons or technology” to other nations.
“We will focus our efforts on creating a strong socialist economy and on mobilizing people and material resources for a sharp increase in the people’s living standards.”
“In order to build a socialist economy, we will create favorable international conditions and activate a close dialogue with the neighboring states and the international community with an aim to protect peace on the Korean Peninsula and on the entire planet.”
Trump called the announcement “good news…Progress being made…Look forward to our summit.”
Pyongyang’s decision and Kim’s announcement came on Friday. South Korea called it “meaningful” progress toward denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.
US war secretary Mattis vowed to maintain “maximum pressure.” China’s Global Times called Kim’s announcement “very good news and a major step toward peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.”
“Pyongyang’s strategic decision could bring a turning point to the long-term” peninsula turbulence.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang welcomed the move, adding:
“We hope that the DPRK will continue to achieve results in its economic development and improvement of people’s living standards.”
“China will continue to play an active role” in helping to resolve differences between Pyongyang and Washington through diplomatic outreach and dialogue – what it’s been advocating all along.
Negotiating with US administrations is like trying to get through a briar patch unscratched.
Its sordid record shows it can never be trusted – promising one thing, doing another, time and again reneging on promises.
North Korea appears committed to suspending its nuclear and ICBM tests, not abandoning the programs.
They’re vital self-defense deterrents if Washington reneges on whatever may come out of a Kim/Trump summit – history showing taking US administrations at their word is hazardous business.
North Korea was burned before, Bush/Cheney reneging on what the Clintons agreed to.
For nearly 70 years, an uneasy armistice prevailed, following Washington’s June 1950 aggression against the country.
What happened before can surely happen again, especially with hawkish bipartisan neocon extremists running both wings of America’s one-party state.
North Korea’s move showed good faith, knowing it’s dealing with an untrustworthy hegemon hostile to its government from inception.
Washington has a lot of proving to do to suggest a policy change after all this time.
Given its rage for endless wars, wanting all sovereign independent governments replaced with US vassal ones, there’s little reason to be encouraged about what’s ahead.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”