Sticks, Not Carrots, Define Trump Regime Dealings with North Korea
Washington doesn’t negotiate in dealings with other countries. It demands, followed by threats if unable to get its way.
It’s why both Trump summits with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un failed, why chances for improved bilateral relations are virtually nil.
Hostility by Republicans and undemocratic Dems toward the DPRK has persisted throughout the post-WW II era – because of its sovereign independence, its unwillingness to serve US interests at the expense of its own, including against China, its most reliable ally, Washington’s main adversary along with Russia and Iran.
In return for Kim’s total denuclearization pledge, Trump, manipulated by Pompeo and Bolton, refused to consider even a modest good will gesture.
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho explained that Kim told Trump he was willing to “permanently and completely dismantle all the nuclear production facilities” at Yongbyon, its main site, in return for partial lifting of US sanctions, ones “that hamper the civilian economy and the livelihood of our people.”
Trump and Western media falsely claimed Kim demanded full sanctions relief. No such demand was made.
Nearly nine months after last June’s summit, good faith DPRK efforts achieved no concrete results because Trump regime hardliners reject rapprochement – wanting their demands met in full in return for empty promises.
On Tuesday, Bolton warned of stiffer US sanctions if North Korea doesn’t agree to full, verifiable denuclearization, saying:
“If they’re not willing to do it, then I think President Trump has been very clear…They’re not going to get relief from the crushing economic sanctions that have been imposed on them, and we’ll look at ramping those sanctions up in fact.”
Despite failure in Singapore and Hanoi, North Korea’s official news agency KCNA said Kim proposed another round of summit talks with Trump. If held, they’ll likely follow the pattern of earlier ones, featuring one-sided, unacceptable US demands, cooperative outreach to Pyongyang ruled out.
Separately on Tuesday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency cited the country’s National Intelligence Service (NIS), saying North Korea “appears to be putting back a roof and a door” on its engine-testing, missile-launch Dongchang-ri facility after earlier dismantling it.
The US-based 38 North website providing what it calls “analysis of events in and around the DPRK,” run by former State Department official Joel Wit and managing editor Jenny Town, published a similar report, saying:
“South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS)…noted that North Korea has started restoring structures on the rocket launch pad at its Sohae Satellite Launching Station (Tongchang-ri),” adding:
“The North had previously started to dismantle the rail-mounted transfer building on the launch pad along with the engine test stand last year at the beginning of US-DPRK negotiations.”
“While progress was quick at first, both the launch pad and engine test stand had remained in about the same condition since August 2018. However, based on commercial satellite imagery, efforts to rebuild these structures started sometime between February 16 and March 2, 2019.”
Separately, 38 North said there are “no indications (that) plutonium production (is ongoing at) North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear facility.”
Since last May, the DPRK’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site has been closed and left unattended since dismantlement. Its Yongbyon nuclear reactor shows no signs of reprocessing activities.
Since summit talks last June, the Trump regime failed to reciprocate following good faith North Korean denuclearization efforts because Pompeo and Bolton oppose normalized relations.
They hardliners seek a denuclearized North Korean vassal state bordering China, an unattainable objective, the DPRK not about to alter its longstanding relationship with Beijing, its most reliable ally.
US objectives exclude restoration of durable peace on the Korean peninsula, why an uneasy armistice has persisted since 1953.
Republicans and Dems refuse to formally end what Pyongyang called the “Fatherland Liberation War.”
It turned much of the country to rubble, killing three to four million of its people in a nation of around 9.5 million at the time.
Both Koreas, China, and Russia want preventing another war prioritized above all else on the peninsula. Washington’s rage for global dominance rules nothing out.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”