No Sign Yet of a Sustained Direct U.S.-North Korean Dialogue

By Daryl G. Kimball

Daryl G. Kimball is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. This article first appeared with the caption Trump Repeats Failing Formula on North Korean Threat’.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) – In his high profile address to the South Korean National Assembly November 8, President Donald Trump missed a crucial opportunity to clarify and adjust his administration’s disjointed and, at times, reckless policy toward North Korea.

Although Trump indicated earlier […] in a press conference in Seoul that he is “open” to talks with North Korea, he has also said in recent days that now is not the time for such talks but instead it is time to apply “more pressure” on North Korea to bring North Korea to bargaining table and to agree to eliminate its nuclear program. While in Asia, Trump has also repeated, albeit in less bombastic terms than before, that he will resort to the use of military force if North Korea does not back down.

In his speech to the South Korean National Assembly, the President made clear that in order to begin authentic talks with North Korea, Pyongyang’s leaders must “cease their threats” and take sincere steps towards denuclearization, including halting ballistic missile tests.”

While pressure is part of an effective strategy toward restraining North Korea, sanctions and pressure alone have not and will not lead North Korea to reverse course. Worse still, Trump’s threats of “fire and fury” only reinforce North Korea’s determination to retain and improve its nuclear and missile capabilities.

The history of the nuclear age has shown that smaller states, even those without nuclear weapons, are not easily intimidated by U.S. nuclear threats. North Korea is no exception. MORE >>>

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