Saturday, October 21, 2017

North Korean Official: We Won’t Negotiate Until We Can Strike US East Coast

An anonymous North Korean official has reportedly told CNN that diplomacy to end the current crisis is off the table until the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea can “counter” US aggression - by developing a missile that can reliably strike the US East Coast and urban centers like Washington, DC, and New York City.
"Before we can engage in diplomacy with the Trump administration, we want to send a clear message that the DPRK has a reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States," the official reportedly told CNN on Tuesday.
Top diplomats in the US and Japan agreed on Tuesday to continue to use economic pressure against North Korea in an attempt to get the rogue nuclear state to sit down at the negotiating table. "We must, however, with our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere, be prepared for the worst should diplomacy fail," said US Undersecretary of State John Sullivan in a Tuesday joint press conference with Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama.
While the American people are relatively amenable to the notion of war with North Korea (58 percent said they'd support military action if diplomatic and economic means failed, a recent Gallup poll revealed), the people of Japan and South Korea feel quite differently — as they have much more to lose from a renewal of the Korean War.

Such a statement coming from North Korea works in favour of continued US sanctions and plays into Trump's intentions to put pressure on China. The current status quo in the region, with China's supporting role, is sufficient to defend North Korea from attack.

This sort of escalation of rhetoric worsens the situation, especially when it comes to future US sanctions on China (that seem unimaginable now).


Putin signs decree to impose extensive sanctions on North Korea

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, October 21st, 2017.]