US Hopes North Korea Will "Turn Away" From Further Hostility

Clay Curtis
December 12, 2019

Let's begin with the UN Security Council meeting over North Korea's recent missile tests. that came at Washington's request.

"The U.S. talks about dialogue, whenever it opens its mouth, but it is too natural that the U.S. has nothing to present before us though dialogue may open", North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in statement carried by the state news agency KCNA.

"In practical terms, this would mean that the DPRK could launch space vehicles using long-range ballistic missile technology, or that they could even test-launch intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are created to attack the continental United States with nuclear weapons", Craft said.

Craft warned North Korea that "the United States and the Security Council have a goal, not a deadline" of working toward peace, healing the wounds of the Korean War, and achieving the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, a vision that Kim and Trump agreed to at their first summit in Singapore in June 2018.

The talks in Vietnam floundered precisely because the Trump administration has insisted that the Pyongyang regime dismantle its nuclear facilities and programs, along with its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, before the United States begins the process of ending sanctions against North Korea.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said the missile tests are a clear violation of Security Council resolutions. "We have not asked North Korea to do everything before we do anything".

Meanwhile, China's United Nations ambassador, Zhang Jun, said on Wednesday it was imperative the Security Council ease sanctions on North Korea in a bid to support talks between Pyongyang and Washington and "head off a dramatic reversal" of the situation.

The council met for the second time in a week on North Korea's increasing ballistic missile and nuclear-related activities, this time at the request of the United States, which effectively blocked a council discussion on the North's dismal human rights situation expected on Tuesday. "In the meantime, the rest of the Security Council should find a way to resume the North Korea human rights meetings even without the Trump administration's support".

North Korea has said it will wait until the end of the year for the United States to drop its "hostile policy" toward Pyongyang, and to offer something other than demands for unilateral disarmament. For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered.

"Seize the hard-earned opportunity", Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun said, calling on the two sides "to prevent the dialogue process from derailing or backpedaling".

Five Afghans wounded in blast outside main United States base in Kabul
He added that "the attackers were hidden in a non-active hospital building and clashed with security forces". Newsweek first reported that US forces were engaged in a firefight with Taliban fighters near Bagram.

The US decision was not only criticized by human rights organisations, but by Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, a hardline militarist who has urged military strikes on North Korea in the past.

North Korea has hinted at lifting its moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests if the Trump administration fails to make substantial concessions before the new year.

"Negotiation is a two-way street", Nebenzia said.

The US called a meeting of the UN Security Council yesterday and foreshadowed "a comprehensive update on recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, including recent missile launches and the possibility of an escalatory DPRK [North Korea] provocation".

But Japan and South Korea both put the onus on North Korea.

"We recognize the need for a balanced agreement that addresses the concerns of all the parties but we can not do this alone".

"But we need a committed negotiating partner to take the reciprocal actions required for progress", Craft said.

The administration's top North Korea envoy, Stephen Biegun, was expected to meet UN Security Council representatives yesterday in NY ahead of their planned discussion about developments on the peninsula.

North Korea should "remain meaningfully engaged in dialogue with the United States and (South) Korea so that progress in negotiations can lead to concrete results", said its ambassador, Cho Hyun.

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