Clinton’s candid offerUnited States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said over the weekend, “If North Korea is genuinely prepared to completely and verifiably eliminate their nuclear weapons program, the Obama administration will be willing to normalize bilateral relations, [and] replace the peninsula’s long-standing armistice agreements with a permanent peace treaty.”
In addition, she warned, “It is incumbent on North Korea to avoid any provocative action and unhelpful rhetoric toward South Korea.” Her comments outline the first details to emerge of the “vigorous and direct diplomacy” of the Obama administration’s policy toward North Korea.
The North’s tactics of preparing to launch a missile and renewing threats of military action against South Korea are mainly aimed at drawing Washington’s attention to the Korean Peninsula.
Clinton’s comments are expected to help resolve the North’s existing concerns. She affirmed that the North Korean nuclear issue is the primary issue in the Obama administration’s diplomatic policy toward Asia.
She also gave a strong signal that if North Korea is ready to end its nuclear ambitions, the U.S. would hold talks on carrying out measures to normalize bilateral relations.
She further said that the Obama administration will “assist in meeting the energy and other economic needs of the North Korean people.” Therefore, North Korea holds the key to the solution of the problem.
We have absolutely no idea whether North Korea will choose to remain impoverished and isolated by rejecting Clinton’s offer, or whether it will move toward openness and revitalization by realizing its long-cherished hope of normalizing ties with the United States.
However, leaders in Pyongyang are still trying to rely on brinkmanship. But the North realizes that such tactics will continue to lose their effect. No country in the world is afraid of the North’s shallow threats.
North Korea should bear in mind the importance of Clinton’s candid advice, and stop threatening to launch missiles. This is the only way for the communist country to guarantee its security.