No gain from belligerent threatsU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Seoul sent a strong warning against North Korea’s fiddling with a missile or nuclear test while suggesting dialogue if Pyongyang stops provocations and recommit itself to denuclearization. “If Kim Jong-un decides to launch a missile across the Sea of Japan or some other direction, he will be choosing willfully to ignore the entire international community,” Kerry said ?after meeting with President Park Geun-hye and his South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se.
He also urged the North to respond to the South’s proposal of dialogue after listening to Park’s vision on the so-called “trustpolitik” with North Korea.
It is unclear whether the overture from Seoul and Washington would change the ?atmosphere on the peninsula. Kerry said that President Barack Obama has ordered some of the joint operation drills ongoing off the coast of the peninsula “not to be undertaken” in an attempt to avert Pyongyang’s wrong judgments. Kerry reiterated, “We will defend our allies, and we will stand with South Korea and Japan against these threats and we will defend ourselves .?.?. it would be a huge mistake for [Kim] to underestimate the U.S. warning and continue with its bellicose moves.”
We urge Kim Jong-un not to raise tensions after understanding Washington’s position. North Korea’s recent erratic moves have drawn united condemnation from the international community, including its sole ally, China. South Korea, the U.S., Japan, China as well as Russia, Europe, and major global powers and chiefs of global bodies such as the United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organization have issued statements urging North Korea to stop ?raising tensions ?in the region and return to diplomacy.
If the North engages in additional provocations, the ?international community would inevitably have to take strong actions to tame and punish the regime. To avoid this vicious cycle, North Korea now needs to make the right choice.
Seoul has already proposed dialogue to the recalcitrant regime in Pyongyang. President Park said that a meeting is needed for us to hear North Korea’s thoughts on various joint ventures, including the Kaesong Industrial Complex among others. Dialogue would be a better solution than fighting.
Few know exactly what Pyongyang is ultimately after. It says it wants a peace treaty with the U.S., but its persistent and blind obsession with military and nuclear development raises questions on its motivation. North Korean officials must spell out its demands and ways to earn them through dialogue.
North Korea is taking suicidal steps through its provocative policy. Its people are suffering more and more because of its month-long warlike state. The country cannot fix its economy and better the lives of its people while preparing to go to war. It must shake out its delusion quickly and seek a realistic solution through dialogue. It should have learned by now that threats and provocations won’t get it anywhere.