North Korea Sends Another Warning To The Trump Administration

Meanwhile, on the Korean Peninsula.....

North Korea is warning the United States that it’s nearing the point where further dialogue with the Trump Administration may be pointless:

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said on Saturday that its expectations for more dialogue with the Trump administration were “gradually disappearing,” and threatened to reconsider its conciliatory gestures toward the United States, potentially including its moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests.

The warning was contained in a statement issued by First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui, which accused Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of blocking efforts to restart dialogue.

Ms. Choe was the second senior North Korean official in a week to attack Mr. Pompeo, this time over a speech on Tuesday in which he said the administration had “recognized North Korea’s rogue behavior could not be ignored.”

That remark “made the opening of the expected D.P.R.K.-U.S. working-level negotiations more difficult,” Ms. Choe said, using the abbreviation of the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “Our expectations of dialogue with the U.S. are gradually disappearing, and we are being pushed to re-examine all the measures we have taken so far.”

Ms. Choe did not elaborate. But in recent weeks, North Korea has repeatedly warned that it might reverse the steps it took last year to facilitate the first summit meeting between its leader, Kim Jong-un, and President Trump, in Singapore.

Those steps included a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests, as well as the partial destruction of the North’s underground nuclear test site and its rocket-engine test facilities.

But neither the Singapore meeting, in June last year, nor a second conference, in Vietnam in February, produced any concrete plan on how to end the North’s nuclear weapons program.

All of this comes after what has been a relatively quiet summer on the North Korean front. While there hasn’t been any news that can be considered progress in any talks between the United States and the DPRK, there are also hasn’t been a significant breakdown. This is the case notwithstanding the fact that the season started out with warnings from Pyongyang that there would not be progress in talks between the two countries if the United States continued to insist on unrealistic goals for the talks. This appears to be a specific reference to American insistence that the ultimate goal of negotiations is the elimination of the DPRK’s existing nuclear arsenal, something that Pyongyang clearly isn’t going to do. In the meantime, North Korea has seemingly become more belligerent, launching a series of short-range missile tests that President Trump has largely dismissed despite the obvious threat they pose to South Korea and Japan.

Despite all of this the President continues to maintain the fiction of a “great” relationship with Kim Jong Un. The most recent example of that came a week ago when the President was in Europe for the G-7 Summit. At one point, the President claimed that his wife Melania “gotten to know” Kim Jong Un and shared his opinion of the North Korean leader. This came notwithstanding the fact that Mrs. Trump has never met Kim. She wasn’t with Trump for the Photo Op Summit in Singapore Summit, the failed Hanoi Summit, or Trump’s meeting with Kim at the Demilitarized Zone earlier this year. After numerous media organizations pointed this out, the White House was forced to issue a clarifying statement that made no sense whatsoever.

Where this leaves us is unclear, but it seems clear that the North Koreans aren’t willing to play along with the Trump Administration’s current game much longer.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un, National Security, North Korea, North Korean Nuclear Program, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    the White House was forced to issue a clarifying statement that made no sense whatsoever.

    Proofreading note–that link is deflicted.

  2. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    I think the gist of the nonsense statement was that Trophy Wife got to know Dictator BFF by how Dennison spoke about his crush.

    Not that it matters.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    You have to kind of love the sheer effrontery. Kim has humiliated Trump for two years, gotten unilateral concessions from us while he went right ahead with weapons development and gave us bupkis. And now Kim is threatening us? Priceless.

  4. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    The relationship between NK and Trump is sort of like a cat playing with a beetle. The beetle’s wings making the buzzing noise that some do and the beetle being more crush resistant than other insects is interesting for a while, but soon, the cat becomes bored and goes way to do something else.

  5. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: After it squashes the beetle.

  6. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Our cat didn’t always have the attention span necessary to squash the beetle, but your point is well taken. It doesn’t fit the analogy as well, but all analogies are imperfect.

    I guess that’s why it’s only “sort of like.”

  7. Jax says:

    @CSK:
    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Most of my cats generally incapacitate the beetle and leave it horribly wounded but still alive (same with mice), and walk away for more exciting prey. The fun’s all gone when it can’t “play” anymore. Some have specific ways of eating prey, too, I can tell who caught it by what parts are left.

    Funny story….when I first moved my “city cats” out to the ranch, they were not used to killing their prey at all. They would catch it, wound it, bring it in the house, and let it go. By the end of a couple months, I had a whole gang of disabled mice that the cats ignored. Three-Legged Mike, One-Eyed Joe and No-Tail Pete could walk right in front of these cats and the cats would pretend they didn’t exist. I felt pretty betrayed. Took a good old fashioned barn cat to get my mouse problem under control, the city cats were WORTHLESS!! 😉