North Korea Wants Its State Recognized

24 Apr

Guess Who's Coming to Talks?Actually, this is a good sign for anyone on the Korean peninsula – but not comedians. The North Koreans are backing off the rhetoric.

After weeks of tension in the region, including North Korean threats of nuclear war, Pyongyang had appeared willing to consider negotiations. But on Tuesday, the state-controlled Rodong Sinmun newspaper rejected the condition that the North must first begin to demonstrate a willingness to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme and suspend missile launches.

“If the DPRK sits at a table with the US it has to be a dialogue between nuclear weapons states, not one side forcing the other to dismantle nuclear weapons,” the newspaper said, referring to the North by the abbreviation of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

This month, a White House spokesman said North Korea needed to show it was serious about abandoning its nuclear ambitions for any talks to be meaningful.

(…)

In comments reported by Kyodo news, the Rodong Sinmun said the US “should understand that a dialogue will begin only when the DPRK’s demand for the withdrawal of strategic offensive means in the vicinity of the peninsula aimed at realizing the US world domination strategy is met. The US is sadly mistaken if it calculates it can deceive and mock at the international community and disarm the DPRK with calls for ‘dialogue’.”

It accused Washington of having the “sinister intention to force the DPRK to dismantle its nuclear programme and make a preemptive nuclear strike at it”.

That, in North Korea diplo-rant, is supposedly nicer than the verbiage spewed at South Korea.

Some analysts and officials note that North Korea’s proposals, while extreme, come as it has eased off its more threatening language toward the U.S. This suggests, some say, a lower risk of an accidental clash escalating into a larger conflict.

The North continues to shower South Korea with threats, however. In a separate report on Saturday in the Rodong Shinmun, the North’s main newspaper, Pyongyang lashed out against South Korea’s top security official after he said on Thursday that there are no indications North Korea was preparing for a large-scale attack. “The South Korean authorities had better bear in mind that the military actions of the DPRK are neither bluff nor threat but practical ones, and what remains is to mercilessly punish the provocateurs,” the article said.

North Korean threats of attack against the South are commonplace, but the continuation of such warnings complicates efforts by South Korean President Park Geun-hye to bring the North into a dialogue on inter-Korean issues, including a stalled industrial park jointly run by the countries.

I feel much safer now.

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