Published On: Tue, Dec 19th, 2017

Trump To Continue Pressuring North Korea To Negotiate

United States President Donald J. Trump is determined to continue to pressure his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un, to return to negotiations and “make a deal” to abandon its nuclear weapons programs.

Trump To Continue Pressuring North Korea To Negotiate

During a visit to Seoul on the 7th of November this year, Trump alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, told the reporters (in a striking shift of tone), “I really believe that it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and to make a deal that’s good for the people of North Korea and the people of the world.” – afar cry from his aggressive rhetoric towards North Korea in recent months, when he promised “fire and fury” and suggested that the negotiations with Pyongyang were a waste of time.

This time, Trump sidelined his apocalyptic threats on an optimistic note, confidently saying that “ultimately, it’ll all work out.” However, despite expressing his strongest inclination to deal with the rising tensions with Pyongyang – Trump has also underlined that the United States’ military force will be used if needed. Noting that three aircraft carrier groups and a nuclear submarine have been already deployed to the region, he stated, “we hope to God we never have to use” them.

Moon, on the other hand, who has long been very eager to solidify ties with Trump, hopes that the U.S. President’s visit would signal for a peaceful resolution in regard to North Korea’s nuclear issue:

“I know that you have put this issue at the top of your security agenda. So, I hope that your visit to Korea and to the Asia Pacific region will serve as an opportunity to relieve some of the anxiety that the Korean people have due to North Korea’s provocations, and also serve as a turning point in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.”

Even before Trump’s visit to Seoul, the discussion (with Moon) about the crisis on the Korean peninsula has been going on – especially in the wake of Pyongyang’s launching of missiles (on August 29) that flew over Japan and eventually fell into the Pacific Ocean.

According to a statement released by the South Korean presidential office, “President Moon and President Trump reaffirmed their view that it was important to have North Korea come out to the dialogue table to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue by applying maximum sanctions and pressure on the North.” Furthermore, the need to strengthen South Korea’s defense capabilities against the growing North Korean threat has been stressed, as well.

Meanwhile, South Korea is not the only country that is fully behind the US on pressuring North Korea. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe affirms that his government fully supports the US stance on resolving the rising tensions with Pyongyang, with all options on the table.

“They used the framework of the dialogue to earn time, so they could develop their nuclear technology. As the result, their nuclear capability has reached this level and we cannot afford being deceived by them again.”

In the recent months, North Korea has test-launched two missiles over the Japanese island of Hokkaido and threatened to “sink” Japan into the sea. And just last week, an intercontinental ballistic missile dropped into the Pacific Ocean inside Japan’s economic zone.

“This is a frontal challenge against the international community that must not be tolerated.”, as stated in Japan’s upper house unanimously adopted resolution protesting against North Korea’s test-launch.

As tensions on the Korean peninsula heighten, Abe and Trump vow to maintain pressure on North Korea –during a 12-minute phone call – until it gives up its nuclear technology for good.

In addition, Washington calls on all nations to completely severe economic and diplomatic ties with North Korea – singling out China to cut off oil supply to North Korea.

China – which has been an intimate rival of Japan for a very long time with issues from the past (i.e. Sino-Japanese War, Nanking massacre, and the dispute over the Diaoyu islands) and with not-so-okay relations with U.S. – together with Russia, has urged for less bellicosity.

It can be remembered that the U.S. has been persuading China to put pressure on North Korea. However, China’s willingness to do what Trump wants is still in question. Primarily because while China doesn’t trust Kim Jong-un, they trust Trump less.

However, despite China’s unwillingness, Trump is determined to do the work – saying, ” If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”