Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Korean War legacy could inform engagement

Korean War legacy could inform engagement

The White House displayed a tough and unyielding approach to North Korea and its nuclear ambitions Monday, with President Donald Trump warning that Kim Jong Un has "gotta behave" and Vice President Mike Pence sternly advising Kim not to test America's resolve and military power.

By keeping discussions focused squarely on North Korea and shared U.S. and Chinese interests in preventing war on the Korean peninsula, United States officials have also avoided getting dragged into making other concessions - like recognizing China's territorial claims to Taiwan - in order to win China's full support on North Korea.

This April 15, 2017 picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 16, 2017 shows Korean People's ballistic missiles being displayed through Kim Il-Sung square during a military parade in Pyongyang marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung.

Pyongyang is seeking to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the United States mainland with a nuclear warhead, and has so far staged five nuclear tests, two of them a year ago.

Pointing to the quarter-century since the United States first confronted the North over its attempts to build nuclear weapons, the vice president said this had been followed by a period of patience.

North Korea Deputy United Nations Ambassador Kim In Ryong speaks to the media at the U.N., April 17, 2017, in NY. The Chinese have been putting more stern warnings out against the North Koreans, but are still not going to side completely with the US or South Korea.

"We certainly support the right of our allies and friends to ensure that their interests are protected and their citizens are defended against any possible attack", Ms Bishop said.

Defying global pressure, the North test-fired another missile on Sunday as fears grow that it may also be preparing for its sixth nuclear weapons test.

At a news conference at the United Nations on Monday, North Korea's permanent representative, Ambassador Kim In-ryong, condemned the USA missile strikes in Syria, which targeted an air base after a suspected chemical attack by the government.

North Korea's latest missile test fizzled over the weekend, but its weapons development has appeared to make steady progress in recent years.

One called for "dual-track" talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula - the top priority of the United States - and replacing the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a formal peace treaty, a key demand of Pyongyang.

USA officials say tougher sanctions could include an oil embargo, a global ban on North Korea's airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang.

'There is more China can do'Julie Bishop says China can do more to ameliorate tensions surrounding North Korea.

This is Mr Pence's first visit to South Korea - part of an Asia swing that will also include stops in Japan, Indonesia and Australia - and although it was conceived months ago, could hardly come at a time of higher tension.

According to the adviser, the test had been expected and the USA had good intelligence both before and after the launch.

Trump's sweetening the pot, offering China better trade terms if the Asian powerhouse takes steps to put North Korea's provocative behavior to rest. Speaking at the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea, Pence cited USA military strikes in Syria and Afghanistan this month as proof of President Trump's willingness to use force, if necessary.

Like this: