Has China Compromised Int'l Sanctions Against N.Korea?

Erika Holt
May 18, 2018

North Korea threatened Wednesday to withdraw from the Jun 12 summit in Singapore if Washington seeks to push Pyongyang into unilaterally giving up its nuclear arsenal.

One interpretation Panda offered was that the North Koreans "effectively thought the USA wasn't being serious, was running sort of an arrogant victory lap before the talks had taken place, and was still setting up complete denuclearization as the benchmark".

Trump will host South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a summit at the White House on May 22, and the two are expected to discuss the upcoming summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Yet when Trump first said he would meet Kim, he emphasized that he would not go if he thought it was going to be a waste of his time.

Meanwhile, North Korea's leadership is also unhappy that the US and South Korea are continuing to stage joint air force drills.

The US president also suggested that Kim's threat to cancel the summit may have been influenced by China. Trump should do the same, thinking strategically about the motivations of all the summit's key players: North Korea, China, South Korea, Japan, and Russian Federation.

Trump stressed that North Korea would have to abandon its nuclear weapons.

North Korea complained about remarks from White House national security adviser John Bolton that the US could follow the Libya model for denuclearization of North Korea.

"It's not (about) unification, this is about two separate Koreas which begin to coexist in a much more friendly and cooperative fashion", he said. "If it doesn't, we'll continue the maximum pressure campaign that's been ongoing".

He also criticised the South Korea for allowing "human scum" (a reference to a North Korean defector) to speak at the Seoul National Assembly.

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However, he stressed the USA would only be compelled to act if a deal can not be reached with North Korea, adding: "We can not let that country have nukes".

"This would be with Kim Jong-un - something where he would be there, he would be in his country, he would be running his country". "We never said to Gaddafi, "Oh, we're going to give you protection", he said.

Still, by conflating the two, Trump showed North Korea he understands its objections to Bolton's approach, since Kim nearly certainly sees his nuclear arsenal as the ultimate security guarantee for his tyrannical rule.

That North Korea has a history of walking away from talks and deals. The United States and its allies have paused their efforts to increase sanctions on North Korea to give diplomacy a chance to work.

North Korea is believed to possess at least 12 nuclear weapons, more than 50 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium and hundreds of kilograms of highly enriched uranium, along with other nuclear-related material.

On Thursday, Trump - while sitting at arm's length from Bolton in the Oval Office - denied Bolton's claims, saying: "The Libyan model isn't a model that we have [in mind] at all when we're thinking of North Korea".

In an effort to put his planned landmark summit with Kim back on track, Trump said on Thursday that North Korea "will get protections that will be very strong" if the meeting were to go ahead successfully. Trump tweeted, "This is very good news for North Korea and the World" and "big progress!" "I haven't seen that as part of any discussions so I'm not aware that that's a model that we're using", she told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

Pyongyang decided earlier this week to suspend talks with Seoul, citing long-planned U.S. "And it's up to President Trump to make sure that they don't".

Following that, North Korea dismantled its nuclear site Pyyungg-ri.

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