Provocation v. Negotiation: Obama Rejects North Korea's Second Offer to Halt Nuclear Tests
April 26, 2016 Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Washington Times
North Korea believes the only leverage it has on proposing peace talks with the US is its nuclear program. The US, by contrast, insists it won't "reward" North Korea with peace as long as it possesses a nuclear weapons program. But Washington's view that a peace agreement is a gift the US can bestow only if it is placated, seems like a recipe for keeping the war going for decades more.
Press TV (March 15, 2016) -- The joint US-South Korea military exercises are generating some pushback within South Korean politics and society. Activists have been demonstrating and campaigning to have the drills cancelled, as they believe the government’s sanctions and pressure against North Korea is ineffective.
Obama Spurns North Korea Offer to Suspend Missile Program
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(April 24, 2016) – Speaking during is visit to Germany, President Obama denounced North Korea for its offer to abandon its nuclear and missile program in return for an end to US military exercises with South Korea, condemning the nation for its "provocative behaviors."
Tensions between North Korea and the US rise this time of year every year, as North Korean officials condemn the ever-larger US military exercises, and conduct tests which they present as purely defensive, but which the US presents as proof that they are hostile.
Indeed, as much as President Obama rails against North Korea's nuclear test from back in February, the North Korean government had offered full nuclear disarmament just days before in return for an agreement to sign a deal to end the Korean War, which despite being in a state of mostly-ceasefire is fast approaching its 70th year.
The Obama Administration has repeatedly spurned North Korean offers for a peace treaty, insisting North Korea's actions, themselves usually reactions to the latest failed offer, prove that the US doesn't want peace with them. It is this refusal to even contemplate peace, which has kept the war going for generations.
(April 24, 2016) -- "We don't take seriously a promise to simply halt until the next time they decide to do a test," Mr. Obama said. "That's not something that happens based on a press release in the wake of a series of provocative behaviors. They're going to have to do better than that."
The US Joint Chiefs of Staff said Saturday that North Korea fired what is believed to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. South Korean officials said the missile appears to have flown about 19 miles, well short of a successful test.
A North Korean official later offered to suspend such tests if the US would halt its military exercises with South Korea.
Mr. Obama said the US and the "entire world" take North Korea's testing seriously.
"Although more often than not they fail in many of these tests, they gain knowledge each time they engage in these tests," Mr. Obama said, adding that such behavior is "why we've cultivated cooperation with the Chinese to put more pressure on North Korea."
"Although it is not where we would completely like it to be, I will say we've seen the Chinese be more alarmed and take more seriously what North Korea is doing," he said. "They have been willing to be more forward leaning in exacting a price on North Korea's destructive behavior."
(February 21, 2016) -- The US State Department confirmed over the weekend that they rejected a North Korean proposal for peace talks that was made just days before the nation's latest nuclear weapons test, the latest in a long line of attempts aimed at ending the Korean War, technically still ongoing from 1950.
The State Department attempted to spin their own rejection as a North Korean rejection, saying they demanded North Korea agree to nuclear disarmament as part of the talks on ending the war. Since the North Koreans have long insisted they want peace first, and disarmament after, the US is claiming that the North both proposed, and rejected, the talks.
Analysts say that it was unsurprising that North Korea didn't accept the counter-proposal, as it believes the only leverage it has on proposing peace talks is its nuclear development, and doesn't want to give that up without assuring that the peace deal is coming along with it.
The US, by contrast,, has long insisted that it won't "reward" North Korea with peace while it continues to possess a nuclear weapons program. The view that being not in a state of war is a gift the US can bestow only if it is placated, however, seems a recipe for keeping the war going for decades more.
South Korea Military Propaganda Video: December 2015
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