And then comes the inevitable spark.
In an interview with USA broadcaster CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Haley said that threats from North Korea have reached a whole new level with its latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test. President Moon has continued to advocate a resumption of inter-Korean dialogue, saying he’s even willing to personally meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Kim Jong Un is heir to a family dynasty whose organizing principle – hold on to power, at all costs, and by any means necessary – has been constant ever since his grandfather, the “Great Leader” Kim Il Sung, founded it almost seven decades ago.
The three nations have been calling for “early adoption” of a new U.N. Security Council resolution and additional sanctions to demonstrate to Pyongyang the consequences of its actions.
The country has also so far failed to show that it can fit a nuclear warhead into a missile.
The difficulty is partly because regime collapse in Pyongyang would probably push millions of desperate North Korean refugees into China over their shared border.
On Sunday, in its official newspaper Rodong Sinmun, the North warned the allies not to play the “game of fire above an explosive warehouse”, adding that a “small miscalculation or mistake could instantly trigger a nuclear war”. But months later in October, the same Administration settled on an “Agreed Framework” a unsafe diplomatic deal which took military options off the table in exchange for Pyongyang’s presumed political concessions and promises of non-proliferation.
North Korea speaks out against a recent US practice bombing on the Korean Peninsula, calling it a ‘dangerous move’. A video on state-run TV depicted a machine with thickets of tubes and vents, and a shape that struck some US experts as familiar – in a distinctly Soviet way.
In Washington, there is a conventional wisdom on North Korea that spans both parties and much of elite opinion.
Pyongyang has been under United Nations sanctions since 2006, when the Security Council prohibited the provision of large-scale arms, nuclear technology and related training to Pyongyang.
The “combat skills” mission marked the first time U.S. Pacific Command-directed B-1Bs conducted training with Japanese fighters at night.
Realistically the current threat focuses on the DPRK’s medium-term capacity to launch missiles on Japanese territory, especially the Okinawa Islands which also host American military bases.
The US exercise, created to “sternly respond” to potential missile launches by the North, saw the bombers drop the inactive weapons on a training range in South Korea.
Something needs to be done about North Korea, and soon. And of all the parties to this seemingly endless struggle, only the regime in Pyongyang has it. As we’ve seen in Syria, the use of chemical weapons in a small area can be hard to attribute to a national government, especially with foreign powers working to bolster claims of innocence – something Russian Federation has already demonstrated a propensity for doing on behalf of dictators. “They have a lot of disadvantages, but the biggest part of the government economy is their nuclear and missiles program, so the smartest folks they have are directed to do this work”. Tourism would disappear. Refugees would flow.
China called the action “a serious political and military provocation”. Abe said he wanted to “demonstrate the robust partnership as well as the bonds” between Japan and the US on the issue.
Sanctions advocates say that past efforts have been hamstrung by China, which has long protected its ally diplomatically.