North Korea has promised to end nuclear testing if the United States signs a peace treaty with the country. Additionally, Pyongyang has demanded that America halts military exercises with South Korea.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the country has agreed to cease all nuclear weapons testing if the United States is willing to sign a peace treaty. However, Pyongyang has also insisted that the U.S. should cease all joint military exercises it conducts with South Korea. The news agency cited a spokesman for the country’s Foreign Ministry as saying,
“Still valid are all proposals for preserving peace and stability on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia including the ones for ceasing our nuclear test and the conclusion of a peace treaty in return for US halt to joint military exercises.”
Though it is highly curious why North Korea intends to establish a peace treaty now, America has made it clear that it must be Pyongyang, who takes the first step and through its actions convince the U.S. that it really intends peace. If history has been any indicator, America’s cautious approach towards North Korea is more than justified.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken made it absolutely clear that Pyongyang needs to demonstrate, by its action, that it was serious about denuclearization for any dialogues to start, reported Reuters. Speaking during a news conference in Tokyo, Blinken said the following.
“We now have unfortunately a decade during which North Korea has totally reversed its obligations to international community, when it comes to missile and nuclear programs. So it’s very hard to take any of their overtures very seriously, particularly in the wake of their fourth nuclear test.”
It is baffling to see such a request from North Korea, especially considering the fact that the country recently conducted its fourth nuclear test. Additionally, though the claims appear dubious at best, the country even proclaimed that it has made great strides in development of the dreaded hydrogen bomb, which is capable of far greater annihilation than the atomic bomb. There’s a fair bit of uncertainty about what exactly was tested. However, as independent agencies confirmed that some blast did take place, the event provoked condemnation from the secretive country’s neighbors and the United States. A week after the blast, North Korea proclaimed it was ready to detonate its H-bomb, which would be capable of wiping out the whole of the U.S. “all at once,” reported the KCNA,
“The scientists and technicians of the DPRK are in high spirit to detonate H-bombs … capable of wiping out the whole territory of the U.S. all at once”
The country is famous for making such fantastical claims, like successfully developing vaccines for dreaded diseases, for which the world’s superpowers haven’t found a cure. Additionally, North Korea routinely issues ominous threats, but regularly fails to follow through. In fact, in August 2015 the country warned the US it would “respond accordingly” if Washington did not cancel military exercises with Seoul, reported RT.
As expected, the U.S. has confirmed it has no intentions to halt any military exercises and certainly won’t go back on its commitments to the South, confirmed John Kirby, a spokesman for the US State Department,
“We are going to continue to make sure the alliance is ready in all respects to act in defense of the South Korean people and the security of the peninsula.”
In fact, Blinken attempted to educate North Korea about Iran’s example and how the country has shown willingness to limit its nuclear ambitions in exchange of having sanctions lifted.
After North Korea announced its fourth nuclear test, American legislators unanimously voted to impose harsher sanctions against the country. North Korea and South Korea are still technically at war since the 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, reported Yahoo.
[Photo by Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images]