North Korea’s Threats Trigger Cautious Strongarm Diplomacy

Along with news about the frequent and the latest threat from North Korea, is the question of whether regional powers can do anything about it.

In their latest threat, the secretive country is claiming to have nuclear weapons at ready and has reportedly threatened to attack its neighboring South Korea and their ally the United States.

Former attorney for the U.S. Army, adviser on North Korea relations, and writer, Joshua Stanton, recently wrote on his blog One Free Korea about the relationship between China and the U.S. with regard to putting more pressure on Pyongyang.

In his post, he refers to an article by The Washington Post, which appears to be correct on their view that holding nations who aid North Korea accountable for providing them assistance, might have been the reason why China has decided to become more cooperative.

North Korea threatens region
People watch a TV news program showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 3, 2016. North Korea fired several short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast Thursday, Seoul officials said, just hours after the U.N. Security Council approved the toughest sanctions on Pyongyang in two decades for its recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch. The screen reads "Sanction on the North Korea." [Image by Ahn Young-joon | AP Photo]

The Inquisitr covered the details of the sanctions the U.S. planned to impose on North Korea, one of which is to inspect all ships traveling to and from the hermit kingdom.

It would appear that at the very least — next to holding aiding nations accountable — those specific inspections were already underway according the a collaborative report by AFP and MSN News, when the Philippines impounded a North Korean vessel last week, looking to deport the crew and held the ship.

United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power, who passed the sanctions on North Korea, was interviewed on PBS NewsHour where she gave more details on the issue.

In the interview, she states that China has agreed to enforce these sanctions, and also said that all ships coming and going are suspect, but what has also been seen as suspect are the threats.

The Inquisitr also reported that the White House does not take the threats from North Korea seriously, as they tend to make these quite often.

Over time the regime has stated they would be able to attack specific cities in the United States, but also threatened to attack movie theaters fairly recently when Seth Rogan and James Franco’s movie The Interview, which parodies Kim Jong Un as they are sent in to assassinate the “supreme leader,” was released in 2014.

Nonetheless, the United States has sent an aircraft carrier ship to the South China Sea and some destroyers, for what is apparently increasing militarization, blamed on China who blames the United States, for tensions over the ownership of territory of international waters.

Apparently both China and the U.S. have agreed to “narrow their differences” in order to support efforts to put pressure on North Korea. In the video shown above, it is mentioned that the Chinese foreign minister is offering the secretary of state a bottle of Chinese wine.

On February 23, CNN published an article about a meeting between both powers where they certainly had their disagreements, but have already been able to cut deals in their involvement with Syria and Iran.

North Korea sanctions agreement between China and U.S.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, left, speaks during a media availability with Secretary of State John Kerry, right, at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. [imae by Susan Walsh | AP Photo ]

Much of the disagreement is with deploying defensive weapons to South Korea such as the THAAD missile defense system, which John Kerry explains in the article.

“Russia and China have obviously expressed concerns about THAAD. We have made it very clear we are not hungry or anxious or looking for an opportunity to deploy THAAD. THAAD is a purely defensive weapon, it is purely capable of shooting down a ballistic missile it intercepts and it is there for the protection of the United States,” Kerry said. “If we can get to denuclearization, there’s no need to deploy THAAD.”

THAAD stands for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, which China reportedly still sees as a threat to their interests in the region, but as Samantha Powers mentioned the next steps the U.S, South Korea, possibly Russia and China are hoping to take are to be able to bring North Korea to the negotiating table.

[Featured image by UNVIE U.S. Mission To International Organizations In Vienna via Flickr | Public Domain Mark 1.0]