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Diplomatically snubbed

 Editorial |  2018-08-12 16:46:57.0

Diplomatically snubbed

Since the "Singapore Summit", the US has been getting snubbed by North Korea time and again. Indeed, there have been repeated proposals to Pyongyang on denuclearisation, all of which have been rejected. The United States has made and continues to make,"specific proposals for starting and proceeding to the end point of fully verified denuclearisation," including a timeline. North Korea has rejected all of these proposals, considering them even "gangster-like." The impasse has brought the rocket-like trajectory of Trump administration diplomacy with North Korea down to earth and the more typical grind of talks with Pyongyang that have stymied prior administrations. While the US is demanding full, verifiable denuclearisation and says it will maintain sanctions until that happens, North Korea says it wants sanctions pressure lifted and a peace treaty before it will take further steps. Continued negotiations between the United States and North Korea hinge on Washington's willingness to make a "bold move" and agree to a peace treaty with Pyongyang. The US has been asking for a big gesture on the part of North Korea, in the form of giving up a portion of its nuclear weapons in the near term. Kim Jong Un is insisting he will make a step towards denuclearisation if the US moves on security concerns, likely meaning a peace proposal, but will not move otherwise. Pyongyang points to goodwill gestures they say they have already made, including a halt in missile testing and the repatriation of US remains, arguing that the US is backtracking. Pyongyang has, in fact, issued a forceful statement at the United Nations, saying that elements of the US government are not adhering to the spirit of the dialogue established by Trump and Kim at their Singapore summit. Pyongyang said while it had taken "such practical denuclearisation steps as discontinuing nuclear test and ICBM test fire" and "broadminded measures" like the repatriation of US Korean War remains, "the US responded to our expectation by inciting international sanctions and pressure against (North Korea)." The statement, credited to North Korea's Foreign Ministry, notably did not blame Trump, but singled out "some high-level officials within the US administration," who it said were going against the President's will. It also echoed criticism of previous administrations' approaches to North Korea that Trump himself has made. The statement seems intended to hit a target audience in the US, being released in English by North Korea's mission to the United Nations in New York, rather than just through the state-run Korean Central News Agency, the usual avenue for government announcements. As matters stand, words much transform into positive action. Else, it will be a case of a peace too far.

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