America’s Game with North Korea

Strategic Council Online: An international affairs analyst said the US-North Korea talks are not very clear, noting that although the issue of North Korean disarmament is important to Americans, it is not Washington’s only goal. The Americans are playing with North Korea in the region and do not want this issue to be solved easily.

Dr. Siamak Bagheri, speaking to the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations on the interruption of US-North Korea expert talks on the very first day of the talks, said: Although some analysts initially were very optimistic about the US-North Korea talks under Trump but it gradually became known that in the behaviorology stance of the US government it can be understood that Americans are in certain situations and that within the framework of these particular conditions they have defined for themselves, they have begun taking actions in the field of international relations that somewhat differ from the past.

He explained that this is part of the root of frustration in US-North Korean negotiations, and that the US withdrawal from major international treaties can be analyzed within this same outlook. Trump’s remarks at the UN General Assembly on the globalization theme and that victory belongs to patriotism not globalization, indicate that America is pursuing its own interests. In this context, they revise the agreements they have signed in the past and try to proceed fully within their own interests and solve internal problems. They follow the same goal in the negotiations that are likely to lead to an agreement.

“With these interpretations, the United States has been gradually raising some demands in every negotiation with North Korea,” the analyst said. This has led North Korea to conclude that the United States is not negotiating within a clear framework and that there are new demands in each negotiation which indicate that they are generally seeking their own best interests. For them, the type of negotiations is worth extending which have the greatest benefit to them.

He said North Korea is very cautious given its experience, especially the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has led to challenges in the negotiations between the two sides and has failed any round of talks.

Referring to the upcoming US election and its impact on its foreign policy, Bagheri said: “Trump is desperately seeking to win a bargaining chip to spend in his election campaign. As for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and (proposed) meeting with the Iranian President, their important aim was to be able to exploit the situation internally. The same procedure applies to North Korea.

He added: Americans are leading the talks in a way that, while serving their best interests, it would have the potential to be used in party competitions within their own country.

It should be borne in mind that negotiations generally take place within the framework of give-and-take, and the parties feel they need to lean towards negotiation so that in the course of the talks they can meet their needs and the demands of the other party, the US affairs expert said. If these demands are not met equitably and satisfactorily, the negotiations will not be sustainable or will not be materialized at all.

“This is also true about North Korea,” Bagheri added. America’s demands and the kind of precaution North Korea has applied have led the situation to this point. North Korea does not want to put all of its eggs in the basket of negotiations with the United States and follow a path that others have tried and failed. North Korea already feels that the US is in some cases playing them.

“It seems that these negotiations will not have a clear outcome,” he explained. Although the Americans care about disarming North Korea however this is not their only goal. Americans are playing North Korea in the region. In fact, America has another fundamental problem. While there is debate about elections and inter-party political superstructure, solving that fundamental problem is also very strategic and important to them.

“In fact, the US does not want the problem of North Korea to be resolved so easily,” Bagheri said. Negotiating with North Korea is a time-consuming game for the United States, through South Korea, Japan, and other actors in that particular region to address its own interests by addressing their internal failures and problems. It is as if we are seeing the same thing in Iran. In the Iranian context, it is not just a game but a game in which the US should use a country like Saudi Arabia as a ‘milk cow’.

“When Trump says the Europeans have to pay for their own protection, it means that the US is facing an internal economic crisis and that it must reduce its financial and international costs and at the same time find a way to solve its domestic economic problems. From this point of view, one cannot be too optimistic that these negotiations can produce an outcome agreeable to both sides.

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