US Approach to North Korea Missile Test

Strategic Council Online - Interview: An expert on US affairs commenting on the White House approach to the North Korea supersonic missile tests said: At present, the only tool available to the US is sanctions, but even Washington knows that it cannot resort to the option of war in order to solve the North Korean problem and the only option is the same option of diplomacy.

Amir Ali Abolfath, speaking in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, continued: The United States and North Korea have been in a state of armistice for seven decades.

Referring to the war between the United States and North Korea from 1950 to 1953, Abolfath added: After that war, only a ceasefire agreement was signed between the two countries and not a peace agreement; therefore, from the point of view of international law, Washington and Pyongyang are in a state of ceasefire.

Saying that with regard to the issue of Pyongyang, all the US efforts in recent years had been focused on controlling North Korea, he continued: Before Pyongyang gaining access to nuclear weapon, the US pressure was in the direction that North Korea protects the US interests in East Asia in the first place, and in the second place not to invade South Korea again, and in the third case, the Americans were trying to overthrow the communist government in North Korea.

He explained: Especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this hope was felt more that after the anti-communist storm in Eastern Europe, the storm would be spread to North Korea and China and the communist parties in those countries would be overthrown, but this did not happen.

According to the expert, the Washington administration is currently focusing on countering the expansion of Pyongyang’s nuclear power; because there is no way to return back. He stressed that even three rounds of talks between Donald Trump and Korean leader Kim Jong-un failed to pave the way for the country to give up nuclear weapons.

Abolfath continued: Therefore, the only tool that the United States has now is to continue imposition of sanctions.

However, the expert stressed that sanctions are no longer very effective on North Korea, citing two reasons for it: First, there is nothing left to sanction and the increase in the US sanctions will not put economic pressure on Pyongyang. Another reason for the ineffectiveness of the sanctions is that North Korea hopes for strong support from China, and has been able to defuse the White House sanctions pressure all those years with the help of Beijing.

He noted: As relations between Washington and Beijing increasingly deteriorate, this issue creates a breathing opportunity for North Korea or expands its capacity to withstand sanctions. This means that the US sanctions tactic is no longer very effective on North Korea.

The expert on US affairs, commenting on the growing US sanctions on some countries, said: A country like North Korea has somehow come to terms with the issue of sanctions, and now Pyongyang is doing its job, that is to say it is adding to its missile and nuclear power and Washington is doing its job, that is to say continues imposing sanctions on North Korea.

According to the expert, with the passage of time, the effectiveness of sanctions is diminishing, and reports from the US institutions and the elite community are constantly warning that repeated use of the sanctions knife has slowed it down and that sanctioned countries have become resistant to it.

Stressing that with regard to the issue of North Korea there is no alternative other than negotiation, the expert on the US affairs said: War with North Korea is pure madness, and the whole world knows it. Therefore, the threat of war is not taken into consideration very seriously, and the Koreans know that such remarks are nothing more than bluff.

Abolfath went on to explain the differences between the views of the administration of Joe Biden and that of Donald Trump on the issue of North Korea, adding: The view of the US administration on the issue of Pyongyang has not changed. Meanwhile, Trump’s view of North Korea differed from that of other US presidents, either Republicans or Democrats. Trump thought that because he was a successful businessman and knew how to negotiate, with one or two meetings with the North Korean leader problems would be solved.

He continued: That is why the former US president met with Kim Jong-un. Presidents before Trump did not do so because they thought that any contact with Pyongyang would legitimize the communist government, and what the United States describes as the dictatorial rule of the Kim family.

Abolfath said in conclusion that Trump’s experience with regard to Korea was not fruitful either.

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