Ever since a new site of nuclear weaponry production has been discovered via satellite images on February 11th (more here), our country has been on the edge regarding North Korea. The tension has been amplified by the country’s unresponsiveness as the Biden administration has been trying to make contact for over a month unsuccessfully.
As North Korean neighbors and other key countries such as Japan are waiting for Biden’s new North Korean policy to be announced, country leaders finally broke silence.
A chilling threat
North Korea has long been known as an unfriendly country that lacks the political diplomacy to collaborate with other states. Just a few hours after the news of North Korea’s unresponsiveness made headlines internationally, Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Jim Jong-Un, has made a public statement:
“We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land. If it wants to sleep in peace for (the) coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
The declaration has been published by the North Korean state news agency and it clearly shows that the state doesn’t have any intention of finding diplomatic solutions.
However, US officials haven’t seemed to lose hope. This Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki declared that the new administration’s main goal is to achieve diplomacy or at least prevent the escalation of an international conflict.
On this occasion, Psaki also confessed that the communication problems between our country and North Korea aren’t any news as they follow ‘over a year without active dialogue.’
Can denuclearization happen?
Right now, the Biden administration is still reviewing the previous North Korean policy issued by former president Donald Trump to work on improvements. Judging by Joe Biden’s most recent views regarding international politics, he is definitely planning on changing the overly friendly attitude Trump had been displaying towards North Korea in the past.
However, the Biden administration seems determined to find a way to achieve their ultimate purpose: de-nuclearizing North Korea.
But is that goal realistic?
Vipin Narang, associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says that insisting on denuclearization is a losing battle right from the start, mainly because ‘North Korea never agreed to it.’
Narang strongly believes that the more Biden officials insist on this idea publicly, the more reluctant North Korea will become for diplomatic collaborations. The country is even more unwilling to find peaceful solutions after witnessing how our country managed the tense situations in Iraq, Iran and Lybia over the past few years. For example, Iran ended up agreeing to a deal with the US only to have the Trump administration withdraw and forcefully impose shocking economic sanctions.
Another strong evidence that convinced North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to avoid any communications was the 2018 meeting between him and then-president Donald Trump. At the time, the two country leaders agreed to start working on the ‘complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.’
As it turned out, North Korea was also expecting the US to remove any nuclear weaponry it might have on their territory.
Shortly after the meeting, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the agreement involved the complete, irreversible dismantlement of the North Korean nuclear program. This false statement has led to a political chaos with North Korea describing him as a ‘diehard toxin’ and, in March 2020, a country official declared that ‘listening to Pompeo’s ludicrous language made us give up on any hopes for dialogue.’
And just because our country now has a new administration which shows different intentions, North Korea seems more unwilling than ever to collaborate.
President Joe Biden is expected to announce the upgraded North Korea policy during the next few weeks – a political move awaited by states from all over the globe and one that might hopefully bring clarity to a tense situation.