Nothing to gain from 'pressure diplomacy'

Date: 10/08/2018 | Source: Pyongyang Times | Read original version at source

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The June Singapore DPRK-US summit called an “epoch-making meeting” and the resultant joint statement brought to the international community great expectation and hope for rapprochement between the two long-time foes—and global peace.

Nearly two months after that, however, everyone is now sceptical about the progress of DPRK-US relations.

US State Department officials in charge of the negotiations with the DPRK recently argued that they would not mitigate sanctions until the denuclearization comes true and that tougher sanctions lead to enhanced bargaining power.

Not to be outdone, the Treasury Department announced that it has no plan to ease the sanctions on the DPRK and it rather intends to ratchet them up.

As if to prove it, US Congressmen are competitively submitting bills to increase sanctions against the DPRK. And American media and experts are building up opinion for sanctions, contending that the Trump administration has reaffirmed "denuclearization first, lifting of sanctions later" as the keynote of its approach towards the DPRK, and it is likely to turn to “maximum pressure” when north Korea fails to take action for denuclearization.

The US is now forcing the international community to implement the anti-DPRK sanctions resolutions, warning that the offending foreign enterprises and individuals could be blacklisted. And it even bans sports goods the IOC plans to provide to the Korean athletes on the grounds that they are put on the sanctions list.

Such moves are beyond common sense and so outrageous towards the dialogue partner.

How could such strange acts of holding dialogue outwardly but slapping sanctions inwardly be explained?

We have so far showed sincere goodwill and generosity to improve relations with the US by shutting down the northern nuclear test site and repatriating remains of US troops, an effort that has earned international appreciation.

However, the US is only paying lip service to rapprochement while doing little and rather doing the opposite.

We would like to ask US politicians whether they do not feel ashamed at international criticism that “the DPRK is broad-minded and the US is narrow-minded” and “the US is acting like a child who tends to like taking, not giving”.

Even coming from south Korea are such claims that “it is doubtful what the impatient US has done to ensure north Korea’s system”, “the north is a step ahead of the US in the implementation of the June 12 north-US joint statement” and “it is irrational that the US is resorting to pressure and sanctions against the other party, regardless of the past”.

The US needs to realize why its sanctions racket comes under fire.

The reason is that it is outdated as it is based on the prescribed sanctions resolutions, illegal and unlawful.

UN Security Council resolutions 2356, 2371 and 2375 and other documents were all worked out to question the nuclear tests and rocket launches we had to undertake in the course of completing our national nuclear arms programme. We have completely suspended all sorts of nuclear test and rocket launch and shut down test sites as part of practical measures, so it is natural that the anti-DPRK sanctions resolutions which have lost justification should have been dismissed in kind.

Worse still, the US administration is coming out with a preposterous formula that tougher sanctions lead to increased bargaining power.

As a stark expression of hostility, sanctions are a club held up towards us. How can this promote rapprochement between the two countries?
There is a Korean saying “Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind”. As sanctions escalate, our people’s pent-up grudge will burst out and in turn spoil the hard-won opportunity for improvement of relations.
The US State Department and other bureaucratic groups hardly free from the stereotype and steeped in the established outrageous logic should ponder and learn from the setbacks suffered by the previous administrations.
They will never get what they want if they are not free from the monarchical way of thinking that they can enforce their demands while not doing what they have to do and reneging on their promises and the conception that sanctions can work on everything.
The point at present is to build up confidence in each other.
Those who are all for imposing sanctions and pressure on the DPRK are either politicians who are ignorant of diplomacy and obsessed with stupid mentality that everything can be settled by dint of club or those political rivals who hanker after the DPRK-US dialogue ending in stalemate and the current administration’s DPRK policy falling flat.
It is a great pity that influenced by these forces DPRK-US relations which took a step towards a dramatic turnaround have reached an impasse with negotiations in deadlock.
Not that we did not expect any sorts of things to happen in the journey of accomplishing the cause of a century, improvement of the DPRK-US relationship. So we see the stalemate as a temporary challenge facing us in the process of working towards the common goal.
Everything will be determined in the future by how much the US will pay heed to trust and respect, discarding the Paleolithic stone instrument of “sanctions and pressure”.

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