US would consider talks with North Korea but only under certain conditions

The United States is willing to consider talks with North Korea but it puts conditions on such talks that are unlikely to be accepted by North Korea.

(May 17)U.S. envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, told reporters just prior to a UN Security Council meeting at which the UN is considering new sanctions against North Korea: "We are willing to talk but not until we see a total stop of the nuclear process and of any test there." So if North Korea is willing to stop taking actions to defend itself then the U.S. might talk to them. Those conditions do not provide much incentive for the North Koreans to try and have talks with the U.S. No doubt the U.S. would like to talk about verification of the dismantling of the North`s nuclear and missile program. If North Korea cooperates the U.S. could possibly support reduction in sanctions.
As the North is almost certain to reject the conditions for talks, the U.S. will pursue punishing it by ensuring that the UN imposes harsher sanctions. Haley said that the U.S. and China are working together on a new resolution targeting North Korea: "That's what we are working on now. We don't have it done yet. Absolutely, sanctions is something that we are looking at and we are going to continue to see where that takes us."
While there have been many test failures in the North Korean missile program some experts claim that the failures of many individual tests do not mean the program itself is a failure. Joseph Bermudez Jr. an analyst at the U.S. firm Allsource Analysis said to the Wall Street Journal: “What’s more concerning is not an individual test or two individual tests, it’s that they’re approaching their missile development in a very pragmatic way. What they’re doing is exactly right. They are testing, and they are testing often. This is the way you really learn how to develop a ballistic missile, and that’s what worries me.”
One test missile landed just 60 miles from Russia's eastern coast Saturday night. While Putin said that the west should stop trying to intimidate Kim Jong-un and find a peaceful solution to the situation Kim should not build his nuclear arsenal. Putin said Russia was categorically opposed to any expansion of the "club of nuclear powers".
On last Sunday, May 14, North Korea tested the Hwasong-12 the longest range missile it has ever tested and was claimed to be capable of carrying a "heavy nuclear warhead". The missile was launched at an unusually high trajectory. It flew to an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers, and traveled 787 kilometers before landing in the Sea of Japan. At maximum distance its range would be about 4,500 kilometers. North Korea said that the test was a legitimate defense against threats from a hostile US. However the UN has passed several resolutions that bar North Korea from developing a nuclear weapons program and missile technology but the North has paid no attention to the resolutions. The UN Security Council has often described North Korea's actions as provocative and a threat to world peace. Of course, U.S. actions with South Korea involving this year exercises that emulate an invasion of North Korea are never regarded as provocative nor is the recent deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system or sending an aircraft carrier with support vessels to the peninsula. South Korean defense minister Han Min-koo said that the North Korean missile program was progressing faster than expected. He said the launch had been detected by the U.S. THAAD anti-missile system.
The U.S. has taken an aggressive approach to North Korea having claimed that a policy of strategic patience had obviously failed. However, South Korea's new president Moon Jae-in wants to engage with the North and soothe tensions between the US and China. The U.S. policy is to further isolate North Korea and increase sanctions whereas Moon wants a policy of engagement to attempt to improve relations between the North and South. During the campaign Moon was quite critical of the deployment of the THAAD system. However, it is already in place and working. It may be difficult for Moon to go counter to US desires. North Korea's testing of the new missile system may make it more difficult for Moon to follow along the path of reconciliation, However, in his first key appointments Moon appointed supporters of the earlier Sunshine Policy of improving ties with the North, to the positions of prime minister and head of intelligence. There could be friction between the U.S. and South Korea as well as the North.


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