I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — AP Pyongyang has all the logic and perspective of KCNA Pyongyang and none of the guilty pleasures of KCNA’s prose.
The way North Korea sees it, only bigger weapons and more threatening provocations will force Washington to come to the table to discuss what Pyongyang says it really wants: peace. [….]
North Korea has long cited the U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula, and what it considers a nuclear umbrella in the region, as the main reason behind its need for nuclear weapons. North Korea and the U.S. fought on opposite sides of the bitter, three-year Korean War. That conflict ended in a truce in 1953, and left the peninsula divided by heavily fortified buffer zone manned by the U.S.-led U.N. Command.
Sixty years after the armistice, North Korea has pushed for a peace treaty with the U.S. But when talks fail, as they have for nearly two decades, the North Koreans turn to speaking with their weapons. [Jean H. Lee, AP]
I realize that Lee frequents a place where war is peace, but peace isn’t the first goal one would attribute to a regime that, less than four years ago, renounced the Korean War cease fire agreement, subsequently carried out two sneak attacks against South Korea, killing 50 of its citizens, and attempted to assassinate several defector-dissidents on South Korean soil.
Is this The Onion, you ask? No, this is The Onion.
The idea that a peace treaty with North Korea is the solution to our problems with North Korea is nonetheless the stated position of a small pro-North Korean fringe, and just about no one else, no doubt because the negotiations would give that fringe the chance to support North Korea’s preconditions for said peace. Still, I suppose it’s good to have clarity on where Lee stands.
For something a little better grounded in reality, see this Reuters analysis by Paul Eckert and Michael Martina:
A North Korean nuclear test draws international condemnation, modest U.N. sanctions and expressions of hope in the United States that China will finally rein in its brazen ally.
Beijing chides North Korea, but nothing much happens.
The world has seen this movie before and it’s likely to witness another rerun after North Korea’s third nuclear test on Tuesday.
See also this piece by Jeffrey Lewis and this one by Bruce Klingner, citing evidence that North Korea may already have a miniaturized and functional nuclear weapon that it can deliver on a missile. Say what you want about the accuracy of North Korea’s long-range missiles; its short and medium range missiles are thought to be accurate and effective enough to pose a real danger to South Korea and Japan.
If that’s not bad enough, consider how many terrorist-sponsoring clients North Korea has in the Middle East for its nuclear and missile technology. Claudia Rosett has an excellent summary in Forbes.