Home / OPINION / World Panorama with Dr. Cletus Akwaya: North Korea’s Cold Shoulders to South’s Denuclearisation Talks

World Panorama with Dr. Cletus Akwaya: North Korea’s Cold Shoulders to South’s Denuclearisation Talks

Dr. Cletus Akwaya, PhD. Email: cletus.akwaya@dailyasset.ng


“The proposal for talks with North Korea

is part of the policy roadmap released last week by the

new administration in which it indicated intention

to reach “complete denuclearisation by 2020″


North Korea: Kim-Jong-Un
South Korea President, Moon Jae-in

Friday, July 21, was proposed by South Korea for talks with Pyongyang on the building tensions in the Peninsula following series of missile tests by the regime in the North.

The talks, proposed by South Korea’s new President, Moon Jae-in were to hold at the demilitarized border between the two nations.

But by Thursday night, the clocked ticked away without any official response from the North on her readiness or willingness to participate in the talks.

Jae-in who assumed power a in May, has declared his preference for dialogue and cooperation as a strategy towards resolving the nuclear threats posed by Pyongyang’s repeated tests.

“We are waiting for North Korea’s official position” said Moon Sang-gyung, South Korea’s Defence Ministry spokesperson in a statement released in Seoul, the capital just as he said the   preparations for the talks were in “progress and going smoothly” accounting to reports.

As the North dilly dallied over the proposed talks, US officials hinted the regime might be preparing for yet another missile test in the next few days. Besides, North Korea Sub-Marine was reportedly spotted engaging in “unusual activity” in the international waters, raising even more questions about the real intentions or what the next move might be.

On July 4, North Korea released a long-ranged Intercontinental Ballistic Millisle(ICBM) with a travel distance of ——KM capable of hitting the US mainland especially Alaska and Hawaii. Although the US administration expressed grave concern over the development, experts in the   Defence Ministry said they doubted North Korea’s capacity to deliver the weapon of mass destruction on specific targets.

The proposal for talks with North Korea is part of the policy roadmap released last week by the new administration in which it indicated intention to reach “complete denuclearization by 2020”.

The policy document said South Korea was willing to enter into negotiations that would lead to dismantling of all nuclear programmes in the peninsula and the signing of a peace treaty.

“We will come up with a comprehensive denuclearization negotiation plan that will lead to a nuclear freeze and a complete dismantlement of nuclear programs. We will resume negotiations for comprehensive denuclearization”,  sources familiar with the situation quoted the report  in part.

It acknowledged the fact that the two countries have technically been at war since only an armistice was entered into rather than a peace treaty to end the Korea war.

Analysts were still at a loss on how the South hoped to get North Korea to the negotiating table since Pyongyang has repeatedly said it would not compromise on its nuclear programme which it sees as the only deterrence to America which is opposed to the dictatorial regime of Kim Jong-un.

“Unless a fundamental end is put to the US hostile policy toward the DPRK and the nuclear threat to it, the DPRK will never put the nuke and ballistic rocket on the negotiating table” the state-owned news agency, KCNA said in a report on July 5, a day after the successful missile test.

It has become customary for the North Korean regime to reply its perceived adversaries through the mass media instead of the official channels of communication in international diplomacy.

Last week also, the North Korean state-run Newspaper, Rodong Sinmum, in a commentary called the proposal from South Korea disingenuous and advised Seoul to end its “anti-North Korean confrontations and hostile practices” in order to improve relations between the two countries.

“South Korean authorities can only be viewed as nonsensical and acting deceptively towards the public mentioning ‘improving ties’ while they are showing hostility and making confrontational attempts agaianst North Korea” the Newspaper’s commentator wrote.

The Newspaper was obviously referring to the ongoing war games by joint South Korean and American Forces in the Peninsula, which North Korea interpreted as preparations for imminent attacks.

This suspicion has been fuelled by President Donald Trump’s repeated threats that time was up for the regime in Pyongyang and that all measures including military confrontation were on the cards.

There was no word from China, a major ally and neighbour  over the North’s seeming refusal to come to the negotiating table which ironically has been   China’s long held position.

British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson however, said  his country would stand with Japan in case of any attacks from North Korea. The British Foreign Secretary was however, silent on the proposed talks between the two Koreas.

As it appears, the talks might never hold, at least not in the immediate future as the US, South Korea’s major ally has said it would only engage in talks upon the condition that North Korea would accept denuclearization as an agenda on the table.

From all indications, the tension in the Peninsula is far from diffusing as the actors continue to weigh their options while the international community waits in anxiety of what might become of the growing tension in the Korean peninsula.

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