April 20, 2009 09:35
The U.S. government is apparently getting angry with North Korea. Diplomatic sources in Washington D.C. say the White House and the State Department are irate at North Korea's refusal to talk following the launch of its long-range rocket, as well as its expulsion of International Atomic Energy Agency monitors and a State Department representative.
During a recent meeting, the U.S. National Security Council Principals Committee, led by White House National Security Adviser James Jones, resulted in a U.S. decision not to pursue direct talks with North Korea as long as the communist country remains uncooperative, diplomatic sources in Washington D.C. said. Instead, the committee decided to strengthen cooperation with South Korea and Japan and win the help of China to resume the stalled six-country talks.
The committee also decided to continue imposing sanctions mentioned in the statement issued by the UN Security Council after the North's rocket launch. It feels North Korea's continued rejection of talks and disregard of the UN decision cannot be condoned. State Department Spokesman Robert Wood said last Thursday, "They [North Korea] will have to deal with the consequences of that decision."
Regarding the detention of the two U.S. journalists in the North, many U.S. officials are said to support a strategy of sticking to principles and stressing human rights to deal with the problem but reject the North’s plan to use the captives as bargaining chips.
The approach is related to progress seen in Washington's efforts to open channels of dialogue with other "rogue" states such as Cuba and Iran. The Obama administration, making diplomatic progress with the support of the American public, appears to see no need to bend its rules for North Korea.
Also playing a role is U.S. assessment of the communist country's technology to produce and use weapons of mass destruction. North Korea's WMD technology is evolving, with missiles able to travel up to 3,200 km, but Washington believes it will take significant time for North Korea to produce an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the continental United States. In other words, North Korea still does not pose enough of a threat for Washington to take a softer line.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com