To deter North Korea from continuing its nuclear and missile development programs, it is indispensable for the entire international community to apply maximum pressure on Pyongyang. In light of this, it can be said that a well-timed message has been delivered.
U.S. President Donald Trump gave a speech concerning the North Korea issue at the South Korean National Assembly. “All responsible nations must join forces to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea,” he said.
It is significant that Trump called on China and Russia by name to sever all ties of trade and technology with North Korea. Trump is also scheduled to hold talks with the leaders of China and Russia shortly. It is hoped that he will tell them in person that the possibility of a contingency occurring on the Korean Peninsula will grow if the current situation is left unchecked.
While explaining the current situation in which the United States has deployed three aircraft carriers, F-35 fighter jets and nuclear submarines in the vicinity of the peninsula, he asserted that “I want peace through strength.” He emphasized his posture of not tolerating Pyongyang’s development of nuclear missiles that can destroy cities in the United States, warning North Korea, “Do not try us.”
In his speech at the United Nations in September, Trump said he would “totally destroy” the nation, and derided Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, as “Rocket Man.” This time, however, he refrained from using extreme expressions. He also appealed to North Korea, saying the path to a solution through dialogue remains open.
Forcing Pyongyang to change its policy of pursuing nuclear missiles to deter a U.S. strike on North Korea, thus bringing the country to the negotiating table to denuclearize and abandon its ballistic missile development — Trump has made clear that the purpose of the United States’ intensifying pressure on Pyongyang lies in this scenario, a development that can be rated positively.
Moon’s stance worrisome
During his talks with Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae In expressed his intention to cooperate with the United States “to maximize pressure and sanctions” on North Korea, while putting the lid on his reconciliatory stance toward North Korea, at least for now.
After seeing the intimate relationship recently on display between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump, Moon must have racked his brains over how to stage his own cooperative posture toward the United States.
It is worrisome that the Moon administration has adopted a half-hearted stance on boosting trilateral cooperation among Japan, the United States and South Korea.
Recently, China and South Korea agreed that deployment of the top-of-the-line missile defense system of the U.S. forces stationed in South Korea “will not harm China’s security interests.” South Korea has also made clear its policy to neither additionally deploy the system nor join a regional missile defense network with Japan and the United States.
It is hard to understand the fact that South Korea has adopted a security policy that seemingly prioritizes consideration of China over trilateral cooperation among Japan, the United States and South Korea.
Moon invited a former comfort woman to the banquet attended by him and Trump. And cuisine was also served that featured “Dokdo shrimp,” using the Korean name of Takeshima, Shimane Prefecture.
The Japanese government protested to South Korea as a matter of course. It is utterly preposterous for a country to make lopsided assertions in connection with the issue of historical perceptions and the territorial issue at a diplomatic venue attended by a third country.