North Korea and USA Relation : Current

Headline : After unsuccessful summit with Trump, North Korean Kim Jong Un is again using military optics

Details :

The news

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is returning to his military optics two months after his unsuccessful summit with the US President.



  • North Korea’s quest for a nuclear weapon can be traced back decades to the Korean War.
  • Ever since the Korean War, North Korea always assumed that the US would attack them any day and wipe them out and hence began development of Nuclear weapons.
  • Initially North Korea promised of peaceful use of nuclear energy and signed NPT in 1985 but later it was suspected that it is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
  • Negotiations began with North Korea and by October 1994 a deal known as the Agreed Framework was achieved.
  • Again in 1998, North Korea test-fired an intermediate-range missile but talks with the U.S. continued.
  • In October 2006, the situation reached a dangerous new stage with North Korea’s first nuclear test.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, North Korea held three more nuclear tests.
  • In September 2016, North Korea claimed to test its first hydrogen bomb.
  • In 2017, North Korea successfully test-fired it’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles and again claimed to successfully test a hydrogen bomb.
  • Later, South reached out to North Korea for winter Olympics and the tensions relieved a with the indications that the North was willing to talk with the U.S.
  • In 2018, Kim Jong Un invited the US President to meet for negotiations about North Korea’s nuclear program.
  • In late March 2018, the meeting held between North Korea and the US.
  • On April 20, North Korea announced that it would suspend nuclear and missile testing, and shut down the site where its six previous nuclear tests were carried out.
  • Trump and Kim held a second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam on 27th and 28thFebruary, 2019.
  • However, both delegations left from meeting with no deal or agreement signed…


Summary of the news

  • North Korean leader expressed deep disappointment with inflexible demands by the US in Hanoi summit.
  • This unsuccessful summit is the reason why North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is cautiously returning to its military optics, which is reflected by the following postures-
    • Kim paid a surprise visit to an Air Force base to inspect fighter combat readiness.
    • He supervised a new type of tactical guided weapon.
    • Kim is also about to visit Russia later this month at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin.
  • Kim has also asked the US to come up with a more mutually acceptable negotiation strategyuntil the end of this year.
  • North Korea wants lifting of the sanctions over its development of nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching the US mainland.
  • In the meantime Kim is maintaining his self-imposed moratorium on its nuclear tests and long-range missile launches.


The U.S and North Korea’s position on the issue

  • Kim claims he still has a good personal relationship with the US president but is frustrated with Trump’s top advisers.
  • North Korea wants replacement of dialogue counterpart Pompeo for maturely communicating.
  • The US president has also indicated that he wants a third summit.
  • However, there are growing worries due to the mismatched demands between the US and North Korea over sanctions relief and disarmament.
  • Washington won’t allow the North Korea’s desired sanctions relief until it commits to verifiably destroy his nuclear facilities, weapons, and missiles.
  • North Korea is also not willing to give away an arsenal, as they are considered as their strongest guarantee of survival.


The South Korea’s role in the matter

  • South Korea has played the role of mediator in initiating talks between US and North Korea.
  • Since, North Korea’s first summit with the US, South Korea and US have renamed and scaled back their joint maneuvers.
  • However, since the second summit in Hanoi, North Korea has been openly critical of South Korea and its President’s role of middleman.
  • North Korea has alleged South Korea of adhering too closely to his American allies, as South Korea has dragged his feet on inter-Korean projects due to the sanctions from US.
  • South Korean president want to continue on the inter-Korean infrastructure projects that would provide the North Korea to develop its infrastructure but Washington wants South Korea to stick to sanctions.


Role of Russia in the matter

  • Russia has been outsider over the past years even though North Korea held multiple summits with the leaders of China, the United States, and South Korea.
  • However, the upcoming visit of North Korean leader to Russia is leading to some speculations.
  • It is suspected that Russia could provide important political cover or economic aid for North Korea.
  • If Russia jumps into playing a bigger role in the issue, it could be a biggest challenge for the US.


Section : International Relation