Six decades after a Soviet-American arrangement divided the peninsula between Communist (North) and Democratic (South) Korea, the conflict reaches its hottest moment. Pyongyang’s provocations and confrontation are not new. It is true that the young dictator, Kim Jong-un, in his quest to turn North Korea into a nuclear power, has launched an intercontinental missile capable of reaching Alaska, the nearest US territory. “This changes all the calculations,” proclaimed former Defense Secretary William J. Perry yesterday.
Washington was forcing an emergency meeting at the United Nations to pass new sanctions. The State Department and the Pentagon were boasting about the most important conflict the White House has raised, as Obama warned his successor Trump, while in the area, the warlike language reached a large caliber: Like South Korea, we are prepared to go to war as soon as the order is given. ” It was the reply of General Vincent Brooks, the American commander for South Korea.
The problem is the penalties are not working. Since his arrival, Trump has unsuccessfully sought President Xi Jinping’s help for China to use its remarkable influence in Pyongyang and to curb the provocations of its dictator. In a few weeks, Trump assumed that ” Will have to go alone, “in the face of Beijing’s weak action, which in the first quarter of 2017 has increased its trade with North Korea by 40%. China is not going to abandon its policy of balance with Pyongyang, which is based on pressure, but also on the regime to remain afloat.
Nobody discards the dialogue. It is the proposal of Russia and China, but not only. South Korea itself, the most affected, is considering an attempt to reach agreements with Pyongyang, its president, Moon Jae-in, told Trump. Neither is it new. Clinton, Bush and Obama have already tried to approach, but it has always been concluded that he is an “unreliable” negotiator.
While insisting on adding the “joint efforts” of the entire international community, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calls, Washington seeks to develop as much capacity as possible in the field of technology. Preventively, the United States, in cooperation with Japan and South Korea, is working on programs to neutralize future missile launches from North Korea.