All sanc­tions, no talks will in­crease ten­sions on Korean Penin­sula

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - VIEWS - The au­thor is deputy editor of China Daily USA. chen­wei­hua@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Su­san Thorn­ton, the act­ing US as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of state for East Asian and Pa­cific af­fairs, spoke in a Se­nate hear­ing on Tues­day about the need to in­crease the pres­sure on the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea so it will give up its nu­clear weapons pro­gram.

Be­sides call­ing for the UN mem­ber states to im­ple­ment their com­mit­ments, she said the United States has urged all coun­tries to sus­pend or down­grade di­plo­matic re­la­tions and cut trade ties with Pyongyang.

The strat­egy is all sticks, no car­rots. There is no con­sid­er­a­tion that less pres­sure, rather than more pres­sure, might be a more vi­able way to achieve the peace­ful de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the Korean Penin­sula.

The US clearly be­lieves that tight­ened sanc­tions will force the DPRK to change course. Yet tougher and tougher sanc­tions have failed to get the DPRK to halt its nu­clear weapons pro­gram.

Se­nior US of­fi­cials claim that the US wants to bring the DPRK to its senses, not its knees. Yet its strat­egy sug­gests that is not the case, and that it wants the DPRK to be on its knees.

US con­cerns that the DPRK could have a con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile ca­pa­ble of hit­ting the US wors­ened this week af­ter new as­sess­ment by the Pen­tagon De­fense In­tel­li­gence Agency showed that the DPRK could have this ca­pa­bil­ity as early as next year.

Se­nior US of­fi­cials claim that the US wants to bring the DPRK to its senses, not its knees. Yet its strat­egy sug­gests that is not the case, and that it wants the DPRK to be on its knees.

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