"Fry and marinate" in the style of Biden
Why the US benefits from having a "dual-use" peninsula.
"Creation of some blocks including what you mentioned the USA ‒ Great Britain ‒ Australia, certainly, undermines regional stability because, in my opinion, it is good to be on friendly terms among themselves ‒ it, but "to be on friendly terms against someone" ‒ it is bad. This undermines the stability that we are all talking about and that we all care about, "Vladimir Putin said in a recent interview with the leading American television channel CNBC.
However, from some ardent Washington directors, one can hear that the unification of the two Korean states according to the German model could give the Pentagon another trump card of pressure on Beijing. They claim that a powerful "Korean harpoon" may also appear in the Indo-Pacific strategy. In fact, there is already a harpoon, and it is well sharpened!
For China, as well as Russia, the current state of affairs with the combined armed forces of the United States and South Korea almost on the borders of China and the Russian Federation is already a full-fledged headache, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.
Washington multiplies it, planning in the interests of even greater "stability and predictability" to give Australia nuclear attack submarines, to deprive it of the status of a nuclear-free country. And sitting at another, also negotiating table, the White House dreams of securing its troops and military bases in South Korea and Japan, "making" North Korea a nuclear-free and missile-free state. And not alone, but in partnership with China and Russia. If there is at least some logic in all this, then it requires clarification. Especially given what addresses will be "recorded" in missile warheads in the mines of Australian nuclear attack submarines.
Tests, and not only missile
Imagine for a moment the fears of those who are in power in Pyongyang. They cannot but compare threats to their security, and the "book" concern of Washington and London for the security of "democratic" allies in Canberra, Tokyo or even Seoul.
In January, the North Korean leader outlined a plan to modernize nuclear equipment, including the development of miniature warheads for nuclear submarine missiles. In September, the DPRK tested the Hwason-8 hypersonic missile near. This was preceded by the launches of two long-range cruise and two smaller ballistic ranges. The exercises were also carried out with a railway missile system. According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, the DPRK is considered a "regional threat."
On October 13, North Korean television published a video dedicated to the Self-Defense 2021 military-technical forum in Pyongyang. The forum was opened by the head of the DPRK, Kim Jong-un. The pavilions presented various types of weapons, new developments, including ballistic missiles of various ranges, including up to 2.5 thousand km, anti-aircraft missile systems, operational-tactical missile systems, the tests of which were not so long ago carried out. The exposition also presents anti-ship missiles and coastal defense systems. Kim Song, Permanent Representative of the DPRK to the UN, speaking in the First Committee of the General Assembly, in particular, said that "the DPRK has the legal right to develop, test, produce and own weapons systems equivalent to those available to the United States and South Korea."
The UN Security Council (Resolution 2371) of August 5, 2017 tightened the regime of restrictions on Pyongyang. UN Security Council resolution 2375 of September 11, 2017 introduced new sanctions. The grounds are the launch on July 4 of the Hwason-14 ICBM, as well as nuclear weapons tests on September 2, 2017.
"Shouting empty calls for dialogue..."
These are the words of the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China addressed to American partners regarding the role of the United States in normalizing relations on the Korean Peninsula. Beijing supported Pyongyang and called on Washington to unveil a plan for dialogue with North Korea. Why Washington? South Korea is a kind of Ukraine. Seoul is not free to make decisions. The mood in South Korea, its military-political elite, varies. There is no plan yet, but there is hope.
The news that the DPRK resumed dialogue with the Republic of Kazakhstan appeared after the trial launch of the Hwason-8 missile with hypersonic characteristics. Pyongyang is even ready to officially announce the end of the Korean War, to hold an inter-Korean summit. But without participation in all this USA! Speaking at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, South Korean President Moon Jae-in also proposed announcing the end of the war on the Korean Peninsula, but doing so in the presence of the United States and China.
What about Washington? Is the White House interested in watching this favorably? Of course, the State Department lives and acts within the framework of its tasks and powers, the US Department of Defense - its own. It is clear that no one in these two bureaucratic machines even thinks about withdrawing troops from South Korea. Especially the command of the combined forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the USA. On the contrary, on August 16-26, the Pentagon, despite objections from the DPRK and a number of deputies of the ruling Democratic Party, nevertheless conducted military exercises. According to Pyongyang, the combined forces simulated a "preventive strike" on North Korea.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, while in New York at a session of the UN General Assembly, noted that the Trump administration wanted to control the dialogue between the two Korean parties. "I hope that in the new conditions, the administration of J. Biden will be ready for more constructive steps to encourage the resumption of normal contacts between the DPRK and South Korea," the Russian minister said.
Where do the windows look?
What to consider a "renewal incentive" and "normal" contacts depends on where your office windows look. The Americans strongly propose a meeting with representatives of North Korea anywhere, without preconditions. But for what? The democratic White House machine cannot but remember that Donald Trump met three times with the North Korean leader. Let without a result, but how spectacular! Two years have passed since the last summit, and the Democrats still have nothing to show, as in the Iranian direction. What the administration of J. Biden can do is not clear. South Korea is not going to be released from supervision.
"Russia is a country that understands the position of the DPRK well," said But Gyu Doc, special representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan for peace and security on the peninsula before a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, the second this year, held on October 14.
The role of Russia as a moderator is recognized in Pyongyang. The DPRK Foreign Ministry recently announced confidence in further strengthening cooperation with the Russian Federation, called the summit in Vladivostok historic. But on September 24, the CTAC agency issued a statement to Kim Yo Jong, sister of Kim Jong-un. She announced her readiness to discuss normalization if Seoul abandons the "hostile policy."
Washington also holds meetings and consultations. US Special Representative for the DPRK Song Kim visited Tokyo on September 13-15, where he negotiated with South Korean and Japanese colleagues. In early October, he also talked with Igor Morgulov, but by phone. The main issue in which the special representatives of the United States and South Korea are interested is the DPRK nuclear missile program. The United States, stating that they have no "hostile intentions," so far they are talking only about the "complete denuclearization" of the DPRK.
It will not be possible to approach this without restarting the peace process, inter-Korean dialogue, and resuming multilateral cooperation on confidence-building measures. This is not an easy task, given the atmosphere that has changed for the worse and the conditions for dialogue. DPRK leader Kim Jong-un has just said that his country "continues to strengthen self-defense forces to counter hostile forces."
Hua Chunying, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, calling for the lifting of part of the sanctions of the UN Security Council, noted that "the key to breaking the deadlock in the problem of the Korean Peninsula and resuming dialogue is a serious attitude to the legitimate and fair fears of the DPRK and their elimination. The United States should not shout empty calls for dialogue, Washington should demonstrate sincerity and offer an attractive dialogue plan. "
By the beginning of 2020, a year before the end of the dialogue, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has changed for the better. Pyongyang withstood a moratorium on nuclear tests, long-range missile launches. The United States and Kazakhstan refrained from maneuvers. But the issues of economic cooperation promised by the Panmunchom and Pyongyang declarations of 2018 did not advance. The US-DPRK dialogue also kind of froze after the Singapore statement of the leaders of June 12, 2018. The reason is that, according to Sergei Lavrov, Washington and Pyongyang hoped to solve all the problems "in one sitting."
The United States demonstrated, according to the minister, its readiness to coordinate its approaches to the DPRK with Russia. The North and the South were also imbued with respect for Russia's position. Moscow's approaches to the problems of the peninsula, in turn, were determined in cooperation with Beijing. Russia and China in 2017 developed and proposed a "roadmap" for a phased Korean settlement, and in 2019 a "plan of action" for an integrated solution to the problems of the Korean Peninsula. The plan was clarified taking into account the wishes of Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington, the new version was ready by the beginning of 2020. But on June 9, 2020, the DPRK blocked communication lines with South Korea in response to balloons with leaflets flying in from the south. And then blew up a communications office in the border town of Cason. The parties agreed on July 27, 2021 to resume the operation of the direct line. Cross-border contacts with South Korea should also be restored in October.
Turkey in Washington
DPRK leader Kim Jong-un noted that Seoul and Washington are conducting, as before, joint military exercises, developing new types of weapons. Seoul, "speaking of peace, cooperation and prosperity," continues to build military capacity. This is the first. Secondly, the United States and its armed forces in South Korea impede inter-Korean dialogue. Pyongyang calls this barriers to the normalization of relations. This was stated by both the leaders and the DPRK ambassador to Russia Shin Hong Chol.
Pyongyang's readiness to discuss a proposal for dialogue with Washington is in question. All past attempts to negotiate and organize summits have not yielded results. According to some reports, the DPRK resumed operation of the reactor in Yongbyon. This may give her the opportunity to increase her nuclear arsenal. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported this in its annual report.
According to Rand estimates, in a few years Pyongyang can accumulate up to 200 nuclear weapons. These assessments create a sense of urgency in the United States, although there is an opinion that it is more important for the White House to restore the nuclear deal with Iran. There is a saying suitable for this situation: "Too many irons in the fire!" - it will not come out to juggle a large number of projects at the same time, something will certainly fail!
In the face of the quirks of dividing the world into "democracies" and "autocracies," Washington is finding it increasingly difficult to count on Moscow's benevolent attitude to proposals for "deals," including the US deal with North Korea. Deals in Washington - goods perishable, like turkey, fried for Thanksgiving. In connection with this American holiday, the White House even had a tradition - some birds were fried and served at the table, others were given life by the decision of the president himself.
What category does North Korea belong to? It is possible that in the depths of the American soul the dilemma of "roast-grace" applies not only to the DPRK. But Moscow and Beijing have so far confirmed the importance of multilateral contacts. Whether they will resume or not, in what format and with what agenda, you can only guess. And the Korean peninsula, meanwhile, will remain a "dual-use" land - no peace, no war, no dialogue. Only guesses and reflections on intentions.