“It would not be conducive to addressing the issue if the United States miscalculates our peace-loving intention as a sign of ‘weakness’ and continues to pursue its pressure and military threats against our regime,” a North Korean foreign ministry official said on Sunday. North Korea, which has refrained from attacking the United States in recent weeks amid preparations for the much-anticipated Trump-Kim summit, has resumed criticizing the Trump administration publicly.
In Washington, stricter terms about denuclearization are being discussed. Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton emphasized the goal of achieving complete and permanent dismantlement of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction, including all nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, biological and chemical weapons, and related programs. Bolton reiterated what U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last Wednesday, that is, Trump’s administration’s commitment to the permanent, verifiable, irreversible dismantling of the regime’s all weapons, including biological and chemical weapons this time. So far, Seoul and Washington were extremely careful about mentioning North Korea’s biological weapons and the focus was only placed on its nuclear disarmament.
The U.S. Department of State reaffirmed that North Korean satellite launches using technologies relating to ballistic missiles violated the UN resolutions. Back in February 2012, Pyongyang reached an agreement with Washington to suspend nuclear weapons and missile test. Two months later, however, ahead of the birth anniversary of the regime’s founding father Kim Il Sung, North Korea launched another long-range missile that it said delivered a satellite into space, which resulting in the United Nations’ unanimous decision to impose sanctions against North Korea. The regime conducted its third nuclear test the following year, posing grave threat to the security surrounding the Korean Peninsula. Therefore, it is only natural that Washington takes a firm stand on denuclearization never to repeat past mistakes.
We have many challenges ahead to tackle North Korea’s nuclear problem. But with the solid coordination among the United States, South Korea and the international community, there is no reason not to achieve permanent denuclearization. If North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s pledge to take the path to peace is real, why would he ever need biological and chemical weapons? Bear in mind the idea that it would be better not to raise any issues other than nuclear program could lead to disagreement, undermining a close coordination between Seoul and Washington. A small hole can sink a big ship. Chemical weapons must not be allowed in any circumstance and no one in this country should become the victims of horrific weapons like Syrian children.