While Kim Jong Un may put on quite the air of unpredictability, the North Korean government’s simple and inflammatory diplomatic strategy is as transparent as your car’s windshield.
The tiny hermit kingdom in Asia has been at work with South Korea, technically, for decades, although a vast majority of that time has been spent in a cold ceasefire. The isolationist leanings of North Korea has created an opportunity for the bizarre, nepotistic dictatorship to plot their own course when it comes to interacting with the rest of the civilized world – something that they’ve taken to absurd levels of rhetorical threats in recent years.
The basic pattern of North Korea diplomacy seems to be the same year after year: Begin economically sliding due to their horrific, slavery-like version of communism, then create a massive scene with nuclear tests and missile launches. This gets the world’s attention, and possibly finds an economic sanction or two. Then, after the world starts taking a closer look at the nonsense that North Korea perpetuates, it’s leadership will back off of its military posturing in order to reverse whatever economic damage has been done.
This unsustainable adjusting of the tiny nation’s footprint in the international community will never end with North Korea quietly becoming some sort of first world country, but it’s the only strategy that the regime has employed with any success over the course of the last 5 decades.
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Now it seems that we are entering the conciliatory phase of this predictable plan, with North Korea now offering to open a dialogue with their mortal enemies in the south.
“Kim Jong Un on Monday warned the United States he has a ‘nuclear button’ on his desk ready for use if North Korea is threatened, but offered an olive branch to South Korea, saying he was ‘open to dialogue’ with Seoul.
“After a year dominated by fiery rhetoric and escalating tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, Kim used his televised New Year’s Day speech to declare North Korea ‘a peace-loving and responsible nuclear power’ and call for lower military tensions and improved ties with the South.
“‘When it comes to North-South relations, we should lower the military tensions on the Korean Peninsula to create a peaceful environment,’ Kim said. ‘Both the North and the South should make efforts.’
“Kim said he would consider sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics Games to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February.
“‘North Korea’s participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to showcase the national pride and we wish the Games will be a success. Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility,’ Kim said.”
There are two distinct possibilities that may have caused this reversal by Pyongyang.
First, it could be that the dire economic situation in North Korea has reached critical mass, with an epidemic of poverty and famine on the horizon for which Kim Jong Un will sacrifice a bit of pride to avoid.
Secondly, however, is the possibility that the U.S. show of force sitting off of the coast of North Korea was enough to deter the dainty despot from continuing to taunt American President Donald Trump.