Taking 71-year-old President Donald Trump seriously, U.N. Under-Secretary General Jeffrey Feltman concluded his four-day meeting in Pyongyang with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho. Ho was the North Korean official who said Sept. 23 that a North Korean missile attack against the U.S. was “inevitable,” turning the situation critical on the Korean Peninsula. While Ri’s rhetoric may be all bluster, Trump takes it seriously, pushing the region dangerously close to war. Feltman had no comments to the press returning to Beijing, not certain how to approach what looks like an ever-likely military conflict. Telling Ri that full implementation of U.N. resolution was needed, knowing Trump won’t settle for anything short of Pyongyang’s nuclear disarmament. Feltman told Ri that the U.N. was committed to a peaceful resolution of the stalemate with the U.S.
Feltman speaks for the U.N. not the U.S. government, officially demanding the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un disarm his nukes and ballistic missiles. “He also said there can only be a diplomatic solution to the situation, achieved through process of sincere dialogue. Time is of the essence,” Feltman told Ri. “They . . . agreed that the current situation was the most tense and dangerous to peace and security issue in the world today,” Feltman said. Feltman didn’t come close to Trump’s unconditional demand that North Korea disband its nukes and ballistic missile arsenal. Ri can’t broach the issue of disarmament with Feltman because it’s not in the cards for North Korean dictator Kim- Jong-un to give up his nukes and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles [ICBMs]. Trump’s the first U.S. president to put his foot down on North Korea’s ever-dangerous nukes and long-range ballistic missiles.
White House and Pentagon officials reject the idea of North Korea as a nuclear power. Russia and China have accepted Pyongyang as having an operation nuke-tipped ICBM. U.S. officials still believe Kim does not have an operational nuke-ready ICBM to hit the United States. With Ri declaring Sept. 23 at the U.N. it’s “inevitable” North Korea’s nukes would hit the U.S., Trump must get unconditional disarmament or go to war. Feltman believes there’s still a diplomatic process that can prevent armed conflict, but, without unilateral disarmament, it’s not possible. North Korea’s official state news agency KCNA said it wanted to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula but largely blamed the U.S. for escalating tensions. North Korea doesn’t acknowledge that U.S. sanctions and White House demands on Pyongyang to disarm are directly related to weapons of mass destruction.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, faced with her own governing problems, asked to mediate the U.S.-North Korea crisis. “The United Nations expressed concerns over the heightened situation on the Korean Peninsula and expressed willingness to work on easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula in accordance with the U.N. Charter which is on international peace and security,” said KCNA. North Korea believes its within its rights to build ICBMs and nuclear warheads. North Korea justifies its nukes and ballistic missile program to prevent a U.S. invasion, despite the fact the U.S. hasn’t invaded since the July 27, 1953, the end of the Korean War. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed pessimism about the outcome. “But at the same time, it can be seen that hopes for the peace have yet to be extinguished. The prospects of negotiation will exist, and the option of resorting to force optimistic,” said China’s Foreign Minister.
North Korea’s too cut off from the outside world to comprehend the gravity of the situation. Feltman tried his best to get through to Ri but knows that Kim won’t disarm under any circumstances. When Ri expressed pessimism, it’s because he knows Kim’s position on disarmament. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sept. 5 that Kim would rather “eat grass” than give up his nukes and ICBMs. Ri Knows Kim’s position on disarming and can’t find any reason for optimism. Trump’s made clear that it won’t let Kim get and nuke-ready ICBM with which to hit the U.S. homeland. Trump’s only option to disarm North Korea at this point is a military option. None to the diplomacy expects to change Kim’s mind on his weapons of mass destruction. Unlike Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein before the March 20, 2007 Iraq War, Kim Jong-un really does have nuclear weapons.
U.N. officials won’t talk Trump out of demanding North Korea disarm its nukes and ballistic missiles or face a U.S. military attack. Trump won’t let Kim get a nuke-tipped ICBM capable to hitting the U.S. homeland. Unlike China, Russia and Europe, the U.S. can’t count on deterrence if Kim gets his hands on an operational nuke-ready ICBM. Ri told the European Union Nov. 8 to “relax,” its nuclear arsenal isn’t intended for Europe, only the United States. NATO Secretary-Generan Jens Stotenberg told Ri that NATO was threatened, like the U.S, with North Korean nukes and ballistic missiles. Saying the outlook was “not optimistic,” Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Yi still gives diplomacy a chance. “The prospects for negotiations still exist, and this option of resorting to force cannot be accepted,” said Yi, knowing the window for diplomacy has all but closed.