UNITED NATIONS – The Unites States dismissed the latest launch as a “joke” at a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York, the most realistic bet to reach denuclearization of the Korean peninsula after these countries engage in frantic marathon talks to reach the goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula.
The U.S. was not responding well to the latest provocation in front of the Security Council, which is dominated by U.S. allies South Korea and Japan. Japan told the U.S. at the start of the council meeting that they are ready to commit to take strong measures against North Korea in reaction to the latest provocation.
The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, also urged the Security Council to unite against North Korea.
The launch of a missile at 0800 on Friday morning has become an irritant and shame to South Korea. This comes amid the flurry of meetings between North Korean negotiators and U.S. government officials, as well as Moon Jae-in’s efforts to rally support for his initiative to engage the North.
Moon said at the U.N. General Assembly that those meetings with the U.S. will be different as it is for the first time that there are “serious negotiations” and “will not be fun” but rather will be serious.
North Korea has also engaged in negotiations with China to get them to sanction the travel to South Korea and Japan of the leader of North Korea’s government.
In an indication of discord at the Security Council meeting over the latest provocation, North Korea’s U.N. ambassador, Ja Song Nam, chided the U.S. administration and Republican congressmen for using rhetoric that was of “extremely dangerous point.”
During the latest trilateral meeting between Moon, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, Kim Jong Un and Xi committed to having “complete denuclearization” in North Korea, to reopening a military hotline with South Korea, and to a general-level meeting.
Trump welcomed this move as a meaningful positive step, but he warned that if North Korea steps back from its undertaking the U.S. would act accordingly to protect itself.
South Korea and Japan have differed with the U.S. administration on the threats posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons, but the expectation is that Trump will decide to change his stated policy of “strategic patience” with the North.