It has emerged that the United States of America rejected a proposal for peace talks with North Korea before the latter’s hydrogen bomb test, which prompted international condemnations.
According to Reuters, North Korea’s proposal was aimed at discussing a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War which has divided the Korean peninsula since the 1950s.
In June 1950, an armed conflict broke out between the Communist-backed North Korea, and the Western-backed South Korea. The war ended in July 1953, resulting in a military stalemate between the two countries. Since then, relations between the two countries have remained hostile. The war also ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. It was signed by the United States and representing United Nations forces, the North Korean military, and the Chinese army.
The U.S. has officially admitted that it indeed rejected the peace talks with North Korea. State Department spokesman John Kirby, said the U.S. had rejected North Korea’s proposal because it didn’t include denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
After North Korea carried out its nuclear test in January this year, it was rumored that the U.S. had prior knowledge, and had wanted to stop it. Wall Street Journal alleged that the White House had even secretly agreed to peace talks just before North Korea’s latest nuclear bomb test.
Wall Street cited unnamed White House officials familiar with secret events between the U.S. and North Korea, as saying that the Obama administration dropped its condition that North Korea take steps to curtail its nuclear weaponry before any peace talks take place. Instead, the U.S. called for North Korea’s atomic weapons program to be just one part of the discussion. According to Wall Street, North Korea rejected this demand by the White House, and on January 6, it carried out the hydrogen bomb test in the Korean peninsula.
But Kirby said in a statement to reporter,s in reaction to the publication by Wall Street, that it was the US who turned down the proposal by North Korea because it failed to address the US’s expectations in the Korean peninsula.
“To be clear, it was the North Koreans who proposed discussing a peace treaty. We carefully considered their proposal, and made clear that denuclearization had to be part of any such discussion. The North rejected our response. Our response to the NK proposal was consistent with our longstanding focus on denuclearization”, Mr Kirby said.
Until this allegation by the Wall Street, the Obama administration had pretended not to have anything to do with the regime in North Korea. The White House has publicly said the regime in North Korea is a threat to world peace, trying to whip up public opinion in the U.S. against North Korea. Even after the nuclear test, the U.S. advocated for more international sanctions against North Korea.
According to critics of the Obama administration, the White House admitted to having rejected the North Korea’s peace proposal because it wanted to save face.
Eastern political commentators have said in the past, that North Korea has long sought a peace treaty with the U.S. and other parties, since the end of the Korean War. North Korea has also demanded an end to a joint military exercises by South Korea and the United States. It is said the U.S. has about 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, thus increasing tensions between the North and the South in the region.
In 2015, North Korea and South Korea focused their efforts on secret military build-ups and exercises. Observers said the two countries were preparing for future conflict, and might soon go back to war.
On January 6, North Korea tested a nuclear device it claimed was a hydrogen bomb, provoking condemnations by many countries, including China. In the following weeks after testing the nuclear device, it launched a long-range rocket carrying what it called a satellite.
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