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What Pyongyang should do

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31.01.2017
By Tong Kim

North Korea no longer needs to do something provocative to get attention. It is constantly being watched because of its nuclear and missile development programs, which are discussed in capitals in Asia, the United States, and Europe. Rex Tillerson, nominee for secretary of state, expressed the conventional hardline view of the DPRK at his Senate confirmation hearing last Tuesday.

Pointing to North Korea as "a grave threat to the world because of its refusal to conform to international norms," and denounced China's "empty promises" to comply with U.N. sanctions. Tillerson said, "If China is not going to comply with sanctions, it is appropriate for us to pressure them to comply."

The nominee's approach to ending the North Korean nuclear issue will be "a long term plan" by "closing gaps" in sanction implementation and "visiting other areas and ways of closing off access of North Korea to materials that enable them to develop the capability and the delivery system." Tillerson also said he would consider secondary sanctions on Chinese companies trading with the North if found violating existing sanctions.

The next would-be secretary of state did not specify how and what new pressure he would impose on China to control Pyongyang's weapons programs. At the first press conference since his election in November, Donald Trump did not discuss the DPRK at all. The transition team does not seem to have any policy specifics.

At this point, it is still not clear what kind of an overall North Korea policy would be in place for the new........

© The Korea Times