The United States and its allies in East Asia are rightfully demanding “meaningful actions towards denuclearization” before entering into any negotiations. The North Koreans meanwhile are only offering negotiations without preconditions. The conundrum the international community is about to face in the weeks and months ahead, is to find a diplomatic solution when the political fronts are geared towards conflict.
But in a world in which cooperation is largely seen as more beneficial than confrontation, the North Korean offer is paradoxically gaining momentum with every new erupting crisis. As in all the years before, President Obama’s policy of "strategic patience" will come under intense scrutiny. Not only by those who believe that any talk is better than being silent, but also by those who seek to avert a possible military escalation.
However, as painful as it may sound the policy of "strategic patience" appears to be the only feasible way to make the North Koreans comply with their obligations to denuclearize. The South Korean government is still learning this lesson the hard way. From the tedious negotiations on reopening the Kaesong Industrial Complex to the abrupt cancelling of cross-border family reunions, Seoul's policy of "trust building" with Pyongyang has been nothing but a rocky road with little to show.
the North Korean offer is paradoxically gaining momentum with every new erupting crisis