You never miss the water till the well runs dry. Slightly more than a year after the historical New Year statement by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in which he said he was ready to negotiate with the United States of America and South Korea, the world has forgotten what hostile rhetoric inherent to once irreconcilable rivals is like.
However, a few days ago Kim Jong Un suddenly said at a session of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea that Pyongyang was ready to deliver a strike on the counties that by imposing sanctions want to bring the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to its knees. "We need to more vigorously advance socialist construction (…) under the uplifted banner of self-reliance, so as to deal a telling blow to the hostile forces who go with bloodshot eyes miscalculating that sanctions can bring the DPRK to its knees," he said.
Kim Jong Un once said that the national economy should be independent and self-reliant as far as technologies and resources are concerned.
It is worth noting that the statement was made shortly after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said that another American-North Korean summit could take place shortly.
What does it mean? Is it Pyongyang's retreat from the earlier chosen political line? It is hardly so… It is likely to show the discontent of the North Korean leadership about the fact that the economic sanctions weren't dropped despite expectations.
South Korean leader Moon Jae-in also has failed to convince Trump that a partial lifting of sanctions from North Korea is feasible. China and Russia also have failed to help here…
However, despite the failure of the Hanoi summit and harsh Pyongyang's statement, the South Korean president is in every way trying to save the peace process on and surrounding the Korean Peninsula that started abruptly and have been developing rampantly. Moon Jae-in doesn’t want to lose the achieved results and is trying to preserve dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang. He acknowledges the unsurmountable fact that it is impossible to implement any program on the peninsula and in the region without the US support.
And from this point of view, it is interesting to have a look at his yet another trip to Washington, where he, according to American media reports, managed to secure a small but significant victory. It seems that Moon Jae-in managed to convince obstinate Trump of something.
The US and South Korean leaders discussed mainly North Korea and touched on bilateral problems in the American capital. The readiness of the negotiators not to escalate the situation and to have business with North Korea in a reserved manner can clearly be seen in a press release that the White House circulated in the wake of the visit.
The materials published after the summit many times mentioned "good" personal relations between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, as well as the US president's readiness to have the third meeting with the North Korean leader in return to a similar readiness that Kim expressed at the aforementioned session.
As to results of the Hanoi summit, the leaders of the USA and South Korea yet again stressed that despite the absence of concrete agreements, the meeting was important.
The North Korean leader has echoed his partners, saying that he would patiently wait for the time when the USA makes a "wise" decision "to change the negotiations strategy," which would allow to hold a new summit.
Of course, he has underlined in a traditionally categorical manner that otherwise prospects of solving the nuclear issue would be "dim and rather dangerous." But it comes clear that Pyongyang is trying to keep the atmosphere of be it fragile but still peace and is ready for further contacts with the USA.
Moon Jae-in and Trump also touched on inter-Korean economic relations at the Washington negotiations. They see eye to eye that should they improve, it would have a positive influence on the denuclearization negotiations.
But persistent Trump once again highlighted in this connection the need for sanctions pressure on the DPRK, noting, however, that additional sanctions were not on the agenda. The US president is still convinced that the development of economic cooperation between the South and the North should go hand in hand with the denuclearization process.
At the same time, he thinks that it is possible and necessary to further discuss Seoul's mediating plan to resolve the situation surrounding the DPRK.
Such a development of the situation, just as the positions of the sides in this regard, cannot fail to be treated positively, since peace is maintained on the Korean Peninsula. However, it's becoming more clear that the involvement of other parties concerned would add not only another impetus to this process but would make it more secure.
As for Russia, its leadership has many times said that it would be satisfied with any format of negotiations on Korea until it is effective. But one should keep in mind that Russia has its own well-justified interests in this regard.