Leer en Español
North Korea avoids contact with the United States over nuclear weaponry and will not respond until Washington abandons its “hostile policies,” according to Choe Son Hui top North Korean diplomat.
The statements come in the midst of the visit of Secretary Antony Blinken to Seoul, who warned about the dangers of the Chinese Communist Party’s advance.
In addition, Blinken denounced human rights violations against North Korean citizens by the communist regime headed by Kim Jong Un, “North Korea’s authoritarian regime continues to commit widespread and systemic abuses against its own people.”
The statements by North Korean diplomacy add to those offered by Kim Yo Jong, sister of leader Kim Jong un, who threatened Washington in the face of the visit of senior American officials to the region and recent military exercises in the Indo-Pacific, “If the United States wants to sleep in peace for the next four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink in its first step.”
Pyongyang’s response has narrative similarities to those used by senior Beijing officials. The two regimes for example, seek equal treatment with America, pushing for the easing of sanctions they see as unfair.
“For a dialogue to be established, an atmosphere must be created for both sides to exchange words on an equal footing,” Choe Son Hui said.
Communism is instability for Asia-Pacific
The Chinese Communist Party’s advance and North Korea’s nuclear development pose a major challenge to peace and stability in Asia. The communist regimes seek dialogues of equality with Western countries while imposing an agenda to achieve their strategic goals, against the free nations of the region.
Blinken insists that China should intercede with Pyongyang, hoping that the Chinese Communist Party will weaken one of its main allies. North Korea and Cuba are the two main supporters of China’s repressive policies.
Military maneuvers in South Korea and Japan by members of the U.S. Navy in conjunction with allied U.S. armies constantly annoy politicians in Beijing and Pyongyang.
China, for example, in a clear defense of Pyongyang, has restrained Seoul from limiting its military cooperation with Washington and imposed aggressive tariffs on Korean products. In addition, some private South Korean companies have received threats from China for expressing messages in favor of the South Korean authorities.
The hostile environment created by the two regimes affects private investment due to the fear of a possible conflict in the Indo-Pacific. Investors under pressure in Hong Kong, pressure on Taiwan and the constant theft of technology by China increase the risk of foreign investment in the region.
North Korea in trouble over COVID-19 pandemic
In the report presented by Kim Jong Un at the Eighth Workers’ Party Congress in 2021, he outlined a series of achievements and challenges at the general level, where he highlighted scientific, energy and nuclear development as pillars for the country.
COVID-19 hit North Korea’s gross domestic product with an 8.5% reduction in 2020, in what would be the largest economic contraction since 1990, according to Fitch Solutions.
The economic crisis has led Pyongyang to continue cyber thefts. During the Covid-19 pandemic, North Korea has made more than $300 million from systematic thefts by hackers on the network.
Trade and investment flows are controlled by the government and are affected by economic sanctions especially driven by the United States, a sharp drop in trade due to border closures to control COVID-19 and rising food costs, all of which puts a strain on the communist regime that depends on China for its foreign trade.
Moreover, the country has suffered severe flooding that destroyed crops, roads and bridges. “The government continued to refuse international diplomatic engagement and repeatedly turned down offers of international aid,” according to Human Rights Watch.
However, Blinken emphasized China’s role in the denuclearization of North Korea keeping in mind that the two communist regimes are strong allies, but that Beijing is subject to international regulations due to its obligation to the United Nations.
The beneficiaries of North Korea’s nuclear power
Iran and North Korea for their part “cooperate in the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.”
The two countries have a long history of missile cooperation, for example “Iran acquired Scud missiles from North Korea during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.”
China for its part helps Pyongyang evade sanctions through cyber trainings to “launder money that they’ve somehow obtained or that they want to bring the regime, or that they’ve stolen, helping them move goods,” said John Demers, the 2020 assistant attorney general for national security.
“There is support through the Chinese cyber infrastructure, there is likely support in terms of sharing expertise and training from the Chinese side,” added Demers, who also investigated North Korean agents involved in cyber theft.
Camilo Bello is a consultant focused on Asia Pacific studies and has experience in strategic management. He has studied law in Colombia and is currently pursuing studies in language and history at National Taiwan Normal University. He has collaborated with Students for Freedom in Hong Kong and Taiwan // Camilo es consultor enfocado en estudios de Asia Pacífico y experiencia en gestión estratégica. Cuenta con estudios en Derecho en Colombia y actualmente se encuentra realizando estudios en lenguaje e historia en National Taiwan Normal University. Colaborador de Estudiantes por la Libertad en Hong Kong y Taiwán