On Sunday, the United States and South Korea announced that they would postpone military drills in an effort to revive a stalling peace process with North Korea, officially the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” The talks are intended to convince the North Korean government to abandon its nuclear weapons program. North Korea is believed to have developed an arsenal with a range between 20-60 nuclear weapons and enough uranium to develop several more bombs. At the end of last month, North Korea fired two short-range projectiles in its first weapons testing since the stalling of talks. International United Nations Watch (IUNW) calls on the UN to join the peace talks between North Korea and the United States.
The “Combined Flying Training Events” were intended as a series of air combat drills with U.S. and South Korean war planes. Before they were postponed, the drills had already been reduced from the previous year. However, the U.S. government stated that the U.S. and South Korean would remain alert. The North Korean government viewed the drills as preparations for invasion, “throwing cold water” over negotiations. A few days before the drills were called off, the North Korean envoy Kim Myong-gil had accused U.S.’s proposals to resume negotiations in December to be a “trick to earn time.” Whether peace talks will now be resumed remain unclear as of yet.
The envoy emphasized his suspicions of U.S. motivations, citing the U.S. sending the request to a third party, and expressed unwillingness to resume talks unless the U.S. was willing to meet North Korean demands, such as lifting all major United Nations sanctions from the country in return for dismantling part of its nuclear program. The U.S. has insisted on a complete and immediate termination of the nuclear program before lifting any sanctions, while North Korea has expressed interest in a slower and more gradual dismantling. Additionally, international sanctions and the U.S.’s military threats in the form of military drills have been labeled by North Korea as a hostile policy. As the year is running to its close, it is essential that the United Nations joins the negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea. With UN sanctions and weapons of mass destruction at the heart of the talks, the UN should not be a bystander in this important international issue. With the potential for a new round of negotiations coming up, the UN must join the talks and represent the interests of the international community.