The US State Department confirmed over the weekend that they rejected a North Korean proposal for peace talks that was made just days before the nation’s latest nuclear weapons test, the latest in a long line of attempts aimed at ending the Korean War, technically still ongoing from 1950.
The State Department attempted to spin their own rejection as a North Korean rejection, saying they demanded North Korea agree to nuclear disarmament as part of the talks on ending the war. Since the North Koreans have long insisted they want peace first, and disarmament after, the US is claiming that the North both proposed, and rejected, the talks.
Analysts say that it was unsurprising that North Korea didn’t accept the counter-proposal, as it believes the only leverage it has on proposing peace talks is its nuclear development, and doesn’t want to give that up without assuring that the peace deal is coming along with it.
The US, by contrast,, has long insisted that it won’t “reward” North Korea with peace while it continues to possess a nuclear weapons program. The view that being not in a state of war is a gift the US can bestow only if it is placated, however, seems a recipe for keeping the war going for decades more.