US Warns North Korea Against ‘Ill-Advised Behavior’

State Dept dismisses North Korea's year-end deadline

Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell followed up Wednesday’s UN Security Council meeting on North Korea by warning the North against any “ill-advised behavior” in the lead-up to their year-end deadline for getting talks restarted.

Stilwell appeared dismissive of the deadline, saying “we have heard threats before.” North Korea didn’t actually threaten anything, but suggested if the US couldn’t come up with a plan to get back to the table, they probably weren’t going to.

The US has long said they don’t consider the deadline a real thing, though at the same time US officials have said they aren’t going to give North Korea forever to agree to return to talks on American terms.

All of this points to why the two sides have not returned to talks in months. North Korea has said they’ll only hold talks if the US agrees to a new, more equitable approach, and the US has done everything to suggest that’s not even an option.

Naturally, any deadline is arbitrary and either side could agree to talks immediately, but after so many months of reiterating their conflicting positions, there is less and less sign that anyone is going to give even an inch to make talks happen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.