China and Russia have long urged North Korea to put its weapons programme on hold and come to the negotiating table. This was reiterated yesterday at the joint meeting between the Presidents of Russia and China.
China and Russia have also asked the United States to put the delivery of missiles to the Korean peninsula on hold and refrain from conducting provocative military drills with its South Korean partners in the region.
Neither side has listened.
Of course the US and North Korea approach their similar “Fu*k you” attitude from a different perspective.
North Koreans remember how the United States decimated their country during the Korean War, a conflict which legally is still ongoing.
In 1952 Pyongyang was reduced to total rubble and thousands died.
It is not difficult to see how and why North Korean leaders from Kim Il-Sung up to the present leader Kim Jong-Un developed a mentality which prioritised security and national defence above all other considerations. The fact that the Korean War has not officially ended goes a long way in explaining why North Korea remains on a permanent war footing.
It also explains why North Korea is often reticent to listen to anyone, even countries like Russia and China who have never meant North Korea harm and generally wish the North Korean people only the best.
The United States is a different story entirely. No nation in the world threatens the US and few could even if they wanted to. While of course Russia and China could if they wanted to, they do not, they are responsible super-powers. The only real threat the US faces is that of blow-back from the international terrorism they fomented and aided in the Middle East. Donald Trump promised to change this and many are still optimistic that he will. Time will tell in this respect.
However, when it comes to America’s policy towards Asia, things have become worse. Donald Trump’s patronising Tweets asking China to ‘deal with’ North Korea and then reprimanding China when Beijing doesn’t dance to the American tune, have made US-China relations sink to a new low.
This arrogant attitude has also gone a long way in convincing the sovereignty minded President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte to forgo his country’s previously dependant relationship with the US and turn to China as a super-power in Asia which Philippines can speak to in a claimant of mutual respect in spite of China’s might.
Now, in launching several missiles as a response to North Korea’s successful launch of an intermediate range ballistic missile, America has sent a message less to North Korea than to China and Russia. The message is put simply: “fu*k you”.
While both North Korea and the United States ought to listen to two of the worlds three super-powers and which both border North Korea at that, neither are doing so. Both are sticking their middle finger up at the wider world.
But what is America’s excuse? If North Korea has reason to remain fearful of war and seeks to take whatever precautions necessary to defend its sovereignty, why should America whose sovereignty is threatened by no-one except its own politicians who bow their heads to foreign money from the Middle East, take such an attitude?
The answer is that America has put its hegemonic ambitions above common sense and certainly above any notion that peace is a preferable state to conflict and war.
It is still not clear if yesterdays missile launches by the US and its South Korean partners were ordered by Donald Trump. what is clear is that as President, Trump will have to explain to Vladimir Putin when they meet on Friday, just why the United States went ahead with its tests when both China and Russia explicitly said that they want North Korea, South Korea and the United States to refrain from such activity.
Trump will have to come up with something better than “Fu*k you” when he meets the Russian President. That being said, there is no use for being polite in person, as Trump allegedly was to Chinese President Xi Jinping, when American policy smacks of the rudest, counter-productive form of arrogance imaginable.