US Present-elect Joe Biden’s potential national security advisers may ecommend ratcheting up pressure on North Korea, but such moves could backfire and a new strategy may be necessary.
With the new Biden national security team yet to take shape, experts said the advisers understand the importance of sanctions enforcement to engage Pyongyang in talks.
“These advisers believe Trump squandered the reputational weight of the presidency by meeting Kim Jong-un before securing concrete steps toward denuclearization or improvements in human rights,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul.
Easley was referring to past statements from Tony Blinken and Jake Sullivan, who have both been linked to the post of national security adviser for Biden.
Easley noted that because of China -- an unwilling US rival hesitant to help pressure the North -- Biden could try something else.
As presidential nominee, Biden had publicly showed that he would make the alliance with South Korea stronger in a gesture understood to give Seoul more breathing room to put together a more coordinated North Korea policy.
Seoul is a supporter of engagement, whereas Washington is more eager to see evidence of disarmament before sanctions relief.
Other experts warned against ratcheting up pressure on Pyongyang to bring it to its knees.
In order to avoid such a scenario, Seoul should make clear its objective of establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula through drawing Pyongyang back into diplomacy with offers of dialogue, according to Kazianis.
Surce: Korea Herald