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jake sullivan | nuclear stress test | North Korea nuclear stress test | Pyongyang has rejected this sincere outreach

U.S. preparing more sanctions on North Korea, Sullivan says 

North Korea has said denuclearisation is off the table and accused the U.S. and its allies of pursuing “hostile” policies, including sanctions, that have left it no choice but to expand its military.

The United States is working on a new round of sanctions against North Korea, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Thursday, as Pyongyang forges ahead with banned missile development and signals a possible new nuclear test.

“We have a new set of sanctions measures coming forward as we speak,” he told a conference in Seoul organized by the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies and the South Korean JoongAng media group

Sullivan, who spoke via live video link, did not elaborate but said Washington was committed to using pressure and diplomacy to entice North Korea into giving up its nuclear arsenal.
The “North Star” of US Joe Biden‘s North Korea policy is the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and it remains steadfast in pursuing that goal while being flexible in working with partners on how to achieve it, he said.
He pointed to increased cooperation between the United States, South Korea, and Japan, which have increased joint military drills. The United States is also working on a more “visible” regional presence of its strategic assets, Sullivan said, referring to major weapons such as aircraft carriers and long-range bombers.
North Korea has said denuclearization is off the table and accused the United States and its allies of pursuing “hostile” policies, including sanctions, that have left it no choice but to expand its military.
Sullivan said Washington had no ill intent toward North Korea and is open to talks without preconditions.
“Pyongyang has rejected this sincere outreach,” he said.
The last round of US sanctions in October targeted two Singapore-registered companies and a Marshall Islands-registered firm that Washington said supported Pyongyang’s weapons programs and its military.
Decades of US-led sanctions have not halted North Korea’s increasingly sophisticated missile and nuclear weapon programs, and China and Russia have blocked recent efforts to impose more United Nations sanctions, saying they should instead be eased to jumpstart talks and avoid humanitarian harm.
Sullivan said the administration has no illusions about the challenges, but that the United States remained committed to holding North Korea accountable.
clear tests. Less than a year after Trump called Kim “rocket man” and warned that the U.S. would “totally destroy North Korea” if it had to defend itself or its allies, he said the North Korean leader was “very honorable” and “very open.”
This cycle of threats, talks, and weapons tests is familiar territory for the United States and North Korea. Here, we examine the turbulent history between the two countries.
Early Ambitions
North Korea’s quest for a nuclear weapon can be traced back decades to the Korean War.
“They felt that they needed to develop a capability that would deter an American attack,” said Duyeon Kim, a visiting senior fellow at the Seoul-based Korean Peninsula Future Forum.
The fear was not unfounded. In 1950, President Harry Truman said there was “active consideration” of using the atomic bomb in the conflict. “Ever since the Korean War, they always assumed that Washington would attack them any day and wipe them out,” Kim said. “The only way for them to survive and not get attacked would be to develop the most powerful weapon on Earth, which would be the nuclear bomb.”
With the help of the Soviet Union, North Korea began work on a nuclear complex, and in the early 1980s, built its first power plant, Yongbyon.
In these early days, Pyongyang insisted that its aims were peaceful. It became a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1985 and signed an agreement in 1991 with its rival South Korea in which both countries agreed not to produce or use nuclear weapons. But as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) pressed for access to the North’s nuclear waste sites, the country warned that it would withdraw from the NPT.
1994-2001: Clinton Tries for a Deal
In early 1994, North Korea threatened to reprocess fuel rods from its nuclear reactor, a step that would give it enough weapons-grade plutonium for five or six nuclear weapons. The Clinton administration considered various responses, including a strike on the Yongbyon facility, but eventually chose to negotiate with Pyongyang. Amid the crisis, Kim Il-sung — the founding dictator of North Korea, who ruled for more than four decades — died. His son, Kim Jong Il, took over as leader.
October 1994, negotiations resulted in a deal known as the Agreed Framework. Under the framework, North Korea agreed to freeze and eventually dismantle its nuclear facilities, in exchange for a move toward normalizing relations with the United States. North Korea would also receive shipments of fuel oil and assistance with constructing light-water reactor power plants (which would have safeguards to ensure that fuel could not be diverted to weapons).
“The North Koreans agreed to the deal because there was a shift in the geopolitical situation in the late 1980s, early 1990s,” said Joel Wit, a senior fellow at the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and one of the negotiators of the Agreed Framework.
“First of all, they lost the Soviet Union as their main ally, and secondly, the Chinese were shifting towards establishing better relations with South Korea,” Wit said. “And so the North Koreans made a strategic decision that if they could secure better relations with the United States, they were willing to pay the price. And the price was, of course, their nuclear program.”
North Korea shut down its nuclear reactor and stalled the construction of two others. In 1998, it test-fired an intermediate-range missile — the Taepo Dong-1, with an estimated range of 900 to 1,800 miles — that failed. Nevertheless, negotiations kept on. North Korea agreed to a moratorium on testing medium- and long-range missiles as long as talks with the U.S. continued.
Madeleine Albright, then the secretary of state, visited North Korea’s capital in 2000 and met Kim Jong Il. The North Koreans hoped Clinton would also visit before he left office, moving North Korea and the United States closer to normalizing relations. But time ran out with the end of the Clinton presidency.



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