North Korea tells its people to prepare for the worst, as it becomes clear that its negotiations with the Trump administration are not going anywhere.
In a blog book published on Sunday, former North Korean diplomat Thae Yong-ho (who defeated in 2016) noted that Pyongyang has written his messages to "unprecedented" levels and tells his ca. 26 million citizens can live on "water and air" and are likely to face "a harder time than the hardship" in the 90s. "
This directive is being postponed again by the Trump administration's discombobulated North Korea policy. Last week, President Donald Trump issued a confusing tweet on sanction aid to North Korea, whereby the White House, Treasury Department and Pentagon scrambled to find out what He talked about.
"It was announced today by the US Treasury that further major sanctions will be added to the already existing sanctions in North Korea," he wrote. "I have today ordered the withdrawal of these additional sanctions!" [1
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2019
Prior to this tweet, Trump had said very little about negotiations to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program if The February Hanoi Summit – The second round of failed talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump's comments were an abrupt departure from the "maximum pressure" strategy the administration claimed would guarantee a road to victory. They also brought chaos across the administration, as no new sanctions had been imposed on Trump's tweet.
The last sanctions aimed at Chinese shipping companies, which the US Treasury Department claimed, help North Korea to bypass sanctions, was announced Thursday and was enthusiastically supported by National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Important Actions Today from @USTreasury ; The maritime sector must do more to stop North Korea's illegal shipping practices. Everyone should record and review their own activities to ensure that they are not involved in North Korea's sanctions fraud. https://t.co/AVnOPrWbH6
– John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) March 21, 2019
It was not immediately clear whether Trump's tweet was related to these sanctions. According to CNBC, the Pentagon and the Treasury Department both declined to clarify poetry requests to the White House.
Friday's press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders simply said: "President Trump likes President Kim and he does not think these sanctions will be necessary."
An American official told NBC News on Friday, "Trump's tweet was not about yesterday's sanctions. It was about new major sanctions that had not yet been announced, but apparently were imminent."
The Prime Minister has not yet released any statement in response to the President's tweet.
Experts say the confusion is emblematic of the president's major foreign policy strategy.
"This is a reflection of something that has been true all the time: The president and his team are on quite separate tracks when it comes to North Korea," said Mintaro Oba, a former diplomatic focus on Korea.
Speaking to ThinkProgress, he said that Trump was "primarily focused on his personal image."
"He still hopes continued engagement with North Korea will make him act as the great dealmaker he claims to be. His advisers are more skeptical of diplomacy and have greater faith in the press force through sanctions," Oba said.
Both posts added that they had their "benefits", but the blatant confusion and contradiction in administration is detrimental.
"It seems your policy is totally uncoordinated and you weren't in the loop at first."
Daryl Kimball, CEO of the Arms Control Association told ThinkProgress that the White House North Korea strategy is "very poorly coordinated" and demonstrates "incredibly incompetent political implementation" which makes it difficult to achieve progress in denuclearisation and peace on the Korean Peninsula.
"" Trump is trying to tell Kim Jong-un that he wants to maintain a stable course, and at present it does not need to tighten existing sanctions – which John Bolton does not consider necessary at this time, "he added. February 19, Hanoi summit between Trump and Kim did not stand in the way of progress, the president claimed he had to "go" because Pyongyang demanded total sanction, while the North Koreans immediately held a press conference contrary to the President's statement, saying that they had pursued a more gradual approach.
It is impossible to know what actually happened. As with the first meeting between Trump in Kim, which took place in Singapore in June of June, there is no given some transcripts of the meeting.
Since last week, the negotiations between the two countries had stopped after North Korea stated that it was stopping the negotiations with the United States, and may return to arms testing. There have already been reports of renewed activity on the missile site of Sohae Lon. Satellite images show what appears to be building activity at the former hibernation site.
Trump seems to be aware that taking additional provocative measures may cause North Korea to respond in kind, which would essentially ruin any chance the president has of delivering on one of these important campaign points at which the 2020 presidential campaign is approaching themselves.
Kimball said he is aware of "a White House debate on whether to tighten existing sanctions" since Hanoi. But if this weekend's confusion reveals something at all, he said there was no consensus – a dangerous place for the administration to be.
"The US government can't zigging and sinking its strategy – it's crazy," he said.