While the year-end deadline that North Korea has unilaterally set on nuclear negotiations is drawing near, the U.S. is calling for North Korea to come out for dialogue and at the same time warning on the possible use of military force.
In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said Washington still hopes North Korea will come back to the negotiating table and reach a deal with the U.S.
He stressed that the U.S. will continue diplomacy with the North and hopes Kim Jong-un will carry out his promise on denuclearization.
But the security chief added that past opportunities for talks with Kim have been made partially by a U.S. show of force -- for example, sending aircraft carriers to the region.
This is the first time that the U.S. has cited military force instead of sanctions.
The message echoes that made by U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this week.
On Tuesday, Trump highlighted his good personal relationship with Kim and showed hopes that he would live up to their agreement.
But he also called Kim (quote)"a rocket man" for the first time in over 2 years and warned the U.S. might have to use military force against the North if necessary.
Offended by Trump's talk of possible use of military force, Pyeongyang lashed out at the U.S., saying it will "also take prompt corresponding actions" if the U.S. does use force and that such comments are a "very dangerous challenge" if not made in error.
Getting into the final month of 2019, a tight tug-of-war has begun between Pyeongyang and Washington.
Pyeongyang has continuously said that it will go ahead and take a "new path" if its denuclearization talks with the U.S. don't bear fruit by the end of the year.
It seems to be devising its plan for next year, showing Kim Jong-un mulling over big policy changes.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.