The U.S. Senate unanimously passed on Wednesday (local time) the "Asia Reassurance Initiative Act" that regulates to impose sanctions against North Korea until it stops engaging in illegal activities. The act incorporates the long-term strategy and policy of the United States in the Asia Pacific Region, which particularly stipulates that in the event the administration withdraws sanctions against North Korea, it needs to submit a report on reasonable grounds within thirty days prior to the withdrawal to the Parliament. The Senate has legislated the act in order to minimize the possibility of the Trump administration, which appears to be obsessed with tangible results, from lifting sanctions against North Korea before the realization of the remaining denuclearization.
This legislation has been prepared by the Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific under the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for three years across the aisles. This implies how serious U.S. Congress is on provocations by North Korea including nuclear development unlike President Donald Trump, who seems rather capricious on this matter, not to mention the strong will it has on denuclearization and ending war. With respect to a second U.S.-North Korea summit, U.S. senators are reiterating the importance of linking the summit with specific denuclearization. Cory Gardner, the chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, claimed that there should not be any summit unless the main purpose of the summit is complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.
North Korea, however, is continuing activities to enhance its missile ability, rejecting to realize denuclearization and requesting the declaration of the end of the war and lifting sanctions. Last month, a U.S. think tank revealed that North Korea is still operating at least thirteen missile bases while CNN followingly delivered the fact on Wednesday that North Korea is building a new missile base in a mountain region 11 kilometers away from the previous missile bases in Yongjo-dong of North Yanggang Province.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to be aiming for the establishment of a public sentiment to lift sanctions against North Korea, with South Korea, China and Russia as its allies by earning more time so that President Trump will alleviate Washington's position on sanctions out of nervousness. Nevertheless, even if President Trump wants to break the principle to make achievements, the United States is a society with clear division of power, where the power of expert groups such as the National Assembly and think tanks cannot be ignored. U.S. Congress has a strong will to denuclearize North Korea, which is a constant no one can change.
The North Korean leader should give up its fruitless expectations and grasp this opportunity where he can transform into a normal nation. The South Korean government should also face the meaning of the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, which does not even allow President Trump to do anything about sanctions against North Korea. The act obligates to write down the list of countries that are uncooperative in implementing the United Nations sanctions against North Korea. South Korea should not be referred to as the subject of such list.