“Keep silence and mind your own business or some horrible things will be waiting for you,” blustered Pyongyang against Washington Thursday, warning to stop being nosy about inter-Korean relations. The communist regime further warned that “Following the advice will be conducive to faring well with the presidential election that is in the offing.” Pyongyang’s indignation came after Washington expressed “disappointment” about the North’s decision to cut communication with the South. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of State cited the human records of North Korea as condition for normalization of relations.
Pyongyang’s warning is also a response to the U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore that took place two years ago. Expressing both “disillusion and anger,” North Korea has often accused Washington of itching to throw a monkey wrench when inter-Korean relations show signs of progress while faking concern when the relations worsen. The level of vulgarity, however, seems to have been alleviated compared to the acute diatribes of late aimed at Seoul. “He used to seem like a normal person, but now he is even worse than his predecessors,” so carped the North Korean media Thursday about South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
It appears Pyongyang is desperate to draw Washington’s attention. That explains why the North mentioned the U.S. presidential election in November as President Donald Trump is preoccupied with it. For Pyongyang, “disappointment” should be too lukewarm a response that is next to indifference. That’s why the regime is expressing dissatisfaction about Washington’s “strategic ignorance” by sending a warning message that it could stage a provocation that can affect the U.S. presidential election.
The 2018 Singapore summit seemed like a victory for Pyongyang. Fascinated by the historic significant of the event, President Trump gave Kim too much expectations in exchange for the return of the remains of U.S. soldiers and the empty fireworks for denuclearization. The souring of relations was inevitable in a way. In the process, North Korea’s denuclearization has become an empty rhetoric with no presence to be felt, and the North is building the cause to cross the final red-line and resume the test of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
Now, North Korea is monitoring the developments of the upcoming presidential election of the U.S., with the Singapore summit and the crisis on the Korean Peninsula from three years ago taken into consideration. Back then, Seoul served as a stepping stone, but now the North is trying to cripple of the role of the South entirely and deal with Washington on its own. Seoul has succumbed to the threats from Pyongyang and is banning the activities of North Korean defectors. The South has styled itself as mediator between the U.S. and the North, but there seems to be no role to play for Seoul in the looming crisis.