The more overtures, sudden but entirely appropriate, being made by North Korea to their South Korean counterparts, the more concern seems to emanate from quarters in Washington and Tokyo. A recurring streak in these engagements is the fear that Pyongyang is simply prevaricating, distracting and diverting: they are having us all for fools.
This betrays the whole premise of how US policy, and to a good degree that of Japan, has been linked to an obsession to place nuclear weapons dismantling and removal as a first step of talks rather than a final outcome with an enduring peace settlement.
Such a settlement, by its very composition, would have to normalise affairs between both Koreas, end the armistice with a peace treaty, with the possible icing on the cake being a Nuclear-Weapons Free Zone. But surely, a declaration of non-hostility on the part of Washington might be a good start?
Initial freezes in terms of testing (ballistic weapons, the nuclear program) complemented by a suspension or delay of large military exercises by the United States and South Korea, would then follow as a way of smoothing the way.
In many security channels, this might seem like very large pie in a very distant sky. Various powers, led by the United States, see a North Korean nuclear weapons program as satanic, untenable, the freakish sore of the international comity. It must be removed, excised, disarmed, or shackled. But even in the darkest moments of theatre, bluster and…