North Korea's decision to cancel a high-level meeting with the South on Wednesday, May 16, and also threats to scrap the historic summit between its leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump is unfortunate but also a logical conclusion of Washington's hapless foreign policy conduct.
If Trump and his blind supporters sought the credit (some even the Nobel Peace Prize!) for the maverick president's role in the Korean peace initiative, it is also the White House incumbent who bears the responsibility if the much required peace process in North Korea is ruined midway despite all the hope that it generated.
North Korea irked by US-led drills in Korean Peninsula
North Korea decided to take a sudden U-turn from its diplomatic opening because of the continuation of the US-led drills with South Korea in the Korean Peninsula and also words from the American side about the transfer of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons to the US. There was also a celebratory mood in the US which made the North look a side which was forced to come to terms with Washington on the question of denuclearisation.
North Korea said in a statement that the drill was a "flagrant challenge" to the spirit of the Punmunjeom Declaration which the two Koreas made at a historic summit on April 27 and asked the US to take "careful deliberations" about the planned Kim-Trump summit.
US needed to treat North Korea with caution instead of bragging about the credit
The US is responsible for this turn of events in more than one respect. First of all, Washington should have taken the matter more cautiously after North decided to take the path of peace and not indulge in self-boasting thinking North Korea is too weak to respond.
Denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, like any other peace process, is a time-consuming affair which requires patience and caution. Trump and his administration, on the contrary, have made it evident that the US is not ready to give anybody the due respect, even if that risks destruction of a key peace deal and renew threats to the world.
The US should have kept in mind that North Korea, although is an isolated state in world affairs, has a close ally in China who, despite the dip in their relationship in the recent years, will not leave Pyongyang out in the cold since it is a handy ally for Beijing in the volatile Far East region.
Especially after North Korea has chosen to take the path of peace and non-confrontation, China will feel all the more emboldened to back its ally and send indirect counter messages to the West through Kim's mouth. The latest turn of events is a clear example of that.
It is absolutely foolish for the US to take North Korea for granted and think it is entering the peace process from a position of weakness. It is not.
After the Iran deal fiasco, nobody takes Trump seriously
Secondly, Trump's authority over the North Korean peace process has been diluted considerably after his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal on May 8. Nobody on this planet will value the US's words as much after Trump's disastrous call on Tehran, including North Korea, and it would now get even closer to China to decide on its next steps that may include an escalation of confrontation.
Trump's inconsistent and unwise foreign policy conduct whereby he pushes for one goal in one region and contradicts the same in another region has made the US a laughing stock in the international community and even a non-starter like North Korea would not spare a chance to take Washington for a ride over that.