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Apr 02, 2021 / 10:45

Old tactics for the new game

With the new administration in the US, a new game between the US and North Korea would begin.

For the first time since the new US Democratic president Joe Biden officially took office succeeding Donald Trump from the Republican Party, North Korea launched two projectiles which it claimed as "new tactical guided missiles".

 South Korean watch North Korea's launch of new tactical guided missiles through television on March 26. Photo: AFP/VNA


It was the move which this country has refrained for relatively long time. Before this missile launch, North Korea surprisingly issued strong warnings to the new US administration and after that it used strong language to criticize South Korea and its president Moon Jae-in. After a relatively long time having been calm and keeping silent, North Korea seems to move itself in attack modus against the US.


There were the same tactics which North Korea has always practiced in the past whenever it wanted to warn and to deter the US, to express its attitudes towards verbal expression or actions by the US related to North Korea and to put itself in the spotlights of the world politics. The new US president differs fundamentally from his predecessor in the aspects of personal characters and governing policies, including those concerning North Korea and relating to its leader Kim Jong Un. Therefore, with the new administration in the US, a new game between the US and North Korea would begin.


The Biden administration has to concentrate in its first days and months on domestic dossiers and would very much like not to be forced to deal with not urgent foreign policy issues like North Korea. Otherwise, it is now still in process of reviewing its strategy towards North Korea. It needs times and takes times. It tries to let the North Korea issues not actualize in the world politics. So far, it would be good for the US but very bad for North Korea. That was why North Korea can't be patient any more. It must to do somethings to test the US reactions, to influence the reviewing and defining of North Korea strategy by the new US administration, to warn and deter it. So, it already did in the past.


The Biden administration was forced to react and it showed carefully measured reactions. No strong words and no new sanctions. No psycho war and no military responds. It deliberately played down all North Korea's statements, accusations and actions, including its missiles launch.  It is still in process of preparing to play its new game with North Korea.

US president Biden considered North Korea as "top foreign policy issue" but it doesn't mean he gives this issue his top governing policy priority. Joe Biden's North Korea dilemma is the US can't use military means to neutralize North Korea's nuclear and missiles program and at the same time hasn't any effective trump to force North Korea voluntarily give up its nuclear and missiles program.

The US is now still far away from getting North Korea denuclearized. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump all failed. That is why Joe Biden and his men in the new US administration try not to play the nuclear and missile games with North Korea like their predecessors but want to play a new game with North Korea in another way and with other means. Now, it looks like North Korea is intending to try to dictate this game but with its old tactics.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by Ambassador Tran Duc Mau are of his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hanoitimes.