North Korea should look to Myanmar as proof of America’s willingness to forgive and build a new era of relations, a top US advisor said Monday, even as new sanctions were imposed on Pyongyang.
US President Barack Obama was willing “to offer his hand to those who would unclench their firsts,” National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said.
Despite three nuclear tests and several missile tests, the United States was open to “authentic negotiations” with North Korea to help “develop its economy. “We ask only that Pyongyang prove its seriousness by taking meaningful steps to show it will abide by its commitments, honor its words, and respect international law,” Donilon said. His comments to The Asia Society in New York came as North Korea seemed to make good on its threat to tear up the 60-year-old armistice agreement, which ended the Korean War in 1953, and also cut off a hotline with Seoul. Donilon urged new leader Kim Jong-un to take Washington at its word, saying he only needed to look at what has happened in the past year or so in Myanmar since the military leader there launched a slew of democratic reforms.“Anyone who doubts the president’s commitment needs look no further than Burma,” Donilon said, using the former name for the Southeast Asian nation. Obama’s visit to Yangon “is proof of our readiness to start transforming a relationship marked by hostility into one of greater cooperation,” he insisted.