April 30th, 2013
08:01 PM ET

Why is North Korea cooling it?

By Elise Labott

After weeks of fiery rhetoric, military saber rattling and threats against the United States and South Korea, North Korea seems downright quiet and willing to dial back the tension.

Fears Kim Jong Un would test a long-range missile have given way to an easing of his daily war threats, and North Korea has produced a list of conditions for dialogue.

In exchange for returning talks, North Korea wants the lifting of U.N. sanctions, the end of the U.S.-South Korea military drills, the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear strike capabilities from the region and a halt on criticism of the North. It also wants a South Korean apology for offending its leadership.

Still, even the subtle shift in tone is an improvement to the war footing Pyongyang was on just weeks ago.

So what gives?

It could just be the well-oiled pattern by the North in which hyper threats and provocations, such as nuclear and missile tests, are typically followed by a cooling off period in which the regime sits back and waits to be rewarded for backing down.

Moreover, U.S.-South Korea military drills ended Tuesday, which were a major cause of North Korea's angst.

Photos: Militaries and Korean tensions

But Korea watchers also know the road to North Korean compliance runs through Beijing.

During his trip to Asia last month, Secretary of State John Kerry placed premium importance on getting China to rein in North Korea.

While in the region Kerry said China had a vital role to play in getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons, calling China the "lifeline to North Korea."

"I believe China needs to become more engaged in this effort," Kerry has said since visiting Beijing. "Absent China coming to that table, I believe President Kim Jong Un calculates, literally calculates, that 'I can get away with anything if China isn't going to hold me accountable.'"

China, North Korea's largest economic partner and most important political backer, has been reluctant to pressure the North Korea.

China's main fear is that a collapse of the Kim regime could see the unification of the Korean Peninsula, which could put the American military at its doorstep. Beijing also doesn't want thousands of refugees crossing into China.

But after North Korea ignored China's warnings last December against launching a rocket into space, Beijing started losing its patience.

Then, after North Korea launched its third nuclear test in February, China supported stiff economic sanctions at the United Nations.

"Beijing's messages are not getting through and that is causing concern," one senior official said. "We think that is the main aspect for China's actions. And sure our diplomacy is playing a role as well."

Nuclear weapons: Who has what?

In recent months there has been an open and critical debate in China over its relationship with North Korea, which would have been unthinkable only a few years ago.

Once a politically sensitive topic considered off limits, online columnists and Chinese on social media now open ponder the question of whether China's relationship with North Korea should be sacrosanct.

"For the first time in years, there is reason to hope China may be more helpful. Beijing is clearly exasperated with the North. The new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, is more decisive than his predecessor. His new foreign policy team views Pyongyang with a jaundiced eye after years of mopping up the diplomatic messes," wrote Michael Green, Victor Cha and Christopher Johnson in a CNN blog post.

The writers are all former U.S. officials who now work at the Center for International Strategic Studies.

Kerry's warm public talk about China's helpfulness came, however, with tough talk and a not-so-subtle threat: reign in the North Koreans or expect the U.S. military buildup in the region to continue.

Obviously, if the threat disappears, the same imperative does not exist at that point in time for us to have that kind of robust, forward-leaning posture of defense," Kerry said in Beijing, referring to a nuclear-free North Korea. "And it is our hope in the short run that we can address that."

There are small, but encouraging, signs that Beijing got the message and is ready to work seriously with the U.S. on diplomatic efforts to rein in the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

South Korea: Joint military drills with U.S. over, but vigilance on North remains

Wu Dawei, China's special representative for North Korea policy, visited Washington this week for several days of consultations with Glyn Davies, the State Department's envoy for North Korea. U.S. officials say Davies is expected to meet with Wu again in Beijing next month.

Transfers of money from North Korean entities in China back to Pyongyang have slowed, as have customs checks at the borders, according to experts and officials. U.S. officials say that China has taken additional measures to crack down on the North, but would not be specific about them in order to build trust with their Chinese counterparts.

How much Kerry's backroom diplomacy with China was a factor in North Korea's calmer behavior has yet to be determined. Some U.S. officials acknowledge China is singing a helpful tune, but have yet to see serious moves by Beijing that would indicate they are putting serious pressure on the regime.

"We believe the views the Chinese have expressed publicly about North Korea are also being expressed privately," one senior U.S. official said. "Whether they are having an effect on North Korea, we don't know. I don't think we can say it's promising or not at this stage."

Other factors are also at play. Spring is typically the time of year North Korea's military returns to the fields for planting. With North Korea's economy in tatters, the military does double duty as farmers, laborers and manufacturers.

And there is the unfortunate realization that North Korea's time out, however welcome, is just that - a time out. Although Pyongyang is undoubtedly pleased the U.S.-South Korea military exercises are over, officials and experts are worried North Korea will feel more emboldened once again.

"This can go on for months with North Korea where nothing is happening or tomorrow they could launch a missile," one senior U.S. official said.

soundoff (433 Responses)
  1. Israel Rowe

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    June 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
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    May 27, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  3. wow

    Why do Americans love to live in perpetual fear and relief? The news media in the US is nothing more than CONGLOMERATIONS for BILLIONAIRES.

    May 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • wow

      If responding in a negative attack I do ask for one thing: Give me facts rebutting what I just said.
      Thank You :)

      - Masked Lotus

      May 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Reply
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    May 7, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  5. F. Daniel Gray

    I find it fascinating that 99% of those posting claim to know what goes on in the administration of the DPRK, what discussions they have with the Chinese, when, and if, the DPRK will "attack" the US, and or the West, south Korea,etc. Not to speak of all, or most the citizens of the DPRK are starving. Yet none of the nations which have diplomatic missions in Pyongyang (e.g. Sweden, Germany, the UK, Brazil, India) make similar statements about the citizens they see every day. In addition, no nation announced that Kim Jong IL, had died until the official announced was made by the government, two days after it occurred.

    And, what was the US saying for almost 40 years to the government of the DPRK, besides "do it our way." when they had not yet begun researching a plan for nuclear armament? We have only ourselves to blame for the, apparent uptick in tension. After all, they are stronger and more confident now. And are aware the US is getting more and more bogged down in overseas adventures.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • Thomas Nichols

      While some of what you say may be true, you and many are missing the point. Which is, DPRK, or what will be Northern Korea, doesn't need a military because it has nothing anyone wants, nothing to defend, and no one wants to attack them. So with all those facts being true and well out in the open, the only reason left and sole purpose for their military is aggression. Failing to carry out their aggressive posturing leaves the management looking like fools or bad managers because they spend their funds on unneeded resources instead of trying to boost economic gain and public welfare, such as adding heat and air conditioning to public schools, which they do not have at this time.

      May 6, 2013 at 6:06 am | Reply
  6. Jaimie

    Let North Korea take the fall. If they want weapons so bad that they underfeed their own people then why should the USA or any other country help them?

    May 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  7. Jaimie

    North Korea wants what? They should get nothing. Someone needs to covertly go into North Korea and destroy all the machinery that help produce the things to make their nukes.

    May 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Reply
    • Thomas Nichols

      That should not be too difficult. Every country knows how the machinery in North Korea works because none of it says "Made in North Korea"

      May 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  8. David in Tampa

    China told him to hush up or else. Plus Kimmie found out that the Boston PD has better equipment that he has.

    May 4, 2013 at 2:44 am | Reply
  9. Ksdryji Fdftukl

    I might agree with one thing "hornbill" thinks but asian rehtoric is liken to asian rehtoric only a kind of closed loop a "feedback loop" free performance.

    May 3, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  10. vistar hornbill

    I think China have had enough of Kim Jong Un's childish pranks. And because China is being undeservingly dragged into the center of this North Korea stupid, reckless, self indulging controversy.

    Chinaá 'friendhip' with North Korean is just like US with Israel – the billions of dollars yearly aid given to Israel. But even US has a limit of tolerance for Israel's tough stand, as Pres Obama had previously let known to Israel.

    May 3, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  11. vistar hornbill

    An implosion is imminent. But it needs to be fueled by outsiders. A implosion would bring peace to the Peninsula, and importantly save the lives of millions of starving North Koreans living outside Pyongyang. These folks are invisible to the jaded military leaders and fat boy Kim Jong Un.

    May 3, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  12. Ksdryji Fdftukl

    One sht-rag is not the same as another. Example: a tool of Al-Q vs. talking about the sht-rag which sole purpose has been proven to be a pridictable tool in the terrorist model e.g. actual "terrorism" in action vs. just talking about the reality of terror. What does the Supreme Court say about that considering "we" are at war& we are engaged in the "War on terror". It is one thing to breath it is another thing to not breath it is also @ the same time for individuals of a third party to talk about the last breath a former friend took. Labeling the place where crimes & acts of war take place is not the same as commiting those crimes and acts of war on a proven basis.

    is not a time tested purpose built tool for terror

    May 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  13. cacique

    Mother china gave them a stern and harsh pull of both ears and maybe a slap across their butt.
    One thing is to rock the boat a little in the name of all-things-red, but another very different thing is to trip the financial markets because of a boastful and vociferous youth.

    May 2, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Reply
  14. Uktre Niuytrfgb

    Kick the plug out of the wall on complex just after telling china face to face this clown is too dangerious to encourage. I have more too say but the levers are there to be pulled.

    May 2, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Reply
    • Thomas Nichols

      The NK management, run by Baby Nook, continues to remind me of the Star Trek Next Generation episode when the Enterprise encounters a ship operated by "The Paklids". Here is an excerpt of the script: "...Commander William T. Riker: What brings you so far from home?
      Pakled Captain Grebnedlog: We look for things.
      Commander William T. Riker: What were you looking for?
      Pakled Captain Grebnedlog: Things we need.
      Commander William T. Riker: Can you be more specific?
      Pakled Captain Grebnedlog: Things that make us go. We need help.
      Commander William T. Riker: What is the nature of your mission?
      Pakled Captain Grebnedlog: We look for things. .."

      Does not this sound familiar and on the level of the mentality of the North Korean management?

      May 3, 2013 at 6:34 am | Reply
  15. Clinton

    I Sincerely hope we do not give this tyrant anything it's time to stop coddling this petulant child... they expect that if they throw fits for a while they can demand something for acting less crazy? Forget that, give them nothing but a big middle finger

    May 2, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  16. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    He's quiet because Dennis Rodman told him that a 10,000 pound bomb can melt any lad of fat hidden 100 yeards under ground!

    May 2, 2013 at 11:15 am | Reply
  17. Daniel

    North Korea accomplished their mission, they took the Kaesong industrial park, worth hundreds of millions of Western Dollars! Wake up people, this facility turned into military industrial complex will make North Korea millions in trade with China. China's need for their growing military is staggering. Once South Korea pulled out their last people from the joint complex the North's rhetoric stopped! Keep an eye on Kaesong and see for yourselves what happens.

    May 2, 2013 at 2:00 am | Reply
    • Gurgyl

      You are silly. It is all just a talk. They know the consequences if they do silly stuff with USA. Don't they know saddam and Bin Laden. I know you hate Pres. Obama–his policies are JUST GREAT. I am glad I supported and voted for Obama. True.

      May 2, 2013 at 9:22 am | Reply
      • Thomas Nichols

        Correct. The NK Management (not considered an intelligent responsible government) does not have the intelligence to perform that task.

        May 2, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • nk watching

      The North Koreans cannot run the Kaesong complex without the electrical and water resources that have been supplied by South Korea. Now if they used nuclear power for electricity, and could deliver that electricity as far south as Kaesong, they might be able to at least power it. The region has about 50,000 North Korean workers living in it that were working in Kaesong. For now, SK is going to keep the electricity and water going for the residents as a sign of good faith in hopes that it will reopen in the future. As for China, its probably too far away from the northern border to be of use. Better to build something (as they're doing now) close to the northern border for trade with China. Many people believe the whole point of all this war mongering was an excuse to close Kaesong. The reason? They were afraid of the influence of the South Koreans (information mainly about the far better quality of life in the south) on the NK workers there. This kind of information can be a real problem in a totalitarian regime where knowledge truly is power. Also, it looks like their leader was so powerful on the world stage that nobody dared to confront or challenge him. Or it looks like their leader was so brilliant that they staved off war because of his negotiating abilities. Whatever the outcome NK will spin it so entrench him as their idol leader. This is crucial in a regime such as theirs. They did exactly the same for his father and grandfather. The whole thing is orchestrated by people under him, experienced experts well versed in the manipulation of the masses.

      The only hope of any peace in the region will come from China. They have the leverage, they have the power, they have the influence. The best thing that could happen probably would be for China to take over North Korea and use it as a pool for cheap labor. I'm sure SK would much rather have China for a neighbor than North Korea! Of course the Americans would cringe at China expanding their power in the region but it might be the lesser of 2 evils. At least China isn't totally nuts.

      May 2, 2013 at 9:54 am | Reply
      • American

        Nort korean peoples do like the south korean lifestyle North korea goverment dont like that thinking My solution is unity no more communism

        May 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Gary

      South Korea supplies the electricity to that complex. Shut the power off and NK will have to get generators from China.

      May 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  18. hender1123

    This Korean guy is just like a junior Obama but without all the money, political influence and world wide media. He's world is on a smaller scale.

    May 2, 2013 at 1:39 am | Reply
    • Rfrank

      hender1123:

      Are you REALLY comparing a tyrant, an oppressor and murderer with the president of the USA? the leader of the free world? are you retarded or something? i guess you must not like your freedom, oh and dont give us the "freedom for security" answer, in NK people get murdered just for thinking outside the box, think that before even trying to compare the USA and its leaders with a maniac.

      God bless America & the free world!

      May 2, 2013 at 2:31 am | Reply
      • 100%American

        Killing millions of innocent people all to preserve the "PetroDollar" to keep our economy rolling... Land Of The Free...Home Of The Brave...If we could only rid ourselves of the people controlling the Federal Reserve, only at that point would we be free...only then could we actually be proud once again. Why don't we all demand to our senators and our congressmen that the federal reserve be audited, and in the mean time lets drill our own oil and stop conquering the middle east and forcing them to sell oil in U.S. Dollars only, Our military is large enough now, that we don't have to continue murdering people to keep our economy rolling via the "PetroDollar"

        May 2, 2013 at 2:56 am |
      • bab

        joke of the year

        May 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Pete

      @hender1123,no comparison bud..Pres.Obama against all who ignorently post here is a chess player and against posters as Stephen and others state does have a set of brass cajones..He's not the maniacal leader of our country as Reagan was before being diagnosed with alzheimers,dementia cutting over 70% of our discreditionary spending to fund his ICBM missile race against Russia that stopped building years before because of going broke ..Or Bushs wars with lies created to help Cheney and others with multibillion dollar no bid contracts in Iraq with Halliburton others at our expense!! He just quietly had BinLaden exterminated about a year ago and if he hadn't spoke later about it publicly you've never had known would yah because of a media leak!!You'd never would have seen that from Bushs office or Reagans as well because they funded the terrorists that are attacking us today and Bushs ,Reagans administrations know it!!We trained afghan rebels ,supplied them with arms against Russia in the 80s and sold serin gas to Kadafi and Hussein as well to use to kill their own people..So don't go after Pres.Obama about drones because they were in the skies well before he took office and if a republican was in 1600 Pennsylvania ave you wouldn't be screaming would yah,probibly proclaiming like Bushs ignorent rant of MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,well over 10 years ago,what ignorence ,delushional thinking as well from republicans but that inherient isn't it!!

      May 2, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply
  19. Racemunki

    I think the "not-so-subtle" threat actually got China's attention. And they (the Chinese) really asked themselves one really good question. Is this country REALLY worth all the effort? No.

    May 2, 2013 at 12:01 am | Reply
  20. Kutrd Vbnmut

    IS THIS EXPECTATION OF THE NK PEOPLE FOR BOWS FROM THE U.S. FOR THEIR PROBLEMS A YING-YANG & OR A KUNG-FU BAISED IDEA?

    May 1, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  21. DWM

    Duh, North Korea stopped because this pattern of threats and backing down is what they do every spring to negotiate free goodies from the west that they want to blow up.

    May 1, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  22. CaliforniaAC

    Keep turning the screws and ignore the fatman's demands, China will fall in place.

    May 1, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  23. Mike500

    Kim the Midget just got bored. He's probably busy with the latest version of Call to Duty.

    May 1, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • Thomas Nichols

      I think North Korea management (I do not acknowledge it as a responsible country leadership ), used up all the English words they knew.

      May 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Reply
    • Luc Gauthier

      Yes , kink kong one , he's just a big fat spoiled dummy... and when he will think to hit seriously another country, he will be vanish before he finish drying his .....

      May 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  24. The fact of the matter

    "North Korea has produced a list of conditions for dialogue." LOL

    May 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Reply
    • Luc Gauthier

      He said WHAT IS DIALOGUE ::))) lol lol lol
      and now he his asking his boothside wakoo , what do they mean with LOL
      the all answer ,," daw

      May 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  25. Henry Kemp

    You mean "rein in", not "reign in". You got in wrong twice. and of course, not rain in"

    May 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  26. Josh

    CNN, if "It could just be the well-oiled pattern by the North in which hyper threats and provocations, such as nuclear and missile tests, are typically followed by a cooling off period in which the regime sits back and waits to be rewarded for backing down," then why were you screaming "CRISIS IN NORTH KOREA" all over your broadcast the other week? Hmm? Ratings? Because I don't really think anybody outside of the ratings-hungry press considered it a crisis. How about you calm the hell down and just, you know, report the news? Maybe then, instead of needing to scream for attention, you'll get attention for your integrity. Or maybe I'm asking too much.

    May 1, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • slc

      Amen

      May 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
    • Beefburger

      Amen x 2

      May 1, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  27. USAMarine

    Yeah and the Boston bombing is probably more important because NK is just bluffing.

    May 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  28. USAMarine

    Thanks sushimaster

    May 1, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  29. sushimaster7457

    You're right USAMarine. My little sister could write that better and she is 2 yrs old

    May 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  30. Jason

    NK went quiet because the Boston bombing took headline. The whole NK thing was pumped up by the press to get ratings.

    May 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  31. cpc65

    You know when a little brat is throwing a tantrum and you just ignore him? He eventually runs out of steam.

    May 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  32. USAMarine

    Yes I think we can call it a rag. It looks like it was written by a kid in preschool.

    May 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  33. USAMarine

    Oh ad by the way, the phrase IS "rein in."

    May 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  34. 6r@mm3r h@mm3r

    So who are we blaming for this third grade article? I forget if it is the writer or editor's fault. Either way, CNN should really have more self-respect than to publish something like this with grammar mistakes, misspellings, and poor punctuation. Though it is online, and not in print, may we still call it a rag?

    May 1, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  35. USAMarine

    Thank you, and that concludes this brief editorial.

    May 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  36. USAMarine

    You guys should all get lives and get over a dumb article! I mean seriously. NO ONE CARES what you think of Kim Jong Un. He is a half-baked idiot who waddles around threatening the world military power.

    May 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  37. Dr Matrix

    Ignor him, don't do business with N Korea. It's always a business issue. If he starts something-finish it-fast. China shouldn't need to worry about refugees. I'm sure the only ones running away from a reunited Korea are the few "elite" that benifit from a divided country.

    May 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • 6r@mm3r h@mm3r

      You, Sir, are hyphen-challenged, aren't you?
      I highly recommend you get a second opinion... on your opinions.

      May 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  38. dick delson

    If he wants to destroy North Korea, keep talking. And who does this idiot's hair?

    May 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • bob M

      Same person who did his father's.

      May 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • LL

      What's wrong with you – You don't think his bowl cut is super cool and worldly???? lol

      May 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  39. me

    The Boston bombing happened and the media outlets of the world turned to that. North Korea was never in a war position nor was it ever going to do anything.

    May 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • GUTSY333

      EASY, BOY, THE PRESIDENT OF NKOREA COULD BE STILL PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULET :( IN OTHER WORDS LUL US INTO EXPECTING COMPROMISE; BUT ONCE WE LAY EASY...BOOM!. SO IT IS IMPORTANT TO STAY ON GUARD. ALSO WHY SHOULD WE APOLOGIZE FOR? NKOREA STARTED THE DEADLY GAME, JUST ASK SOUTH KOREA.

      May 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Reply
      • no

        HEY GUTSY333 WHAT YOU ARE SAYING IS SO IMPORTANT IT NEEDS TO BE IN ALL CAPS, RIGHT? YOU ARE IMPORTANT!!!

        May 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • chris516

        I totally agree. NK could be potentially lulling the US, and SK, to lowering their guard. NK's demands' of the lifting of UN sanctions, along with discontinuation of joint US/SK military exercises, and the removal of US n' SK nuclear weapons, is just a ploy to catch the US n' SK, with their guard down.

        May 1, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
      • Pete

        @Chris516,our president and military are never lulled to sleep or complacency by a spoiled brat masquerading as a dictator in UN..He's made his bed internationally with his empty threats and if he doesn't follow through he'll just be following what his past predecessors had done basicly the same to the letter...He will also today lose face as a sort of paper tiger of sorts being held in a lower level of respect by other Asian nations simply because he didn't follow through and make America or S Korea back off on sanctions just to appease him..This prisoner in Bae will eventually be released if cooperation and mutual respect come from foriegn affairs that handle this type of sensitive subject with a life at stake and Pres.Carter probibly will be that man that'll be the go between negotiating for this Americans release,just see how long it takes after pressure is applied to N Korea and they'll ask if talks can be made,they'll need too !!

        May 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  40. en

    i feel like the media and the u.s. are instigating this issue a lot more than it has to be. All koreans want to be unified; all this war propaganda is repelling one another. North, South, at the end of the day they are all still koreans. any casualties between the koreas is irrational, they should have talks of unification and compromise

    May 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  41. Julian of Norwich

    Good article, but please - it is "rein" in, not "reign" in. Sheesh...

    May 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  42. LL

    Li'l Kim on the main page photo: "Oh Hai..."

    May 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  43. bro

    I heard he wet his pants and won't come out for a while

    May 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  44. Joe Clark

    The North Koreans only have one more card to play in their poker hand and if they play it their country as they know it will cease to exist. The card they are holding is their nuclear card, but as audacious as they have been to date they are not foolish enough to play it! Its permanent a game changer for the leadership and they know it only to well.

    May 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  45. REB

    What I think REALLY HAPPENED is that while we (USA) got our attention diverted a couple weeks ago, North Korea actually gave us a sound thrashing and the war was over so fast we didn't realize what had happened.

    We were brilliantly defeated militarily, economically, ideologically, politically, and morally. And how could the outcome have been otherwise? I mean with the third generation of brilliant, "Dear Leader"ship North Korea has in Kim "Ill-Wind" Jong Un, the outcome of their glorious victory was never in question.

    Now North Korea can turn its attention to the rest of the war-mongering "other" countries in order to defend its joyful and prosperous country against whatever Kim "Ill-Wind" Jong Un dreams up next to make himself look even greater as he threatens to fight to the last drop of his people's blood. Either there will be more conquering and redeeming victories or Ill-Wind may push for new policies to help feed North Korea's people so their "Dear Leader" will not be the only person in photographs who actually looks overweight. You never know.

    May 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  46. 'Murica!

    Kim Jong Un has Arec Bardwin.....ar naaaaaaar

    May 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • 'Murica!

      Team America? No? .....sigh

      May 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Reply
    • Cactuskid

      F*** yeah!

      May 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  47. Darlene Buckingham

    Now what is CNN going to go on and on and on about other than planting ideas in people's heads what happened at the Boston MArathon. We have lost truth and integrity. We are sinking into hatred and violence. America about peace and democracy. HA!

    May 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • colkurtz

      Cleary, the omnipresent "Sword of Damacles" swings closer and closer. I'm so terrified!! Our only hope for salvation is to quadruple the "defense" budget!!!

      May 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  48. colkurtz

    All Americans are experts on foreign affairs. Though, most don't get past the cornfields of fly-over country. They're reduced to quivering masses of jello by the horror stories they hear on fox "news."
    They're to dumb to know they're being played like fools.
    Eeeek! There's a victory mosque on 9/11 in NYC!!! Only half of them could find NYC on a map.

    May 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • AZWarrior

      You are embarrassing yourself. Insulting people is not a valud argument.

      May 1, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Reply
      • colkurtz

        "Valid" not "valud"

        May 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  49. HincEtInde

    They only have gas and supplies to keep at it for a week or so........

    May 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  50. CLEpost

    Dear North Korea,

    Concerning your five conditions for agreeing to talk. No, no, no, no, and no. Thank you.

    Signed,
    The rest of the world

    May 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Reply
    • Howard

      Indeed. Someone should tell the young Un to go shtup his pretty wife and quit trying to shtup around the U.S. ... before he finds a drone launched Hellfire missile coming through his bedroom window. If he can't get his wife hot, that missile sure will.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Reply
    • Luc Gauthier

      Attention to all North Korean
      To solved your problem with your stupid dickTator , kick him out of the country and get yourself a life!!!

      May 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  51. Alex

    North Korea was never the noise to begin with...CNN was. After Boston, CNN had to find another story. CNN is about jumping from story to story....just take Fukashima....this was a major event in our world and after a few weeks it went away and never came back. CNN is the journalist's version of Attention Deficit Disorder.

    May 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  52. The Dead Critic

    We've only been telling you (CNN) since the story began that this would happen. Where YOU BEEN.....CNN?

    May 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  53. Really

    I am not worried... nothing in Korea has ever worked anyways... HAHAHAHAH

    May 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  54. Tom

    Other reasons for why NK went to the background is because of the Boston bombings (non-nuclear), building collapse in Malaysia and Jason Collins coming out of the closet....things that actually happened.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  55. Bombs over Pyongyang

    Oh now they want to settle down? Should wipe them off the map anyway, shut them up permanently.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  56. Neal

    Someone must have given him a binky!

    May 1, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • Dee G

      YOU get the *Best Post* award!

      May 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  57. terry2013a

    All staged by Un to look like the end of our military exercises is a result of NK leaders threats. To make him look like he is a "great leader". I say let's deal with them now or we will have to in 3 to 5 years when they DO have nukes on tall missiles and guidance systems to go with them. Iran is watching and measuring us.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  58. pwd

    Everyone was so scared OOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

    May 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  59. Boomer in Mo

    Or perhaps fat boy realized after the Boston bombing that the U.S. might be on a hair-trigger and decided it would be prudent to shut up.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  60. taxedmore

    let them starve

    May 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  61. dappledview

    Isn't the phrase "rein in", not "reign in"? Neither being particularly flattering to N. Korea. but the former is a lot more subtle and probably reflecting the relationship better. If folks really want everyone to learn English, perhaps we should start with the native speakers...

    May 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • basketcase

      Yes, it's "rein in" as in what you do with a horse.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  62. JDinHouston

    Kim Jong Zzzzzz.. or maybe actually Kim Jong Phht!

    May 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  63. Sunflower2

    Personally, I think this is more frightening than their threats.....

    May 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  64. Christian

    Let's hope Mr Un doesn't read cnn.com and think "Oh yeah! That's what I forgot. Starting a nuclear war. Thanks CNN."

    May 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  65. lagunacomputer

    Acts just like a childish brat, when you take away the attention and ignore them for a while.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  66. GrammarGuy43

    "During his trip to Asia last month, Secretary of State John Kerry placed premium importance on getting China to reign in North Korea."

    Doesn't CNN require its reporters to have at least a basic working knowledge of English?

    If it doesn't rein them in, it will find its reign as a respected news source in jeopardy.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • TomJenkins

      Rein/Reign...when you're a journalist in the 21st century, these things just don't matter anymore.

      May 1, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • james jam

      I wood agree with you, but I have two go eat desert now.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Steve Neske

      Why don't you get a life and not worry about one word in a story. You knew what the author was saying. Be annal retentive some place else.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
      • CLEpost

        The word is anal. If this was an attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor, please disregard.

        May 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • ol hippie

        Annal........I see what ya did there.........clever (sarcastic smirk)

        May 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Mike

      Chill out Steve...almost sounds like you helped right the story. HAHAHA

      May 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  67. The Woof

    The little guy and his old guard generals know that if a war did break out all of their fat cat privileges would go down the tubes no to mention their "beloved" country. That and the fact that they see that China is going to let a bunch of volunteers rush to their aid like they did in the 50's. The Chinese whether they want to admit it or not know have the full meaning of money talks and BS walks imbedded in their minds. We supply the money and NK supplies the BS.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  68. rosie

    *sound of crickets*.............................................................................................

    May 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  69. RichardSRussell

    I think John Kerry managed to slip him that photo of the abandoned Wal-Mart parking lot with the city-limits sign reading "New Pyongyang".

    May 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Reply
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