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. abmri60

    And now he lost his face in the entire world.

    May 1, 2013 at 8:30 am | Reply
  2. schoolsub

    We need to make South Korea into an island: Sink everything between the 38th Parallel and China into the ocean.

    May 1, 2013 at 8:29 am | Reply
  3. elvix

    It is like they have the right to disrupt world peace. I beg, to demilitarize North Korea and remove the trouble maker Kim Jong Un.

    May 1, 2013 at 8:12 am | Reply
    • asopfjioasf

      removing kim kung un wont do anything just remove the coutry :)

      May 1, 2013 at 8:26 am | Reply
  4. junkypimp

    I think things have quieted in North Korea because Fat Boy realized there would be no more Twinkies after the nuclear war.

    May 1, 2013 at 8:10 am | Reply
    • Blueline

      The only reason things have gone quiet with North Korea is because the media is over-covering the Boston Bombing. Once that dies down a bit they will need to trump up the tensions again to fill the pages.

      May 1, 2013 at 8:36 am | Reply
  5. Khanh

    Instead of watching Kim Kadashian, I watch Kim Yong Un. If he stops being entertaining, I am going back to watching the other Kim.

    May 1, 2013 at 8:06 am | Reply
  6. elvix

    THEY WANT THE WHOLE WORLD TO APOLOGIZE FOR THEIR STUPIDITY.

    May 1, 2013 at 8:04 am | Reply
  7. Michael

    He took some time out to eat. Or perhaps got a bad haircut and is afraid to show his face till it grows out.

    May 1, 2013 at 8:01 am | Reply
  8. knownotta

    Yeah, they are not quite. The states isn't covering it or making it a huge story. As soon as boston happened pure silence. Before-–oh my North Korea is gonna attack.....there is chance of nuclear destuction....they have capable missile to carry such nukes.......oh no...oh no....then........................................crickets. They might bring it back once nothing else is happening.

    May 1, 2013 at 7:45 am | Reply
  9. Steven Ashe

    How come CNN does not talk about Benghazi? Our government is threatening employees if they talk???

    Why doesn't CNN do anything about it? CNN run's the rest of the world? Doesn't it?

    May 1, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • reb362

      Go to fox news. They love talking about Benghazi.

      May 1, 2013 at 8:05 am | Reply
    • Pete

      @Steven Ashe,Benghazi is over ,old news bud..You want Pres.Obama inpeached ,Hillary arrested over 4 deaths but let Bush,Cheney that have killed thousands of innocents walk around free ,the result of a war created with lies.....What hypocracy from you and others going as far back as Reagan with over 300 murdered in 2 embassy and a marine barricks bombed by terrorists in Lebanon,Kuwait and guess what Steven nothing was done to Reagan or these two in Bush ,Cheney has it!!150 countries have indictments on these two murderers but us because we lead the world in hypocracy and you bring as one of the ignorent ,uninformed that keep parroting because you don't have anything of intelligence to say!Remember if Hillary does run even with Benghazi in her past you or any republican have nothing in reps to stop her,case closed !!

      May 1, 2013 at 10:21 am | Reply
  10. Dennis

    Same old, same old ... demands! Nothing will change in the North unless China does somthing to entice its neighbor to serious political reform ... with a healthy dose of human development too.
    There are only two reasons this outburst happened, 1) the UN sanctions 2) to ensure the military first power structure.
    Nobody here in S. Korea thinks the fat boy and his Generals in the North would actually go to war to disrupt their life styles and be hunted down like other international criminals. They have the most to loose and in fact lost this round of the fight.

    May 1, 2013 at 7:33 am | Reply
  11. guy rich

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    May 1, 2013 at 7:32 am | Reply
    • elvix

      I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you I hear you

      May 1, 2013 at 8:03 am | Reply
    • schoolsub

      You are a 'richard' head!

      May 1, 2013 at 8:25 am | Reply
  12. Grammarian

    Does the author or editor of this article know the difference between 'rein' and 'reign'?

    May 1, 2013 at 7:28 am | Reply
    • Ed

      Thank you.

      May 1, 2013 at 8:18 am | Reply
    • earlthepearl

      I was about to ask the same question.

      May 1, 2013 at 8:37 am | Reply
  13. Damian

    And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
    Mat 24:6

    May 1, 2013 at 7:21 am | Reply
    • joe

      You're as delusional as the authors of CNN stories.

      May 1, 2013 at 8:52 am | Reply
      • Damian

        at the end you will see....

        May 1, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  14. live4grace

    They stopped the rhetoric because Beijing told them to, emphatically yet privately.

    May 1, 2013 at 7:02 am | Reply
  15. live4grace

    In a rather emphatic (yet private) way, Beijing said to stop the nonsense.

    May 1, 2013 at 7:01 am | Reply
  16. donnie

    The squeaky wheel got it's grease from somewhere.

    May 1, 2013 at 5:36 am | Reply
  17. Joe Clark

    It was a case of the same old brinkmanship. They pushed things to the limit and when they saw that the world would not cave in to their demands with offers of massive aid (food) desperately needed for their starving people or approve their nuclear ambitions they backed off. They have more than enough challenges internally as they struggle just to feed tens of millions of their own people living in extreme poverty. They have no agricultural base; no industrial base, and are in essence is a perpetual state of decline. No one at the top is adept in addressing the changes they must make in their economy to survive. China is their only lifeline and they came very close to losing that lifeline.

    May 1, 2013 at 4:26 am | Reply
    • Joe

      check out the satellite image at night over the north and south.There are also hints of what people are eating.

      May 1, 2013 at 4:52 am | Reply
  18. wjm

    North Korea should get nothing and lots of it. If China is supposed to be maintaining control of this little idiot then they can deal with him. They can feed them, or provide emergency aid money to them. The west should give them just what I said nothing, piles and piles of nothing.

    May 1, 2013 at 4:07 am | Reply
    • Lord Barrington

      That it is not an inside the park home-run. That is a grand slam. 'OUTA HERE'. With no unnecessary words. to boot.

      May 1, 2013 at 4:44 am | Reply
  19. Thad Kozubal

    There is nothing to fear but Kim Jong Un. If he eats anymore, he will explode and cause WW3 all by himself.

    May 1, 2013 at 3:45 am | Reply
    • John

      But it's only waffer thin...

      May 1, 2013 at 7:48 am | Reply
  20. Hoa Thanh

    Be careful! It can't be predicted what North Korea will do next. What we need is peace. What we should do is cooling the atmosphere.
    Any ironical comment may harm the common peace.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:58 am | Reply
    • Thad Kozubal

      We are not at peace. Kim Jong Un has canceled the peace and declared war. It's hell when only one side shows up to fight. Now, Un stands around with his thumb up his ars waiting in an empty field because the U.S. refuses to play his game.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:56 am | Reply
    • V.Tran

      I am sorry, I am not a war monger but what is it that N.Korea has that we have to be careful of? Seriously! I rather see something breakout and the two sides become one which is better off for the N.Korean people. Have you seen the inside videos/photos of N.Korea? Sometimes thing will get worse before they get better.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:59 am | Reply
  21. Dtj Dhjk

    .

    May 1, 2013 at 2:48 am | Reply
  22. Dave Seavy

    This is nothing more than history repeating itself. His daddy did the same thing, and in the end, we let them get by with it – even rewarded it. I wouldn't life one sanction, and as far as apologizing for criticizing him and his so-called government, forget it. He's just an out of control brat who will never grow into an intelligent adult. Let him rattle on – who cares?

    May 1, 2013 at 2:44 am | Reply
  23. Joey

    Wasn't one of North Korea's last statements (before this period of silence) that there would be no warning prior to attack?

    May 1, 2013 at 2:43 am | Reply
  24. Nanodot

    "getting China to reign in North Korea" should probably be "getting China to rein in North Korea", unless you want China to rule in North Korea, and not just to provide guidance and leadership like a horse rider....

    May 1, 2013 at 1:40 am | Reply
    • Borque

      You beat me to it.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:01 am | Reply
  25. brown

    Filthy little w.h.o.r.e.s

    May 1, 2013 at 1:39 am | Reply
  26. Karen Marie Little

    I vote for America flying a Stealth Bomber from Missouri to five miles from the North Korea and then flew that bomber back to Missouri.

    If you have two or three truck based missiles, such as North Korea, and the person you want to pick a fight on, flies a bomber half way around the world non stop to conduct a weapons simple drill....You might just choose now to conclude that it is time to be quiet.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:21 am | Reply
    • Me

      Fly there and then back home again? But it's a stealth plane ... how would they realize it was there??

      Don't bother going through all that - just didn't and say you did. ;-)

      May 1, 2013 at 1:48 am | Reply
  27. hahaha

    Fatty Jong Un realized that we don't really care about their whining, so he stopped throwing a tantrum.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:21 am | Reply
  28. b9bot

    North Korea has no rights to demand anything from anyone about anything. Demanding an apology from South Korea for what? Removing sanctions after his tantrum, I don't think so. Let him sit and stew for a while. But I hope there is no intentions of removing any sanctions or making any apologies for the actions that took place from North Korea. Giving in will only encourage more of these tantrums and not solve anything. China needs to make him stop, period. They call them there allies then they need to be the ones to put that child in his place once and for all if they really want peace the region.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:14 am | Reply
  29. ozgirl

    Plain and simple......he lost our attention to the Boston tragedy.
    We were no longer paying attention to the idiot, give it a week, he'll start up again.

    May 1, 2013 at 1:11 am | Reply
    • Kevin

      Couldn't agree more. He was probably relieved to see those bombs go off as it took all the pressure and focus off of him.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:18 am | Reply
  30. LlINDA

    Can't you see the dear leader just pouting over in the corner "cause two morons had up staged him-and all it took was some cooking utensils.
    Seriouslyt. we pay right into Kim Un's hand by reacting to his every tantrum-, reminds me of my 2 year old.
    I could see the President now saying to Dear Leader: "Look, got my hands full over here-do what you got to do and we;ll get back to you-BUT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE IT!!!

    May 1, 2013 at 12:55 am | Reply
  31. xKoreaVet

    In Square Miles, NK is about the same size as Pennsylvania. We should have enough ordinance to cover every sq mile of that country. We wouldn't need any troops, just the ROKs have to go in.

    May 1, 2013 at 12:47 am | Reply
  32. ...

    What the little fat boy really wanted was for Obama to call him so he could place his McDonald's order. Looks like he just received it.

    May 1, 2013 at 12:45 am | Reply
  33. MOCaseA

    Hrm... The list of "demands" will never be met. His demand is basically "Stop the military exercises, follow MY countries rules, and remove all economic sanctions or else!" He can't even comprehend that a free society (like South Korea) has this wonderful thing called "Freedom of Speech" (or if you are a Monarchy it is called "lese majesty"). Also we've already shown him that our nuclear might can reach him in a very short time regardless of where in the world they are. Be demanding the "removal of all nuclear strike capabilities in the region" he gains nothing but an extra 30 minutes of running time.

    May 1, 2013 at 12:41 am | Reply
  34. Jeff

    Obama and Little Kim on the down low.

    May 1, 2013 at 12:28 am | Reply
  35. Poppa

    Those Boston bombs were exact replicas of little kimies nukes. We are lucky to still have Ma on our map! Psych

    May 1, 2013 at 12:12 am | Reply
  36. Ox

    Why do we even worry about a country so insignificant as North Korea? They are nothing to the rest of the world but stubborn little children. Every time CNN post garbage about NK its the same old comments over and over. Stop giving them what they want, and lets talk about whats more important like our economy. Give NK press time and they feel important "Dont feed the trolls" comes to mind.

    May 1, 2013 at 12:11 am | Reply
  37. Tony

    Why isn't third possibility being discussed? They just lost the propaganda war. That so called saber rattling rhetorics were designed to gain some financial incentives for the NK. Instead, when SK and US did not respond the way they used to, they had to raise the heat and have gone further and ended up losing more than they've bargained for. They lost China support. They lost the Kaesung which gave them $2 billion/yr hard currency, and the most important of all the credibility for the new leader Kim Jung Un. I wouldn't be surprised if they are busy with damage control. There's already distrust of the young punk as a fit leader and this may have shaken his positive a bit too much for comfort. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ku there any time soon...

    May 1, 2013 at 12:03 am | Reply
  38. scott

    America would be wise to work with China on regime change in the North by whatever means necessary.

    Beijing seems to have come to the realization that they too are within striking range of a nuclear missile.

    An emergency landing is always preferable to a crash and burn scenario....its time to shed some blood to gain lasting peace

    April 30, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  39. adam

    It is good to have a president who can collaborate with others in the world to solve problems vital to us and our allies instead of sending bombers and troops.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  40. lloyd

    Ok after the Boston events settle down let's serve the fat boy a Jodi Arias saga.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  41. Pants&

    North Korea wants South Korea to apologize for criticizing its leader? How about North Korea apologize for killing South Koreans when North Korea shelled South Koreas Island? North Korea is such full of Ship(t). A part of me just dares North Korea to give the US an excuse, any excuse to kick this app(ss). Please Please North Korea do something stupid to give the US any excuse what so ever to take you down.....................

    April 30, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Reply
  42. why

    There was no war, just stupid CNN, trying to cause a war. There was never going to be one.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Reply
    • Rogue351

      A media campaign ? Lets not forget how this would have played out had the presidential vote been different. What is the first thing Mitt or McCain would have done with North Korea had they been elected ? The exact same thing Republicans always do, start a war. They would have "enhanced" the American economy via the war machine, just like Bush did until it all fell apart. All of good old boys with government contracts walked away scott free and rich. The middle class Americans instead paid with our savings, home equity, and jobs. But wait, the Republicans have changed, they are about family and guns, and church and families going to church with guns. No, they are not for big business sending jobs over seas, NO they would never do that. The "New" Republicans are fair and caring unless your gay and want equal rights, or your a woman and want the same pay as a man. Or unless you are a migrant worker or a black man, or woman that wants to attend prom with your white friends. Well then there is a difference. You might also want to remember it was religious Republicans the protested fallen soldiers funerals. The same Republican party that the KKK and Arian Brother hood call their party. Yep thats the "New" improved Republican party. They sound more and more like the Taliban each and everyday.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm | Reply
      • JerryDD

        Rogue351, you are an idiot.

        May 1, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • Historian

      That's right! While Koreans are Enjoying Gangnam CNN horrified the world about the War.
      I agree North Korean did big military exercise which is very common whenever there is a new leader
      Everybody knows it's a war drill except american media :)

      April 30, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  43. anon

    The next use of a nuclear weapon in a hostile act will be in Korea. Just read, joke, laugh. But when it happens remember you read it. It's already planned, it's going to happen I don't know when, but sooner than 12 years. When this happens I will know that I was right about every geopolitical crackpot idea I've had. I see the plot, I know the plan. It's going to happen. And when it does, good luck, I hope you're prepared.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Reply
    • Tim Rigney

      See those ads that lead you to a website to help you get a better education and learn logical thinking? Click on one or two of those. . . . ;)

      May 1, 2013 at 5:10 am | Reply
  44. AriesRCN

    What troubles me that saber rattling makes lots of noise, but drawing a saber makes no sound at all.

    Lets hope he just got bored and stayed home.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  45. Olaf Big

    I think North Korea cooled it off because U.S. media stopped paying attention because of Boston bombing. This has never been anything other than media campaign. CNN like most other U.S. media outlets has enough attention span only for one big story at a time.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  46. Jung Fat Un

    The C-130's full of cheeseburgers arrived in Pyongwang. Fat Boy is busy at the moment.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  47. jj

    Who cares what Kim Jong Phat Phuck and his pudgy hands do or don't do? Maybe he finally figured out how to play with himself.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  48. Julie

    They're cooling it because THEY DO THIS EVERY APRIL!!! This is like their Memorial Day; it kicks off the summer for them! I lived in South Korea and the only ones freaking out were westerners! LOLOLOL

    April 30, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  49. Dan

    So how scary could the Pillsbury Doughboy be?

    April 30, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  50. illuminated genius

    Obviously North Korea is not doing anything anymore because it is obvious they were bluffing all along, and they know they have no chance against the world powers as they will lose badly.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  51. Homer10

    I think the Chinese prim minister called up Kim Un, and said very quietly into the phone receiver "Stop it or else.", and the message finally did get through.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  52. Rogue351

    China either grabbed Kim by his pudgy neck and gave him a shake. Or the promised him something ?

    April 30, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  53. illuminated genius

    None of the world powers are afraid of North Korea, Iran, Cuba and all oppressive communist regimes. They know they can bluff all they want, but if they actually do something bad they are finished the same way the Soviet Union and the rest of the extinct communist iron curtain have gone. The world should be glad there are to be no wars, as war should be only a very last resort in which there was no other choice but to survive and protect a country. Humanity has had enough wars already, why does North Korea even insist in the insanity of World War 3? They even think of making one bad move, its game over for all of them no question. Lets hope in the future we can retire the use or wars in the world. War is a horrible thing, and i hope that in the 21st century we devote our energy to more constructive and important things.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Reply
    • Rogue351

      And what is the first thing Mitt or McCain would have done with North Korea had they been elected ? The exact same thing Republicans always do, start a war. They would have "enhanced" the American economy via the war machine, just like Bush did until it all fell apart. All of good old boys with government contracts walked away scott free and rich. The middle class Americans instead paid with our savings, home equity, and jobs. But wait, the Republicans have changed, they are about family and guns, and church and families going to church with guns. No, they are not for big business sending jobs over seas, NO they would never do that. The "New" Republicans are fair and caring unless your gay and want equal rights, or your a woman and want the same pay as a man. Or unless you are a migrant worker or a black man, or woman that wants to attend prom with your white friends. Well then there is a difference. You might also want to remember it was religious Republicans the protested fallen soldiers funerals. The same Republican party that the KKK and Arian Brother hood call their party. Yep thats the "New" improved Republican party. They sound more and more like the Taliban each and everyday.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  54. a hard working American

    The world should give this clown nothing. And he even wants an apology?

    If communist china wants any credibilty as a nation that stands for peace they would stop supporting this insane regime and help it to collapse.Its time to put a stop to the madness.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Reply
    • Homer10

      He hasn't gotten anything yet, and I don't think he will get anything in even the distance future. Also I think China is rethinking everything about the Korean peninsula.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  55. Pablo

    I imagine that their big brother, China, had a word with them.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  56. KEVIN

    China and North Korea are so intertwined in so many ways, it is unrealistic to believe that China will (or even can) actuate anymore economic sanctions. However, China can stop giving North Korea military aid.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  57. kutegirl

    thats wat she said

    April 30, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  58. AS

    I think after winding up the rhetoric machine, NK found itself painted into a corner regarding which action to take next and took advantage of the world media focus on the Boston bombings as a way to sink back down to reality without losing face. Overall, nothing has change, they will just wait for the next opportunity to crank it back up again.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  59. oneWayfarer

    EVERY YEAR about This TIME – North Korea Begins ts 'Fiery Talk' and Missile and Nuclear Tests It Coincides with the TIME when the US and South Korea hold 'WAR GAMES' Every year off the coast of China and North Korea. Can YOU IMAGINE if RUSSIA held Yearly Naval Exercises with Fighter Jets and firing Artillery and Targeting Cites with Missile Cruisers in Joint Exercises with Cuba in the GULF of MEXICO?

    April 30, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Reply
    • Solitairedog

      You do have a point but I was wondering ... what language capitalizes every noun?

      April 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Reply
  60. FedUpWithLA

    Kim Jong Un – "Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Willy S couldn't have said it better himself.

    April 30, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  61. duh

    The US has over 7,000 nukes, but at least we don't drop them on cities full of people

    ..oh wait

    April 30, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Reply
    • Bostontola

      Weren't we the ones who were attacked?

      April 30, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Reply
      • duh

        Fair enough, but to target civilians like that is inexcusable in my opinion (and would be if any other country did it regardless of the reason)

        April 30, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
      • Bostontola

        What was the better alternative?

        April 30, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
      • duh

        continuing to fight without nukes? That's what we would expect any other country to do and that would be the humane thing..

        May 1, 2013 at 6:37 am |
    • Bostontola

      That would have resulted in more casualties.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:53 am | Reply
    • Hammerdown

      duh

      Fair enough, but to target civilians like that is inexcusable in my opinion (and would be if any other country did it regardless of the reason)
      --------------------------------------------------

      Both Hiroshima & Nagasaki where MILITARY targets.
      You are an AZZHOLE.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:56 am | Reply
  62. BO

    After weeks of beating the war drums – don't you feel silly CNN?

    April 30, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  63. JackHammer

    The reason they are cooling it is because after saying they are going to nuke us they either have to nuke us or cool it. We should tell them that we will nuke them if they don't quit threatening to nuke us. Not that we should actually nuke them but if they want to play BS then let's play BS. But it's going to be next to impossible to stop NK from making more and more nukes and in 50 yrs they would be a formidable foe. We should do something rash now but we can't so our country might not exist as we know it several decades from now, if not sooner. We have too many invisible enemies.

    April 30, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  64. jerpell

    Darn-it...That would have been fun!

    April 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Reply
    • Pablo

      Says he who has probably never served in the armed forces.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  65. virginia

    Like usual China had nothing to do with why North Korea has calm down for the time being...it more like that' time out to make sure there is food for the winter....that has calm them down for now...but...China wouldn't agree to the sanction if it was having any control over North Korea....

    I stil Say the un should give them enough $$$$ to keep them out of conflict if North Korea is screaming her lung out is cause it hasn't being enough to make it through the year...and it's not enough to stay quite past a year...so stop the stupidity it cheaper to keeper calm then to have her screaming out the top of her lungs for $$$aid she well deserves for their calm and staying out of conflict in the region...

    April 30, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  66. lmori

    Actually he's just pouting in his bedroom because CNN is paying more attention to the marathon bomber

    April 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  67. Mario

    Kim Jong Un looks like a fat stupid clown, just like his psychotic father.

    April 30, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Reply
    • Pablo

      His father was Kim Jung ILL and his grandfather was Menta Lee ILL.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  68. Balls of Steel

    China must have had a talk with the Pillsbury boy

    April 30, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  69. Kda

    Do not worry about what's going on.
    See German election.

    April 30, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  70. crimsonbama

    That's because the department of transportation of the Chinese gov't issued an embargo on goods, fuel and luxury product being transported to NK. Basically, the Chinese are shutting off the oil tap.

    That's why NK has become quiet. Why can't CNN report real news?

    April 30, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Reply
    • virginia

      The best thing that could happen to North Korea is to be liberated from china's pressure so why don't the US proposes just that- Protection to North Korea from China and Russia...the same protection now enjoyed by south Korea ...after all China has turned on North Korea with the sanctions...so North Korea might just go for that...and North Korea's economy will just grow and won't have to ask for Aid any more...

      April 30, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Reply
      • Yutu Fat

        Virginia, that has to be the most idiotic suggestion I have ever read regarding NK – US relations. Do you really believe that NK thinks that they are "suffering under the yoke of China and Russia" and that coming under the protection of the US would mean anything other than the very prompt dissolution of their current form of government? Do you work for the US State Department?

        April 30, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  71. cucotx

    Ah, North Korea is boring ... Instead, I was just checking Jessica Alba bikini pictures at St. Barts. Very niiiiice.

    April 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  72. John Geheran

    What North Korea wants is totally reasonable. Only a Tea Partying fool would say otherwise. Let's meet them halfway at least. Will Obama have the sense to do that much?

    April 30, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Reply
    • Trider

      You can not be serious...right?

      April 30, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Reply
    • Thad Kozubal

      You lack all political sense, or your attempt at a poor joke failed miserably. I'm just glad that you are NOT one of President Obama's advisers. You spend too much time on the Tea party side where they want to start in the middle and work way over to the right. The only thing they should give Kim Jong Un is an enema. Maybe you should get the same treatment.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:24 am | Reply
  73. David

    >> reign in the North Koreans

    Rein in, not "reign" in. Twice.

    April 30, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Reply
  74. determined2bfit

    The Boston Marathon Bombings messed up NKorea's ratings, now they have to regroup and see what they can do to get back in the spotlight.

    April 30, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
    • MissAnneThropee

      I was coming here to express the exact sentiment.

      I think Jr. prolly cried and stuffed himself with lichi nut ice cream, sobbing at the fact that there is no respect that he hasn't earned that was not bought, or basically owned. Well...It is good to see that he is getting a wee time out.

      Such a Sad, fat little man...

      April 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Reply
    • Lord Barrington

      Not Boston's fault. It was 'The Top 50 Restaurants in the World", that NK of the front page.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Reply
    • Thad Kozubal

      That will have to wait until the crops are planted and the horses are fed so the NK's can make it back to their front lines. Give NK a rest. When the war games are over and the fat boy can't see anything going on through his binoculars, he'll calm down too. China already told him to start planting or he will starve. I suspect that China has also cut his ration of McDonald's burgers in half for being such a brat.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:32 am | Reply
  75. xKoreaVet

    After the Boston bombing, Americans were on a hair trigger looking for a fight, Kim decided he'd better stop poking us as we were not in a very forgiving mood.

    April 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  76. Matt

    Who?

    April 30, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Reply
    • Inspector Clouseau

      FYI – Foal Eagle is the name of the joint U.S / South Korea military exercises.

      April 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  77. zorbatron100

    Lets prepare for foal eagle 2014

    April 30, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  78. bilbo

    reign? reign them in?

    rein is the word you are looking for.

    April 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  79. Zwei Stein

    Really want to know why they stopped the rhetoric? OK...it was ME! They obviously read my comment on another CNN article a couple weeks ago and decided that I was right. They followed my suggestions! True! Yep...I said so!

    April 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  80. Dan Dunn

    "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."

    How about we send him Dennis Rodman and a bulk bag of potato chips (to stuff his fat face) and keep the UN sanctions, keep the nukes pointed at N. Korea and keep making fun of him. Cause nothing they're demanding is ever going to happen without them completely dismantling their nuclear program.

    Come on fat-boy! We're still daring you to cross the 38th parallel. Your sabre rattling was hilarious. Going to nuke Austin TX. Telling all the embassies that they couldn't guarantee their safety, because war was imminent, and they should get out. But telling your tour companies to keep sending bringing foreigners with money because there was nothing to worry about. Kim Jong Un must think politics is like the Special Olympics, he only has to try to win.

    April 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Reply
  81. clinky

    We'll see. Once they find out we're not going to scale back sanctions to reward them for simmering down, they will have to play a new card all over again. Only now, it looks like the U.S. has made it clear to them we feel at liberty to shoot down any of their missiles in open waters. So their options for saber-rattling have narrowed.

    April 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Reply
  82. bikramsuri

    Mr. Kerry Gave the Korean Fatso couple of Billion $ on his SA Trip

    April 30, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Reply
    • hemingway wannabe

      After the Boston bombings, the little fat guy no longer had the media to broadcast his threats.
      No longer a media darling, he could only say, "Boo-hoo". Why doesn't CNN say the real reason instead
      of all this hypothesizing?

      April 30, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  83. bikramsuri

    Mr Kerry gave the Korean Fatso couple of billion dollars. To shut him up.

    April 30, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  84. Inspector Clouseau

    The reason it's quiet now is that CNN is trying to keep the Marathon bombing on the front page. The bombing was one of the few things that has raised CNN's audience. So for now, CNN keeps plastering their web page with the same 2 or 3 pictures of the bombers and hope that people will remain interested. But once the next major story comes up, CNN will drop the photo's and the 'reportage' in a micro-second. Then they'll have a follow-up a few weeks later about "How quiet everyone is about the Boston Marathon Bombing".

    April 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  85. oneWayfarer

    WHAT WAS IT about the Time Period when North Korea Began and Ended its 'Fiery Talk' and Tests that is the SAME Every Year? It Coincides with when the US and South Korea hold 'WAR GAMES' Every year off the coast of china and North Korea. Can YOU IMAGINE if RUSSIA held Yearly Naval Exercises with Fighter Jets and firing Artillery and Targeting Cites in Joint Exercises with Cuba in the GULF of MEXICO?

    April 30, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • caopingcucao

      i agree with you.if us and south krean cancel strill ,everything will be all right.

      April 30, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  86. Andy

    At some point recently, someone with understanding said to Kim, "listen, you little s..t, you're not anywhere near as great a you think you are. You want to be toast...keep it up!"

    April 30, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  87. Michele R

    Nah, he was just impressing his generals on the anniversary of his family's takeover. And took attention away from the real ills of the country. Jim and Kam called it right.

    April 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  88. RSVP

    I think he's mesmerized by the Boston bombing and all of its sordid details and ongoing investigation.

    April 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  89. guy rich

    what what

    April 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  90. chris

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tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas tomastomas tomas

    April 30, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Reply
    • ScottCA

      Interesting comment, but you completely forgot to mention about Thomas.

      April 30, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  91. rick

    man they went and hid in the corner like that chuck guy said thre just like that stupid fat kid who threats every body but they dont do crap because there idiotic and smell like ass

    April 30, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  92. chuck

    they pooped there pants so they were ashamed so they went and hid in the corner so no one would smell them any more

    April 30, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  93. daveitso

    He got smart and figured out if he went to war his country would be knocked beyond the stone age

    April 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      They did go to war, and China kicked you in the balls. You will get the same if you try again.

      April 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
      • lol

        they went to war and if it wasnt for china n orthkorea would be gone by them lol north korea cant do chit they where losing the war

        April 30, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
  94. Jim

    Come on. All of the bluster was leading up to and shortly after the 101st birthday of the founder of North Korea. It was a nationalistic gesture meant to show their strength but was always hollow.

    April 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  95. us_1776

    Too many basketball games to watch.

    .

    April 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  96. Andy

    Why? Because dough-boy kim spewed enough rhetoric to keep her despotic regime intact without being eliminated by those who know better.

    April 30, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  97. Bryant @ NorCal

    Psy's work is done!!!

    April 30, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  98. blah@mail.com

    In other words CNN was distracted by the whole bombing thing.

    April 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Reply
    • Timothy C

      You may well be right. Kim Jong Un may have realized he'd not be heard in the aftermath of the 24-7 coverage.

      April 30, 2013 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  99. Kam

    Kim Jong Un did all this to deflect attention from what's really going in his country. He thinks that by pulling off these types of political tactics, somehow his people will forget about the real problems they are afflicted with. Please visit the site servenotrule today and take action to make the world a better place.

    April 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Reply
    • yomama

      killlllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

      April 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Reply
      • why

        Maybe some one should kill all americans? and you. You are so stupid with that comment.

        April 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
  100. as

    asf

    April 30, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Reply
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