The Obama administration reacted with new sanctions and blunt warnings to North Korea's declaration that it had completely scrapped the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War. Sharpening the tension on the peninsula, the North Korean regime declared the truce was over and the time for final showdown has arrived. However, Obama administration officials insisted they would not seek toi ease tensions, as past administrations have done, by providing aid in exchange for Pyonyang's promises to scale back its weapons program.
The US announced that the administration was issuing sanctions aimed at cutting the Foreign Trade Bank of North Korea from the US financial system, saying the bank provides financing for Pyonyang's missile and nuclear programs. The punishments, which also blacklist three individual North korean officials, come on top of financial sanctions imposed last week by the UN Security Council.
North Korea should learn that the US will not play the game of accepting empty promises or yielding to threats. To get assistance it desperately needs and the respect it claims it wants, North Korea will have to change course.