It looks like this is all going to play out like I and other that follow North Korea closely thought it would:
North Korea offered the United States and South Korea a list of conditions on Thursday for talks, including the lifting of U.N. sanctions, signalling a possible end to weeks of warlike hostility on the Korean peninsula.
The North Korea’s top military body also said in a statement the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula would begin when the United States removed nuclear weapons that the isolated state says Washington has deployed in the region.
The move was likely a sop to the North‘s only major backer, China, which has signalled its growing unease over the escalation of threats, and which said later on Thursday that talks were the only correct way to end the tension.
“Dialogue and war cannot co-exist,” the North’s National Defence Commission said in the statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
“If the United States and the puppet South have the slightest desire to avoid the sledge-hammer blow of our army and the people … and truly wish dialogue and negotiations, they must make the resolute decision,” it said. [Reuters]
You can read the rest at the link, but really the only thing that did not play out like I expected was a missile test. This could be a sign that maybe they had little confidence that their Musudan missile works. They still have time though to fire off a missile but it seems that since they are now offering to talk they may be using the pending missile test now as leverage to get the talks to focus on ending UN sanctions and not their denuclearization. Something else the North is demanding is that the US end their military drills with the South Korean military. Remember this all goes back to their long term strategy of trying to end the US-ROK alliance. Their ultimate goal is to negotiate a peace treaty with the US that would lead to the redeployment of US forces from the peninsula. North Korea knows that it can never achieve unification of the peninsula under their terms as long as the US military is backing South Korea.
So if the Kim regime can get the US to agree to dropping some of the sanctions to begin talks, this will be yet another win for the North Koreans that shows that their provocation strategy continues to win them results.