The North Korean crisis took another turn this week. Yesterday, the UN Security Council passed a new round of sanctions against North Korea, following their recent alleged hydrogen bomb test.

According to the UN’s High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, North Korea does not want to start a nuclear war, and the US is not seeking regime change in Pyongyang.

“I don’t think DPRK wants to start a nuclear war,” said Nakamitsu in Geneva on Tuesday.

She added: “Maybe I‘m missing something but as far as I hear, no one is really asking for any collapse of DPRK, quite the contrary. No one is talking about regime change, quite the contrary.”

While this may not be true in literal terms, US officials have made a series of counterproductive nuclear threats to North Korea. While Defense Secretary James Mattis raised the prospects of the US deploying nuclear warheads in South Korea, Senator John McCain threatened North Korea with “extinction” if they did not stop ‘their aggression’.

“In other words, make sure that Kim Jong Un knows that if he acts in an aggressive fashion, the price will be extinction,” said McCain to CNN’s Jake Tapper.

21WIRE editor Patrick Henningsen explains the fundamental flaw in Washington’s calculus and what needs to happen for negotiations to bear real fruit for peace in the region.