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Trump contradicts Tillerson on North Korea

Posted October. 03, 2017 08:31,   

Updated October. 03, 2017 08:38

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United States President Donald Trump posted on twitter on Sunday (local time), “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man…” This was to publicly dismiss Tillerson’s remark after his talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the possibility of North Korea–U.S. talk with a couple, three open channels with North Korea. President Trump’s remark, “We’ll do what has to be done,” which still does not rule out military options, has inflicted confusion to not only allies but also China and Russia.

The National Security Office of Cheong Wa Dae recently published a report that mentioned the possibility of additional provocations by North Korea somewhere around Oct. 10, the anniversary of its communist party foundation, or on Oct. 18, the day China holds its communist party congress. “Obviously it would help if North Korea would stop firing off missiles,” said Tillerson as a specific condition for a dialogue. However, 38 North, an American website devoted to analysis about North Korea, disclosed that the North continues to work on what seems to be its second submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test stand barge at the Nampo Navy Shipyard on the country’s west coast, implying that the possibility of North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats still remains. This newspaper also pointed out earlier that South Korea needs to suffocate the North with maximum oppression possible and that a hasty North Korea-U.S. dialogue may officially recognize North Korea’s nuclear power. With his upcoming visit to China in November, President Trump, on his part, may have needed to prevent not just the misjudgment of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but confusion surrounding the U.S. strategy toward North Korea.

The principle of the Trump administration’s North Korea policy is “maximum oppression and interference.” As President Trump focused on oppression and Secretary Tillerson, on interference, some analyze that it is difficult to say that the two men have a completely different stance in dealing with North Korea.

When the two men’s different remarks over the North aroused controversy, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, “Diplomatic channels between Washington and Pyongyang are open for now, but they will not be open forever.” Her remark was to take caution so that the United States is not seen to be begging for talks with North Korea. “Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail,” said President Trump. What is profoundly clear, however, is that the United States’ goal is to draw North Korea to dialogues that aim at denuclearization by oppressing North Korea to the extent it is threatened militarily. Discord between the U.S. president and the Secretary of State does not mean that the South Korean government should do likewise. North Korea’s nuclear issues, above all other issues, should be treated consistently by taking lead in oppressing the North based on the South Korea – U.S. alliance.