AJR| After weeks of mass tension over North Korea’s nuclear program, US Secretary of State urges for international sanctions.
Rex Tillerson states that if they fail to act it will “lead to catastrophic consequences.”
“All options for responding to future provocation must remain on the table. Diplomatic and financial levers of power will be backed up by a willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action if necessary,” Mr Tillerson said. “We much prefer a negotiated solution to this problem but we are committed to defending ourselves and our allies against North Korean aggression.”
Reported by thefederalistpapers,
Chinese and Russian diplomats blame the U.S. for the current crises in North Korea, citing President Trump’s “reckless muscle flexing.”
Obviously, North Korea has done its own share of “muscle flexing” over the years, from wild threats to real attacks. Not to mention the heinous way they treat their citizens.
How can the U.N. seriously consider unconditional negotiations as the North has shown no interest in abandoning its nuclear weapons and missile capacity while aggressively threatening neighboring countries and the US?
What went wrong with calls for increased sanctions?
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson convened the session of the United Nation Security Council and called for member states to increase sanctions on Pyongyang and suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations with Kim Jong Un’s regime.
But in the contentious session, Chinese and Russian diplomats sought to shift the blame for the nuclear crisis to Washington. Moscow’s deputy foreign minister accused President Donald Trump of “reckless muscle flexing” by sending more military assets to the Korean Peninsula. “The whole world is seriously wondering if there is going to be a war,” the minister, Gennady Gatilov, told the council.
“Reckless muscle flexing?” North Korea is in possession of nuclear weapons which it tests in spite of sanctions and restrictions. It is currently seeking intercontinental ballistic capacities while threatening to attack the U.S., South Korea, Japan, and even Australia.
Yet responding with anything other than submissiveness is reckless?
Where do we go from here? Is it too late for diplomacy?
The Wall Street Journal continues:
Mr. Tillerson’s speech on Friday was seen by the White House as the start of a stepped-up campaign to isolate North Korea. He urged all countries to cut or suspend diplomatic and economic ties with Pyongyang—comments directed in part at China, North Korea’s key ally.
Mr. Tillerson also said the U.S. would be willing to negotiate with North Korea only if the Kim regime exhibited good faith by honoring U.N. resolutions meant to curb its ballistic missile and nuclear program, which it has consistently violated.
“We will not negotiate our way back to the negotiating table,” he said, adding the U.S. “would not reward” North Korea’s bad behavior with talks.
China sees things differently. Not only is diplomacy still the best option, but the U.S. and South Korea have increased tensions. According to China, when North Korea threatens to murder your people for years on end while demonstrating tests on nuclear weapons and missiles, you’re not really supposed to take it seriously.
The Wall Street Journal continues:
China called for unconditional diplomacy and accused the U.S. and South Korea of ratcheting up tensions by expanding military exercises and suggested that both sides had equal responsibility in defusing the situation.
“The use of force does not solve differences and will only lead to bigger disasters,” China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the council. He said there can’t be “double standards” and talks must resume without preconditions.
[…] The U.S. Treasury Department’s former point man on North Korea, Daniel Glaser, said Thursday that U.S. policy makers needed to understand that China views North Korea as an ally, regardless of its frustration with Kim Jong Un’s activities.