Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

United States top envoy Tillerson: New methods needed to counter North Korea

United States top envoy Tillerson: New methods needed to counter North Korea

"President Trump has the utmost confidence in the Secretary of State and looks forward to Mr. Tillerson implementing a bold agenda to revitalize American foreign policy", Anton said.

"We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security, economic measures".

The Japan Times, citing an anonymous senior Japanese foreign ministry official, reported that Tillerson told Kishida that "all options are on the table" in dealing with North Korea's military threat. A Military Armistice Commission briefing room straddles the border. "This may be a Fabian strategy", referring to the Roman statesman Fabius who defeated the Carthaginian general Hannibal by avoiding frontal conflict. They have been "playing" the United States for years. Without China's help, such business activities would be almost impossible. Pyongyang says the programs are meant to protect the country from U.S. hostility. Tensions are running high on the divided Korean Peninsula, and North Korea last week launched four missiles into seas off Japan and where the U.S.is now conducting annual military drills with South Korea.

Asked about the possibility of using military force against North Korea, he said, "all of the options are on the table".

- The U.S. and South Korea are planning to set up a state-of-the-art missile defense system known as THAAD, which along with the predictable opposition from Pyongyang has antagonized Beijing - Tillerson's next stop - because it can monitor activity in China as well. Well, based on the results gained at the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, today I would like to have a candid discussion with the U.S. on ways to promote our comity and cooperation.

Washington and Seoul claim that the missile system is for defense against North Korea, which has conducted numerous ballistic missile tests in the past, including most recently on March 6.

- The U.S. and South Korea are now holding their biggest-ever annual joint military exercises, which are seen by the North as a dress rehearsal for invasion.

Central to the USA review is China and its role in any bid to persuade Pyongyang to change course. "So we look to China to fulfill its obligations and fully implement the sanctions called for in the United Nations resolutions", Tillerson said. The Commerce Department last week announced that a Chinese tech firm, ZTE, would pay a $1.2 billion fine for violating sanctions by selling equipment to Iran and North Korea.

Parts of an advanced USA missile defence system arrive at Osan Air Base, South Korea. China sees the system as a threat to its own security although the US says it is only targeted against North Korea.

Citing recent North Korean missile launches, Tillerson said that "in the face of this ever-escalating threat it is clear that a different approach is required".

Tillerson also rejected Beijing's proposal of halting the U.S.

Officials have sought to play down the military option, given the risk of North Korean retaliation. He further sounded skeptical about the idea of negotiating a freeze that would leave the North with "significant capabilities" that could threaten the region and USA forces.

Japan and South Korea both host tens of thousands of USA troops.

Tillerson's 20 years of failure assessment, while bleak enough, may actually be an understatement.

"We don't take this opportunity lightly and recognise the controversy surrounding press access for the trip", Alex Skatell, IJR's founder and chief executive, said in a statement on Tuesday. At one point they were only a few feet from Tillerson, with one taking either video or photos.

The Trump administration has already dipped a toe into sanctioning Chinese companies and by doing so is looking to expand a policy that the Obama administration began previous year.

The DMZ, which is both a tourist trap and a potential flashpoint, is guarded on both sides with land mines, razor wire fence, tank traps and hundreds of thousands of combat-ready troops.

He dismissed concerns over a delay in THAAD's deployment, pointing out the system would not protect much of the country, including the almost 26 million people living in the Seoul metro area.

The 1950-53 Korean War, fought under Truman, is technically still going, since it ended with a truce that has yet to be negotiated into an actual peace treaty.

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