Martes, 23 Octubre, 2018

Trump team softens war talk, vows other pressure on North Korea

Hard National Security Choices Trump team softens war talk, vows other pressure on North Korea
Eleena Tovar | 28 Abril, 2017, 09:32

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led Wednesday's session.

After the briefing, some of the USA senators also took issue with the absence of specifics on the Trump administration's thinking on North Korea and any potential future actions such as in response to a new nuclear test.

He said he would prefer, however, to avoid conflict and peaceably achieve a non-nuclear North Korea.

"The United States seeks stability and the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula".

Harris is testifying in three congressional hearings this week, but he's doing so without Gen. Vincent Brooks, the head of US Forces Korea, who was supposed to testify but remained in the Pacific due to the increased tensions.

China, the only major ally of North Korea, has been increasingly uncomfortable in recent months about its neighbour's pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles in violation on United Nations resolutions. But some lawmakers on both sides went away dissatisfied.

And on the issue of THAAD payment, a foreign policy advisor to South Korea's presidential front-runner, Moon Jae-in, said that Seoul shelling out for the missile defense system is an "impossible option", according to Reuters.

Democratic senator Chris Coons, of DE, called the White House briefing "sobering", adding that the North Korean threat "should be the top priority of the administration".

He has vowed to stop the North from being able to hit the US with a nuclear missile and US Vice President Mike Pence last week said that the "era of strategic patience" was over.

Anti-THAAD protesters clash with police as the US and South Korea move parts of the anti-missile defense system to its planned deployment location in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province in South Korea. North Korea says it needs the weapons to defend itself and has vowed to strike the U.S. and its Asian allies at the first sign of any attack on it.

China, Pyongyang's number one trade partner, has repeatedly called for a return to talks on denuclearisation but has been reluctant to use economic pressure that could destabilise North Korea.

USA officials said Wednesday's briefings will center on three key issues: intelligence about the North's capabilities; US response options, including military ones; and how to get China and other countries to enforce existing economic sanctions on Pyongyang, along with ideas for new penalties.

"It's real", Adm. Harry Harris Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Tillerson said the added pressure is compounded by the growing threat the North Korean nuclear program could pose to China.

"We believe that this THAAD system is absolutely necessary to the defense of South Korea".

Harris scoffed at Chinese objections, saying he believed it was "preposterous" that Beijing would try to punish South Korea over a system to defend itself, and suggested China should focus on trying to influence North Korea. "Will he be treating this as a stunt, is that the approach that he is bringing the briefing or will this be a serious conversation about North Korea?" The nuclear-powered submarine is built to carry and launch ballistic missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles.