PN's Voice 110

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PN's Voice 110, 06.04.2017
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PN's Voice No. 110,  06. 04. 2017 
Small steps, Road to peace

US Has 'Spoken Enough about North Korea' After New Missile Launch

Japan and South Korea have condemned North Korea after it launched another ballistic missile the day prior to the China-US summit. However, the US refused to be drawn in, with secretary of state Rex Tillerson saying the country “has spoken enough about North Korea”.

While Japan lodged a strong protest over the “extremely problematic launch”, which landed in waters off the Korean peninsula, Tillerson responded to the test with only a short enigmatic statement saying “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.” A few hours earlier, before news of the new missile launch broke, a senior Trump administration official suggested time was running out for a diplomatic solution. “We would have loved to see North Korea join the community of nations,” the official said. “They have been given that opportunity over the course in different dialogues and offers over the course of four administrations with some of best diplomats and statesmen doing the best they could to bring about a resolution. “The clock has now run out and all options are on the table for us.”

North Korea’s foreign ministry criticised Trump’s comments and ongoing joint military exercises involving South Korea and the US that Pyongyang claims are a dress rehearsal for an invasion. The “reckless actions” are driving the tense situation on the Korean peninsula “to the brink of a war”, a ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the official KCNA news agency.
Source : The Guardian, The New York Times

Trump: US Ready to 'Solve' N. Korea Problem without China

US President Donald Trump has said the United States will "solve" the nuclear threat from North Korea, with or without China's help. "If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you," he said in an interview with UK newspaper the Financial Times. Pressed on whether he thought he could succeed alone, he replied: "Totally." Mr Trump was speaking ahead of a scheduled visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping this week.

"China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won't. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don't it won't be good for anyone," Mr Trump told the Financial Times. Asked if he meant "one-on-one" unilateral action, Mr Trump said: "I don't have to say any more." He did not give any further details on what action he would take.

Mr Trump's brief comments, published just days before the key meeting with Mr Xi at Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Thursday, are the latest in a series of warnings over North Korea's nuclear development. There are fears that Pyongyang could eventually develop the ability to launch long-range nuclear missiles capable of striking the mainland US.

So what options are on the table for dealing with North Korea? During a trip to Asia in March, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said pre-emptive military action was an option "on the table". A month earlier, Defence Secretary James Mattis warned that any use of nuclear weapons would be met with an "overwhelming" response. However, it is generally thought that military action against North Korea would lead to very high military and civilian casualties. US officials stress that contingency planning for the military option has been discussed for decades, but the preferred course of action remains pressing North Korea to abandon its weapons programmes via sanctions and other diplomatic pressure. The strategic realities are grim. Leaving aside its nuclear arsenal, North Korea could devastate the capital of South Korea, Seoul, with massed artillery fire and rockets just as any US offensive action was getting under way.
Source : BBC News

Trump tells Japan 'All Options on the Table' for Dealing with NK

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe told reporters US president Donald Trump had ‘made a strong remark’ in discussing the North Korea threat. In a telephone call on Thursday morning, Trump told the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, that “all options are on the table” – including military action – to address provocations by North Korea.

Trump “made clear that the United States will continue to strengthen its ability to deter and defend itself and its allies with the full range of its military capabilities”, the White House said in a statement about the 35-minute call. “The president emphasized that the United States stands with its allies Japan and South Korea in the face of the serious threat that North Korea continues to pose.”

Susan Thornton, the top US diplomat for East Asia, called North Korea “an urgent and global threat”. She told reporters: “We are looking for an action-focused, results-oriented approach, and we are going to be trying to cooperate with other partners and allies in a global coalition really to try to solve this problem in an urgent way that we haven’t really taken up before.” However, Kurt Campbell, who served as the US’s senior diplomat dealing with Asia during Barack Obama’s first term as president, warned that Trump’s rhetoric lacked credibility. “He’s making it seem like we are prepared to go to war or use military action … and I don’t think that is going to be viable,” Campbell told Associated Press. “The key about using leverage in negotiation is that you have to be credible.”
Source : The Guardian

Peace Network’s New English Podcast

Peace Network is delighted to announce the upcoming launch of its new biweekly English podcast which will be an English accompaniment to our widely followed Real Security (진짜 안보) Korean podcast. The latest geo-political issues focused aouend the Korean Peninsula and wider East-Asian region will be discussed and analysed by Peace Network’s coordinator Jeonghyun Seong and researcher Olly Terry. Next week’s newsletter will include a link to the first episode.

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