China v. US on North Korea
by Stephen Lendman
On April 26, a Trump administration statement said he “aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile, and proliferation programs by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our Allies and regional partners.”
Instead of a military option, it said he seeks dialogue and diplomacy to achieve “peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
Interviewed by Reuters on Thursday, his comments were disturbingly different, saying “(t)here is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.”
“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult.” He called the DPRK his biggest global challenge – “an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority,” according to administration officials.
On April 28, China’s People’s Daily headlined “China draws red line for North Korea issue: war is not allowed,” saying:
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi talked tough on the North Korea issue, ruling out war. It’s “not acceptable,” he said.
“The Korean Peninsula is not the Middle East. If war breaks out, the consequences would be unimaginable.”
China’s position is firm, Korean peninsula denuclearization its aim, diplomacy and dialogue its way of resolving things.
Provocative US/South Korean military exercises violate “the spirit of (Security) Council resolutions,” Wang stressed.
Beijing will continue playing a constructive role in dealing with all parties. Its “red line” is war is unacceptable.
On April 27, China’s Global Times (GT) said Pyongyang’s nuclear tests “100 kilometers from (its) border…threatens” its northeast region.
Its nuclear and ballistic missile programs “giv(e) Washington an excuse to enhance its military deployment in the region…China cannot be a bystander.”
Beijing and Washington are world’s apart on resolving things. “(T)hey share common interests in opposing Pyongyang developing nuclear and missile technologies,” said GT.
If the “nuclear issue boils over…war…is unavoidable…If China does not tackle the conundrum now, it will face more difficult choices in the future.”
Its government wants cooperation by all parties – Pyongyang suspending its nuclear tests, Washington and South Korea halting provocative joint military exercises, diplomacy and dialogue over military confrontation.
If Beijing fails to achieve its objectives, it’s able “to strike back at any side that crosses (its) red line,” GT stressed.
The Korean peninsula remains a dangerous flashpoint. Trump’s rage for war makes anything possible.
A Final Comment
On Friday, Secretary of State Tillerson will chair a special Security Council session on North Korea.
According to acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner on Monday (now succeeded by Fox News host Heather Nauert):
“The meeting will give Security Council members an opportunity to discuss ways to maximize the impact of existing Security Council measures and show their resolve to respond to further provocations with appropriate new measures.”
“The DPRK poses one of the gravest threats to international peace and security through its pursuit of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other weapons of mass destruction as well as its other prohibited activities.”
America and its rogue allies alone pose regional and global threats. The North Korean “conundrum” isn’t going away any time soon.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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