International News 2494 Views

USA for diplomacy with North Korea, both direct and indirect!

Even while threatening North Korea with punitive measures against its insistence and stubbornness for nukes, the US super power apparently is quietly pursuing direct diplomacy with North Korea to avert tensions.

Despite US President Donald Trump's public assertion that such talks are a waste of time, he nonetheless is eager to try diplomacy. 

North Korea this year conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear detonation and has test-fired a volley of missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that, if perfected, could in theory reach the United States mainland. The possibility that Pyongyang may be closer to attaching a nuclear warhead to an ICBM has alarmed the Trump administration, which in April unveiled a policy of "maximum pressure and engagement" that has so far failed to deter North Korea.

A White House official said that using the so-called "New York channel," Joseph Yun, US negotiator with North Korea, has been in contact with diplomats at Pyongyang's United Nations mission, at a time when an exchange of bellicose insults between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has fueled fears of military conflict.

The New York channel is one of the few conduits the United States has for communicating with North Korea, which has itself made clear it has little interest in serious talks before it develops a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the continental United States.

While in an arrogant tone US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Oct. 17 said he would continue "diplomatic efforts ... until the first bomb drops," the official's comments were the clearest sign the USA was directly discussing issues beyond the release of American prisoners, despite Trump having dismissed direct talks as pointless.

There is no sign, however, that the behind-the-scenes communications have improved a relationship vexed by North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, the death of US university student Otto Warmbier days after his release by Pyongyang in June and the detention of three other Americans.

Word of quiet engagement with Pyongyang comes despite Trump's comments, North Korea's weapons advances and suggestions by some US and South Korean officials that Yun's interactions with North Koreans had been reined in. "It has not been limited at all, both (in) frequency and substance," said the senior State Department official.

Among the points that Yun has made to his North Korean interlocutors is to "stop testing" nuclear bombs and missiles, the official said.

Besides, USA is also pushing China for talks with its ally North Korea and bring it to the negotiating table.  In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China welcomed any dialogue between the USA and North Korea. "We encourage North Korea and the United States to carry out engagement and dialogue," Hua told reporters, adding that she hoped talks could help return the issue to a diplomatic track for resolution.

China says it will work with South Korea towards denuclearization on Korean peninsula. China and South Korea will work towards denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

China and South Korea will continue to use diplomatic means to address the Korean peninsula issue, according to the statement. The statement came following a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday between Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's representative for six-party nuclear talks, and his Chinese counterpart, Kong Xuanyou.

Meanwhile, the NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has urged all UN members to fully and transparently implement sanctions against North Korea, which he said has emerged as a global threat.  Earlier, speaking at the United Nations on Sept. 19, Trump vowed to "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatened the United States or its allies, raising anxieties about the possibility of military conflict.

Twelve days later, after Tillerson said Washington was probing for a diplomatic opening, Trump said on Twitter that his chief diplomat was "wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man" - his mocking nickname for the North Korean leader.

Democratic US senators introduced a bill they said would prevent Trump from launching a nuclear first strike on North Korea on his own, highlighting the issue days before the Republican's first presidential trip to Asia.

A high-ranking North Korean defector said in Washington that he backed the Trump government's policy of pressuring Pyongyang through sanctions, coupled with "maximum engagement" with the leadership and increased efforts to get information into North Korea to educate its people. "I strongly believe in the use of soft power before taking any military actions," Thae Yong Ho, chief of mission at Pyongyang's embassy in London until he defected in 2016, told the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The last high-level contact between Yun and the North Koreans was when he traveled to North Korea in June to secure the release of Warmbier, who died shortly after he returned home in a coma, the State Department official said.

The Trump regime has demanded North Korea release three other US citizens: missionary Kim Dong Chul and academics Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song.     Warmbier’s death was a factor in the chilling of U.S.-North Korean contacts around that time but the biggest impact came from Pyongyang’s stepped-up testing, the official said.

The official said, however, that "the preferred endpoint is not a war but some kind of diplomatic settlement" and suggestions that Washington is setting up a binary choice for Pyongyang to capitulate diplomatically or military action were "misleading." Diplomacy, the official said, "has a lot more room to go." But Trump's threats against North Korea are believed to have complicated diplomatic efforts.

Korea-China move to improve ties

Meanwhile, the United States said it welcomes South Korea and China's decision to improve their ties despite a dispute over missile defense. Heather Nauert, spokeswoman for the State Department, said the move paves the way for greater stability in a region rattled by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. "We certainly welcome that China and the Republic of Korea would have a closer relationship," she said during a regular press briefing. "We tend to think that that is a good thing for the region, and especially, the regional instability, and the worldwide instability that (North Korea) poses."

 

Seoul and Beijing announced that they had agreed to "expeditiously bring exchanges and cooperation in all areas back onto a normal track." The joint statement came after more than a year of tension over South Korea's decision to deploy the THAAD US missile defense system on its soil.

Beijing argues the system poses a threat to its security interests, while the allies insist it is a purely defensive measure aimed at deterring the North. 
"In terms of THAAD, nothing has changed from our position on that. It was an alliance decision on the part of the US and the Republic of Korea," Nauert said. "One of our priorities is not only keeping our own people safe, but keeping our allies safe."

Asked whether the agreement reflects a change in Beijing's stance on Pyongyang, she said, "China, I think, is certainly coming around and recognizing the threat that (North Korea) poses." 

 

Iran and North Korea are the two nations on which USA focuses. Iran's defense capabilities are not negotiable, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday in remarks made previously but which now come amid increased pressure from the US government over Tehran's ballistic missile program.

Zionist nuke bully

USA wants only its terror ally Israel to have nukes, obtained from Washington secretly and WMD could be used for threatening and bullying Iran and Arab nations. Israel considers itself as  the sole super power of West Asia on the strength of  the illegally obtained WMD. That is the reasons why USA and Israel do not want Iran to have its own legitimate  WMD.

Ties between Iran and the United States have deteriorated under U.S. President Donald Trump and suffered another deep blow two weeks ago when he decided not to certify that Tehran is complying with a 2015 nuclear pact and warning he might ultimately terminate it.

Iran has reacted defiantly, dismissing Trump's demands for the pact to be toughened up. Last week, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, the most powerful military force in the country, said its ballistic missile program would accelerate despite U.S. and European Union pressure to suspend it. "The defense capabilities and strength of the country are not negotiable or up for haggling," Khamenei was cited as saying at a ceremony at the Imam Ali army officer’s academy in Tehran, according to state media.

The ramping up of rhetoric on both sides has raised the specter of a possible military confrontation between the two countries. In recent months, small boats from the Revolutionary Guards navy have swarmed close to American warships in the Gulf, prompting the U.S. navy to fire flares and warning shots.

Under the landmark 2015 deal between Iran and world powers, the Islamic Republic agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of a number of sanctions.

The US Senate is considering new legislation which could lead to Washington restoring sanctions on Iran should it test a ballistic missile able to carry a warhead or bar nuclear inspectors from any sites.

In response, Khamenei said last week that Tehran would stick to the nuclear accord with world powers as long as the other signatories respected it, but would “shred” the deal if Washington pulled out.

USA says Taliban increases influence, territory in Afghanistan

All these terror war sand threats to emerging nuclear powers by the USA began with the US invasion of Islamizing Afghanistan following the September -11 1hoax.  The trends of invasion for energy reserves and gold reserves, and killing Muslims, continue unabated.

USA could not destroy the Taliban and Al Qaeda and they are powerful in Afghanistan.  USA does not want to destroy the terror gangs as they, created by US-Israel duo in the first place, are seen useful and convenient tools to advance imperialist objectives of America.

The Taliban has increased the amount of territory it has influence over or controls in Afghanistan in the past six months, a U.S. watchdog agency reported on Tuesday, as the militant group has stepped up attacks in recent weeks.

As of August, 13 percent of the 407 districts in Afghanistan were under Taliban control or influence, compared with 11 percent in February, according to a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. That means an additional 700,000 people now live in districts where the Taliban has at least some influence. The updated figures are a sign of the deteriorating security situation in the war-torn country, even as the United States has committed several thousand more troops.

The gains being made by the Taliban and a spate of recent attacks underscore worries about Afghan security forces' ability to deal with a relentless insurgency that they have struggled to contain since most foreign troops left at the end of 2014. In total, about 43 percent of Afghanistan's districts are either under Taliban control or being contested, three percent higher than six months ago, SIGAR said.

US forces in Afghanistan also withheld certain data on the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, the report said, including "casualties, personnel strength, attrition, and the operational readiness of equipment." "In a significant development this quarter, US Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) classified or otherwise restricted information SIGAR has until now publicly reported," the report said.

Afghanistan's worsening security situation was highlighted on October 31 when a suicide bomber in the capital killed as many as eight people.

Obviously, USA has no plans to quit Afghanistan now or in the near future.