September 4, 2017

Word: Trump's disastrous policy towards South Korea

Julian Broger, Guardian - Former US officials and Korea experts said that one of the main aims of Pyongyang’s strategy is to drive a wedge between South Korea and its US protector. The principal strategic goal of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles, two of which were tested in July, is to hold at risk the US mainland and therefore put in doubt a US response to any North Korean attack on the south. Advertisement

By distancing Washington from Seoul, they said, Trump was behaving as Kim Jong-un wanted. He had warned South Korea it would have to pay for using a US missile defence system and on the eve of the nuclear test, he was reported by the Washington Post to have been on the point of withdrawing from a five year old free trade agreement with Seoul.

“Reassuring South Korea is a top priority,” Jon Wolfsthal, a former special assistant to Barack Obama on non-proliferation, said. “The Trump administration is failing this test. Threats about the Thaad bill and now the trade agreement are very damaging.”

Kingston Reif, the director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association said: “At a time when alliance unity, and coordination are essential, it is hard to overstate how damaging and stupid this is.”

Trump’s actions on Korea have not been coordinated with the rest of his administration. His national security team were taken by surprise by his threat of “fire and fury like the world as never seen” against Pyongyang. His foreign policy advisors are reported to be trying hard to stop him withdrawing from the trade agreement with Seoul, a policy he is pursuing for domestic political reasons, having denounced US trade agreements as bad for American workers in the election campaign. Mattis on North Korea: any threat to US will be met with 'massive military response'

... “US North Korea policy is in tatters. The administration has not articulated clear goals, cabinet officials regularly issue statements that conflict with the president, and the administration has not appointed any of the necessary senior officials to handle the diplomatic morass,” said Mira Rapp-Hooper, a senior research scholar in the Paul Tsai China Centre at Yale Law School.

“In this environment, the Trump administration must articulate and begin to implement a comprehensive North Korea strategy. No seasoned analyst believes the North will give up its weapons, but perhaps, over time, the US and its partners can get it to agree to some restrictions on its programs.”

... “If the Trump administration has any desire to implement a comprehensive strategy the president must cease his unwarranted maligning of US treaty allies, and realize they are indispensable to the way forward,” Rapp-Hooper said.

1 comment:

greg gerritt said...

Make a deal. US gives up 1000 nukes for every one NK gives up