Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 10:24:33 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

N Korea still holds the key after US shifts policy on talks

photo by

Vice President Mike Pence, center left and South Korean President Moon Jae-in attend the ladies\' 500 meters short-track speedskating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea.

By
14th-Feb-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

AP, Washington :
 The US is open for talks without preconditions with nuclear North Korea, Vice President Mike Pence has declared, subtly shifting White House policy after Olympics-inspired gestures of respect between the rival Koreas.
That provides a little more leverage for South Korea in its path-finding outreach to the North and could reduce potential strains in the U.S.-South Korean alliance. But diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang won't start unless Kim Jong Un wants it to. While the North Korean dictator, who has yet to meet a foreign leader, has invited the South Korean president for a rare summit, Kim has given no sign of being ready to talk to the U.S.
A back channel of diplomatic communication between North Korea and the State Department has remained open since President Donald Trump took office a year ago, but the only substantive talks reported to date were in the first half of last year over the fate of several Americans in North Korean custody. The North has refused to negotiate over its nuclear weapons as it nears its goal of being able to launch an atomic-tipped missile that could strike the U.S. mainland.
Trump views those weapons as America's primary national security threat. His administration's 2019 budget, released Monday, includes hundreds of millions dollars more for missile defense, adding 20 strategic interceptors in Alaska to protect against long-range, North Korean projectiles. Meanwhile, Pence is making clear that the U.S. will keep escalating sanctions pressure on the North until it takes clear steps toward giving up its nukes.
But at the same time, Pence signaled more openness to engagement with Pyongyang.
"The point is, no pressure comes off until they are actually doing something that the alliance believes represents a meaningful step toward denuclearization," Pence told The Washington Post on his flight home from the Winter Olympics in South Korea this past weekend. "So the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify. But if you want to talk, we'll talk."
That's a marked departure from the uncompromising message that Pence delivered at every public stop on his trip, when he repeatedly assailed North Korea on human rights and nuclear provocations, and threw cold water on South Korean President Moon Jae-in's outreach to the North by snubbing its delegation at the games.
Evans Revere, a former senior State Department official for East Asia, voiced surprise over Pence's remarks, noting that as recently as December the White House pulled the plug on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's public advocacy of unconditional talks to test the water with North Korea.
Pence's office said that didn't reflect a shift in Trump administration policy, as the president has previously expressed openness to talks, nor a reduction in U.S. concerns over North Korea's provocative behavior.
Tillerson's response to Pence's comments was guarded. He said "it's too early to judge" whether a diplomatic process could be starting and made clear the obstacle to progress is Kim.
"It's really up to the North Koreans to decide when they're ready to engage with us in a sincere way, a meaningful way," Tillerson told reporters in Egypt. He reiterated his view that there would need to be exploratory talks to determine whether the North Koreans are ready for "meaningful" negotiations.
During his turbulent first year in office, Trump has vacillated between issuing dire threats of military action and offers to talk if the conditions are right.
But at least in his public commentary, he's been broadly supportive of Moon's diplomatic initiative, claiming that the "maximum pressure" strategy was what drove North Korea to engage with the South. Now Moon faces a heavy lift in trying to translate that into progress on the nuclear issue that preoccupies Washington.
Though Moon clearly favors a policy of engagement with the North, and likely views that a possibly defining issue of his own presidency, he didn't immediately accept the offer of a summit in Pyongyang after it was conveyed in person by the North Korean leader's sister Kim Yo Jong who attended the Olympics opening.
Moon said the Koreas should create an environment so that the first inter-Korean summit since 2007 could take place. He also called for quick resumption of dialogue between North Korea and the United States, reflecting an awareness that making nice with the North could alienate an American ally critical to the defense of the South.
U.S. officials doubt that Moon would agree to a summit with Kim without the contours in place of how to move forward on denuclearization, but Revere said the U.S. government remains concerned that North Korea could exploit Moon's diplomacy to advance its agenda of being accepted as a nuclear weapons state.
Revere said a quiet conversation between personal representatives of the U.S. and North Korean leaders could help ward off a confrontation in the coming months, and gauge whether there's a basis for starting formal negotiations.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Eid Mubarak


THE rituals of the annual congregation of Muslims in the holiest city Mecca to perform the religious obligatory have begun with devotion, piety, and cheer that ended into Eid-ul-Azha. The Eid comes to the life of 1.5 billion adherents of Islam when a majority of the followers are undergoing political ...

Sports »

Djokovic wins Cincy title to complete Masters matched set


AFP, Cincinnati :Novak Djokovic ended a career-long jinx, lifting the trophy in Cincinnati at last to complete a matched set of Masters 1000 titles.Djokovic, who came up empty in five prior Cincinnati finals, defeated seven-time winner Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the final.The former world number one became the first ...

Entertainment »

Rawnak and Urmila in play ‘Boro Bol Chhoto Bol’ on Channel i at 7:50pm before Eid day


.

City »

Law enforcers seen to cheque documents of the motorized vehicles to ensure safe road. The snap was taken from in front of the city's Rajdhani Super Market on Monday.


.

International »

Indians begin massive cleanup as rains diminish in Kerala


Reuters, Kochi :Indian health authorities prepared defenses against the spread of disease in flood-hit Kerala state on Monday as water receded and a huge clean-up gathered pace after the worst floods in a century killed more than 200 people.Incessant rain since Aug. 8 in the southern state has swelled rivers ...

Editorial »

Growing violence in hills: No serious investigation into the killings


Seven people, including three leaders of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF), were killed and six others injured in two gun attacks in Khagrachhari town on Saturday. With these, 33 people have so far been killed in violence in Rangamati and Khagrachhari this year. The UPDF alleged that it was a ...

Football »

Messi, Coutinho get Barcelona off to winning start


AFP, Madrid :Two goals from Lionel Messi either side of a Philippe Coutinho strike allowed Barcelona to start their defence of the Spanish title with a 3-0 win over Alaves at the Camp Nou on Saturday night.Wearing the captain's armband following the departure of Andres Iniesta to Japan, Messi stepped ...

Entertainment »

I like to do something that challenges me: Jennifer Winget


Bepannaah actress Jennifer Winget likes to challenge herself with each of her projects. “I like to do something that challenges me. I like to do something different from my previous characters,” Jennifer told IANS. “I have been fortunate enough to be offered characters and projects that challenge me and that ...

City »

Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon speaking at a gathering of cleaners on quick disposal of wastes of sacrificial animals yesterday.


.

International »

Russian President Putin steals the show at Austrian FM`s wedding


Reuters, Vienna :Russian President Vladimir Putin danced arm-in-arm with Austria's foreign minister Karin Kneissl at her wedding on Saturday, after receiving an invitation that opposition critics said undermined the West's stance against Moscow.Mr Putin arrived in a car carrying a bouquet of flowers and accompanied, local media said, by a ...

Editorial »

Sanctions by USA and European Union are welcome but more effective measures will be needed


IN the latest development, the US Treasury on Friday slapped sanctions on four Myanmar military and police commanders and two army units for involvement in "ethnic cleansing" and other human rights abuses against the country's Rohingya minority. In response to Myanmar's crackdown on the Rohingyas, the sanctions are so far ...

Sports »

Bolt arrives in Australia on football quest


Usain Bolt says he's deadly serious about becoming a professional footballer and plans to show the world what he's capable of after arriving in Australia Saturday for a trial stint with an A-League club.The superstar athlete has been given the chance to prove his worth by the Central Coast Mariners, ...

Entertainment »

Sonali Bendre`s son posts an emotional message


Family and close friends of Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre have come out as the biggest support in her journey of fighting cancer. The actress who has been diagnosed with high-grade cancer is undergoing her treatment in New York. Being a true fighter, Sonali has not shied away from sharing her ...

Entertainment »

Poet Shamsur Rahman's 12th death anniversary observed


Entertainment Desk : The 12th death anniversary of Shamsur Rahman, one of the major poets in modern Bengali literature, was observed on Friday in a befitting manner.Marking the anniversary, different socio-cultural organisations placed wreaths at the grave of the poet at Banani graveyard and arranged Doa Mahfil.Jatiya Kabita Parishad and Kabi ...

City »

BNP Vice-Chairman Advocate Khondkar Mahbub Hossain speaking at a discussion on 'Next National Election Under Interrogation Without Reform of Election Commission' organised by 'Chetona Bangladesh' at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news