Mixed US Messages on North Korea

Tillerson Calls for Regime Change in Venezuela
August 2, 2017
Trump Signs Controversial Sanctions Bill
August 2, 2017

Mixed US Messages on North Korea

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Will there or won’t there be US war on North Korea – madness if launched!

During his Tuesday’s press conference, discussed in a same day article, Rex Tillerson said “(o)ne of the first threats we were confronted with upon entering office is North Korea, and…we felt an urgency to deal with” it – even though no threat exists.

“We (sought) peaceful pressure on (Pyongyang to get its government to) talk with us and others but with an understanding that a condition of those talks is there is no future where North Korea holds nuclear weapons…”

It’s OK for serial belligerent Israel and other nuclear-armed states to have them, not the DPRK, requiring a strong deterrent against feared US aggression.

Tillerson: “(W)e we do not seek a regime change. We do not seek the collapse of the regime. We do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula.”

“We do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel. And we’re trying to convey to the North Koreans we are not your enemy. We are not your threat.”

Fact: Hostile US actions against Pyongyang persist, including threats and provocative joint military exercises with South Korea, simulating an attack on the DPRK, reason enough for its justifiable concern.

So are US wars in multiple theaters against non-nuclear nations Washington wants transformed into vassal states.

North Korea poses no threat to America or any other nations. Washington threatens everyone at home and abroad.

On NBC’s Today program, neocon Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump intends war on North Korea if it continues aiming its ballistic missiles at America – even though it’s aiming them at no one, and hasn’t developed intercontinental capability to strike Alaska or Hawaii, the two closest states.

According to Graham, Trump told him he intends war, saying “I believe him…China (better) believe him, too, and do something about it.”

The problem of North Korea lies in Washington, not Pyongyang, Beijing or anywhere else.

“If there’s going to be a war…it will be over there,” not here. “And Trump has told me that to my face,” said Graham.

Military experts are “wrong” about no good options. “There is a military option to destroy North Korea’s program and North Korea itself,” Graham added – perhaps immolating its 25 million people if nukes are used, plus large numbers in South Korea, including US forces stationed there.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said “(w)e’re weighing all options, keeping all options on the table, and as we’ve said many times before, we’re not going to broadcast what we’re going to do.”

A Final Comment

Trump reportedly may respond to what he considers unfair Chinese trade practices by initiating an investigation under the 1974 Trade Act’s Section 301.

It permits sanctioning other countries for unfair trade practices by imposing tariffs or import duties. A decision could come in days, risking a possible trade war.

The statute has been little used since the World Trade Organization’s January 1, 1995 founding, the same day NAFTA became effective.

WTO members agree to settle trade issues through the organization’s Dispute Settlement Body, responsible for adjudicating disputes.

It’s “the most active international adjudicative mechanism in the world today,” according to a former WTO director general.

It’s also time-consuming. Resolving disputes can take months or years. Trump apparently wants more immediate action.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”


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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.