United States prepares for the worst with North Korea


By Mark Moore

The Trump administration has not ruled out direct talks with North Korea but the United States and its allies must be “prepared for the worst” if diplomacy fails, the deputy secretary of state said on Tuesday.

“Eventually, we don’t rule out the possibility of course of direct talks,” John L. Sullivan said during a meeting in Japan, Reuters reported.

“Our focus is on diplomacy to solve this problem that is presented by the DPRK. We must, however, with our allies, Japan and South Korea and elsewhere, be prepared for the worst, should diplomacy fail,” he said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Sullivan’s comments come amid the backdrop of joint military exercises in the waters off the Korean peninsula between US and South Korean troops and a warning by a North Korean envoy that “nuclear war” may be imminent.

“The situation on the Korean peninsula where the attention of the whole world is focused has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment,” North Korea’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Kim In Ryong told a U.N. General Assembly committee on Monday.

The Trump administration’s top diplomats said they are still pursuing a diplomatic solution to the standoff with the reclusive regime.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said President Trump doesn’t want to go to war with North Korea and said he has been told to continue diplomatic efforts “until the first bomb drops.”

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Pyongyang’s curtailing of nuclear testing is the first step in getting to the negotiating table.

An official with President Kim Jong Un’s government, which has been developing intercontinental ballistic missiles and detonated a nuclear device, said the regime had no interest in diplomacy until it develops a rocket that can strike the “East coast of the US mainland.”

Courtesy: New York Post

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