Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
The KOREAN PENINSULA
“We’re not trying to pick a fight so don’t try and give us one,” US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley relayed a message for North Korea via reporters yesterday, Edith M. Lederer reporting at the AP.
The US cannot rule out using military force against North Korea, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said during a visit to Britain yesterday, William James reporting at Reuters.
North Korea’s state media warned the US of a “super-mighty preemptive strike” following Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comment that America is looking at ways to put pressure on Kim Jong-un’s regime over its missile testing, Ju-min Park reports at Reuters.
Three volleyball games captured in full swing in satellite images of North Korea’s nuclear test site were probably intended to send a message, analysts say, while what that message was meant to be remains unclear. William J. Broad reports at the New York Times.
Russia vetoed a proposed UN Security Council statement condemning North Korea’s latest missile test and telling North Korea not to conduct any further tests that was tabled by the US, CNN’s Euan McKirdy and Richard Roth report.
China has “a unique and specific role to play” in putting pressure on North Korea to stop its “illegal behavior,” Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in Tokyo today, adding that Australia intends to work with Japan, South Korea, the US and China to ensure that “china use its unique position.” Mari Yamaguchi reports at the AP.
The USS Carl Vinson is finally heading to North Korea, the commander of Carrier Strike Group One telling those onboard yesterday that the deployment has been extended 30 days “to provide a persistent presence in the waters off the Korean Peninsula,” Simon Denyer and Emily Rauhala report at the Washington Post.
The White House did not mislead allies about the destination of the USS Carl Vinson and its strike group, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted yesterday, while the Pentagon acknowledged that it “communicated this badly.” Ben Kesling, Gordon Lubold and Jonathan Cheng report at the Wall Street Journal.
The revelation that the USS Carl Vinson was not heading to North Korea after all was met with ridicule in some parts of Asia and suspicion in others, Chun Han Wong, Jonathan Cheng and Alastair Gale report at the Wall Street Journal.
South Korea felt “bewildered, cheated and manipulated” by its most important ally the US, raising the question of whether America’s allies were even told of the aircraft carrier’s whereabouts – and whether the misinformation will undercut President Trump’s strategy to curtail North Korea’s nuclear ambitions with empty threats. Choe Sang-Hun writes at the New York Times.
“Dangerous buffoonery.” Richard Wolffe berates the “small-time businessman who knew nothing about foreign affairs” who now “bluffs and blusters” his way through international crises, now revealed as a “fool” for misstating the mission and location of an entire aircraft carrier group at the Guardian.
Trump’s talk on North Korea is altering how the region sees the long-running conflict, Kim Tong-Hyung explaining how the President has shaken up the Koreas and their neighbors, nation by nation, at the Washington Post.
President Trump is making a big mistake if he thinks that threatening military strikes and increased sanctions will persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. Joel S. Wit, senior fellow at the US-Korea Institute at John Hopkins University and the founder of website 38North explains how to defuse the crisis with North Korea at the New York Times.
The spectre of a President Trump angered by public snickering at the emptiness of his threats and tempted to show his muscle “blundering into a new Korean war” is faced by Nicholas Kristof writing at the New York Times.
The choice is between war with North Korea and Kim Jong-un “sitting on a warhead that can take out Chicago,” suggests General Rob Givens writing at The Daily Beast.
The “striking similarities” between Kim Jong-un’s regime in North Korea and Bashar al-Assad’s in Syria are explored by Zahra Ullah and Ivan Watson at CNN.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Iran of “alarming and ongoing provocations” in a statement yesterday, the BBC reports. Continue Reading »