US's Mattis: Diplomacy should impose reason on North Korea's Kim

by Antonio Miles January 29, 2018, 9:02
US's Mattis: Diplomacy should impose reason on North Korea's Kim

It is one of a dwindling number of North Korean cash sources not specifically targeted by worldwide sanctions.

The gesture stands in sharp contrast to the threats of war between the leaders of North Korea and the United States, South Korea's greatest ally, according to The New York Times.

"So, we'll continue to hold the line and provide credible military options so the diplomats can speak from a position of strength and persuasion", Mattis said.

In Beijing on Friday, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters she did not know anything about the situation but China was clear in its hope that the United Nations resolutions are followed fully.

If such plans are finalized, it would mark the first direct South Korean flight to the North since former first lady Lee Hee-ho made a rare goodwill visit to Pyongyang in 2015, the official said.

Any North Korean attack would be "severely rebuffed", Mattis added.

The joint drills known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle are held every year in the spring and always infuriate the North, which considers them a rehearsal for an invasion. "The Olympics are going to end in mid-March", and the Paralympic Games follow.

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But Mattis pointed out that South Korean officials have promised to limit the talks to Olympics-related topics. Mattis said the meeting would address the policy of a "nuclear-free Korean Peninsula".

Nor were the images the first to make it into the public eye with USA intelligence providing similar photographs to a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in September previous year.

The South may have to bring refined petroleum products to the North when it holds the cultural event there, as Pyongyang said it will be hard for it to stably supply power to a facility built by the South Korean side. In response, President Moon gave Trump "huge credit" in a nationally televised press conference on Jan 10. "There's no suspension contemplated". The "bloody nose strategy", as it has been dubbed, has reportedly been advocated by Trump's National Security adviser H.R. McMaster, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary James Mattis said to be opposed to the move.

"If the allies resume their exercises, North Korea will likely protest strongly against them. Kumgang global tourist zone", North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency said.

Tellingly, Trump's war-like rhetoric changed abruptly when news of possible North-South talks was announced - the United States president issuing positive remarks about their significance and postponing joint military exercises with South Korea.

The president's remarks have raised concerns in the region that the US and North Korea are hurtling toward a confrontation. It test-fired three intercontinental ballistic missiles and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test a year ago.

Mattis' remarks came during a visit to U.S. Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii on the last leg of a trip that also brought him to Indonesia and Vietnam.


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