The country’s top diplomat aka Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has described the U.S.’s stance on the North Korea’s recent ballistic test in just 23 words:
North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.
The confusing Tuesday night statement leaves more questions than answers as one cannot tell Tillerson’s true intentions. Was he trying to get tough on the communist regime? Was he refusing to give Pyongyang the attention it is desperately seeking? Or was it both?
White House to Tackle N. Korea With or Without China
The comment comes as a response to North Korea’s yet another series of test firings off the Korea Peninsula. The incident happens just days before President Trump is expected to meet with China leader Xi Jinping for a two-day summit at his private estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
We only know for sure that the new administration is losing patience with North Korea which is currently developing multiple nuclear and ballistic programs with China’s approval.
The clock has now run out, and all options are on the table,
a senior administration official told the press Tuesday before the Chinese president’s visit.
Moreover, Trump told the Financial Times that he was ready to take action against North Korea with or without the help of the Chinese. In that interview, Trump underlined that China has a significant influence on its neighbor, but if Beijing isn’t willing to solve the problem, then the U.S. will.
In this context, Tillerson’s mystery message may mean that time is up and that there is no room for comment. Tillerson, on the other hand, is the man who should be coming with a solution to diplomatic crises such as these not Trump. And his words offer zero guidance as to what the White House’s next move might be.
North Korea wants to be accepted by the United States as a nuclear power, and to be ignored like this might make the country’s leader even more restless.
Sources: Tillerson Was Not Trying to Be Provocative
Still, unnamed White House sources said Tillerson’s remarks should not be interpreted as an ultimatum. Instead, this is an evident sign the new U.S. administration will no longer issue a lengthy official statement each time North Korea launches a missile or does other provocations.
On the other hand, being vague as a diplomat can have some negative consequences. Misunderstandings in diplomacy can spark global incidents or even wars.
As the country’s Secretary of State, Tillerson should ensure that other nations know where America stands following a major international incident.
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