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McMaster’s ABC News Discussion Very Different from British Claims

April 16, 2017 (EIRNS)—While unnamed British "senior officials" were claiming him as assuring them the United States was on the verge of attacking North Korea, President Trump’s National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster gave a very different impression today on ABC News "This Week."

General McMaster voiced repeated and strong criticisms and warnings, in the course of a long interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz, about the conduct of the D.P.R.K. leadership and dictator Kim Jong-un—as well as that of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But his comments are fairly characterized by this excerpt:

"This [D.P.R.K. nuclear weapons] is a problem that has been passed down from multiple administrations. But our president, I think, it’s really the consensus with the president, our key allies in the regions—Japan and South Korea in particular, but also the Chinese leadership—that this problem is coming to a head. And so it’s time for us to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully.

"And so we’re going to rely on our allies like we always do, but were also going to have to rely on Chinese leadership. I mean, North Korea is very vulnerable to pressure from the Chinese. Eighty percent of North Korea’s trade comes from China. All of their energy requirements are fulfilled by China.

"So in the coming weeks, months, I think there’s a great opportunity for all of us—all of us who are really the threat now of this unpredictable regime—to take action short of armed conflict, so we can avoid the worst."

General McMaster repeated the phrase "short of armed conflict" a total of three times during the interview.

Interviewer Raddatz also asked him how President Trump could be confident of handling relations with Russia. Again, an excerpt:

"And so I think its time though, now, to have those tough discussions [with] Russia. And there’s nobody to do it than our Secretary of State.

"And then also to find areas of cooperation.... Where do our countries align?... What can we accomplish together?

Interviewer Raddatz spoke over those last phrases:

RADDATZ: "Do you think we need more U.S. troops in Syria?"

MCMASTER: Well, I mean, that remains to be seen. I don’t think so. I think what we’re doing now is supporting partner forces in Syria, in certain portions of the country, including the northeastern part of the country along the Euphrates River valley. It is a matter of time only until ISIS is defeated there. And what’s going to be really critical though is what forces can then establish enduring security in those regions that have a legitimacy with the population, that are representative of the population, that can set conditions for reconstruction to begin.

Martha, the cities of the Sunni Arab world in that region are in rubble. And so in a very successful conference in Washington two weeks ago, the United States State Department organized a bunch of donors and like-minded allies, part of coalition to pledge money for reconstruction. But what we need now is we need a security situation that’s conducive to that reconstruction, that can allow so many of these displaced people and refugees to return. And for those long-suffering people to enjoy the security, stability, that they deserve."