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Tillerson: It’s Up to North Korea To Avoid the Military Option

Jan. 17, 2018 (EIRNS)—U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made clear at the meeting in Vancouver, yesterday, that for the U.S. "diplomacy" means keeping the pressure on North Korea until it gives in on the question of denuclearization. "We must increase the costs of the regime’s behavior to the point that North Korea comes to the table for credible negotiations," Tillerson said.

"We reject a ‘freeze for freeze’ approach in which legitimate defensive military exercises are placed on the same level of equivalency as the DPRK’s unlawful actions,"

he went on. "The pressure campaign will continue until North Korea takes decisive steps to denuclearize."

If Pyongyang fails to respond to maximum pressure, then the military option is available, but Tillerson put the onus for that on North Korea.

"We all need to be very sober and clear-eyed about the current situation ... We have to recognize that the threat is growing and if North Korea does not chose the pathway of engagement, discussion, negotiation, then they themselves will trigger an option,"

Tillerson said.

"Our approach is, in terms of having North Korea chose the correct step, is to present them with what is the best option talks are the best option; that when they look at the military situation, thats not a good outcome for them."

The Vancouver conference on Korea—something of an imperial absurdity where Greece and Cyprus were invited and China and Russia were not—has a likely British Commonwealth origin. It evidently originated in a mid-December meeting in Ottawa between Tillerson and Canada’s intensely anti-Russia foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland. In June 2017 in Ottawa, Freeland had given a speech sounding a lot like Tony Blair, David Cameron, or Barack Obama. She argued Canada had to

"take on more responsibility for upholding a global order based on rules, that greatly benefited Canadians. This order had at its heart the core notions of territorial integrity, human rights, democracy, respect for the rule of law and an aspiration to free and friendly trade."

The next day, Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan announced plans to increase Canadas military budget by 73% over 10 years—leading to this week’s Vancouver discussions of Canada’s navy intercepting ships trading with North Korea.