Mike Pence reconfirms that the Trump administration’s North Korea coverage is hopelessly out of contact with actuality:
Pence stated his message, if he met any officers from the North, could be the identical because it has been in public. “And that is that North Korea must once and for all abandon its nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile ambitions,” he stated.
It is unlikely that Pence would meet with any North Korean officers beneath any circumstances, however these remarks present that there could be no level in assembly with them. North Korea’s authorities isn’t going to agree to those calls for, and it’s at finest futile for U.S. officers to repeat these calls for once they know prematurely that they are going to be rejected. The administration’s place signifies that they aren’t excited by a diplomatic resolution to the standoff with Pyongyang, since any resolution that may very well be discovered would require that the U.S. quit on its outdated insistence on denuclearization.
Insofar as South Korea is attempting to make use of the Olympics as a gap for lowering tensions with the DPRK, Pence’s presence is counterproductive and undermines what our ally is attempting to realize. The hole between Washington and Seoul on methods to deal with the North has been steadily rising over the past yr, and Pence’s anticipated denunciations of North Korea are going to widen that hole. There is one thing critically flawed when our authorities is decided to take a more durable line on South Korea’s neighbor than they’re. It places an pointless pressure on the alliance, and it creates a gap in what should be a united entrance. Simply as a matter of alliance administration, Pence’s Asia journey appears extra prone to do hurt than good, and his deliberate provocations appear very prone to ratchet up tensions with North Korea when there is a chance to decrease them.