miércoles, 13 de diciembre de 2017

Mientras tanto, en Pyongyang...

Dos notas breves de Russia Today de hoy sugieren que cambió el clima entre Corea del Norte y el Imperio. Rusia, por las dudas, acaba de mandar una enigmática misión militar a Pyongyang (foto). Veamos:

Título: Russian military delegation arrives in N. Korea, scouting any chance for dialogue

Texto: Russian Defense Ministry representatives have arrived in the North Korean capital. It is the second visit by Russian officials in two weeks, and comes as Washington claims it is ready for direct talks with Pyongyang, while still staging war games in the turbulent region.
The delegation is headed by Deputy Director of the Russian National Defense Command Center Viktor Kalganov, and has been on assignment in North Korea since Tuesday. The officials are to remain in Pyongyang for the rest of the week.

There has been no word on their mission from the Russian military. However, almost simultaneously with news of the visit, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Moscow is using "any opportunity for direct communication" and will continue to do so, including with the help of the Defense Ministry. "North Korea is our neighbor, we must develop relations with this country," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said during a briefing on Wednesday. "Political dialogue is extremely important," he added.

The Russian military have traveled to Pyongyang to "activate" a settlement of the crisis in the region, Deputy Head of the Defense Ministry's Public Council Aleksandr Kanshin told Interfax. "The aim of the military, political and diplomatic efforts is clear: all sides should be put back at negotiations table, to put away provocative and threatening military rhetoric and demonstration of force," the official said. He noted that such missions are part of a road map proposed by Moscow and Beijing, which seeks a solution to the nuclear tensions through dialogue.

Moscow has repeatedly said that only diplomatic efforts can solve the crisis. Following a recent visit to North Korea by Russian lawmakers, the delegation said that Pyongyang is ready for talks if it is recognized a nuclear power. North Korea can sit at a negotiating table with the US with the participation of Russia as a third party, it proposed.

While the Russian delegation is working in Pyongyang, Washington has made a U-turn in its hardline stance towards the North. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the US is ready for talks with no preconditions. Russia, which has always advocated a diplomatic approach, welcomed the new tone of the American rhetoric, with Ryabkov saying that previously the US treated any direct contacts with Pyongyang as “abnormal.”

At the same time, the US has not abandoned another pillar of its policy in the region, which is the continuation of a series of military drills near the Korean Peninsula. The recent maneuvers are considered to be one of the largest military drills to date aimed at North Korea.

"Unfortunately, the US carry on with their non-constructive line aimed at military build-up in North-Eastern Asia," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. She reiterated that Moscow calls on all sides to refrain from moves that only escalate the crisis.


Título: US ready ‘anytime’ for direct North Korea talks – Tillerson

Texto: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said all that stands between direct diplomacy with North Korea is their willingness "to come to the table" with a desire to "make a different choice."

“We're ready to talk anytime they'd like to talk,” Tillerson said about North Korea on Tuesday afternoon. This shift away from US policy demanding North Korea negotiate on terms of its own disarmament came during the secretary of state's remarks in Washington, DC to the Atlantic Council during an event called Reimagining the US-Republic of Korea Partnership in the Trans-Pacific Century.

He also said that the US has assured China that US troops would return to South Korea afterward if they ever had to cross into North Korean territory.

“In the meantime, our military preparedness is strong,” he continued, asserting confidence in himself to prevent war, while also expressing support for Defense Secretary James Mattis should hostilities break out.

The US's stated goals in the region ultimately have not changed, Tillerson made clear.

“Our policy with respect to the DPRK is really quite clear and that is the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Tillerson said.

Tillerson added that China and Russia shared in that goal, though “our tactics for implementing the policy may differ a bit.”

The US has implemented the “most comprehensive set of economic sanctions that I think have ever been assembled,” the top US diplomat continued.

Earlier Tuesday, the US and Japan held one of the largest joint military drills aimed at North Korea yet. American B1-B bombers, F-35 stealth fighter jets and F-18 combat jets were flown along with Japanese F-15 fighters, prompting a warning from Moscow that the exercises would “increase tension” with Pyongyang.

Iraq & Syria

Tillerson said on Tuesday that the US seeks to “stabilize” the areas of Syria and Iraq liberated from the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) “to avoid a reemergence of ISIS but also to avoid a reemergence of local conflicts between various groups.”

He said the State Department has to catch up with the military to determine “diplomatic plans as to what comes after the defeat of ISIS.”

The US would also work with Russia to “promote deescalation of the violence,” he said.

Saudi Arabia & Pakistan

The secretary of state praised Saudi Arabia for making an effort to counter terrorism, but said the kingdom must “get these messages into the mosque” and “into the madrasas.” 

On Pakistan, Tillerson said its relationship with the US had deteriorated over the last decade.

“Our concern is really about Pakistan's stability,” Tillerson said, warning that growth of terrorist groups in the country could cause Pakistan “to lose control of their own country.”

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