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Tillerson's North Korean Overture Highlights His Credibility Problem

作者:未知 来源:美国国家公共电台 2017-12-14 我要评论( )


Well, the U.S. secretary of state has a message for North Korea. Here is Rex Tillerson speaking yesterday.


SECRETARY OF STATE REX TILLERSON: We're ready to talk any time North Korea would like to talk, and we're ready to have the first meeting without precondition.

INSKEEP: So is this a chance for a diplomatic resolution to the dangerous nuclear crisis with North Korea? Let's ask NPR's Elise Hu.

ELISE HU, BYLINE: Two weeks ago, after North Korea tested its latest intercontinental ballistic missile, it announced its state nuclear force was complete. In response, the U.S. policy to pressure North Korea by cutting off its resources continued. But now the secretary of state is going farther than before in offering a sit-down.


TILLERSON: Can we at least sit down and see each other face to face, and then we can begin to lay out a map, a roadmap of what we might be willing to work towards?

HU: Some North Korea security watchers, like Van Jackson, are skeptical.

VAN JACKSON: I just sort of rolled my eyes. (Laughter).

HU: A former Asia specialist for the Defense Department, Jackson's now at New Zealand's Victoria University. He says this is all just posturing from Tillerson because the U.S. can't effectively say it wants to talk when its goal is complete verifiable denuclearization by North Korea. For Pyongyang, giving up its nuclear program is a non-starter.

JACKSON: We know that North Korea's not going to go there. So if you want to actually negotiate something, you can't have an unrealistic goal.

HU: James Kim of the Asan Institute, a Seoul-based think tank, says the significance of this depends on North Korea's response to Tillerson.

JAMES KIM: It really depends whether North Korea stops testing and come to the bargaining table to talk, or, they continue to test, which means that they're not going to engage in any talk at this time.

HU: South Korea is pushing for a peaceful resolution. Its foreign minister wants to reopen a direct hotline with Pyongyang to avoid military mishaps. But no matter what South Korea wants, both Kim and Jackson agree Tillerson's words are diluted because he and President Donald Trump often say opposing things. Tillerson has signaled willingness to talk before, but then Trump tweeted that talks won't work.

JACKSON: The total lack of consistency, the total inability to separate rhetoric from substance, all of this simply makes people throw up their hands and be like, well, I don't know what to believe. Right? How can you take what Tillerson says now seriously in the context of the past 10, 11 months?

HU: A question North Korea will weigh in deciding whether to respond. Elise Hu, NPR News, Seoul.





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