According to Rex Tillerson in Beijing ahead of Trump’s November visit, Washington is in direct contact with Pyongyang.
“We are probing, so stay tuned,” he said. “We ask(ed) “(w)ould you like to talk? We have lines of communications to Pyongyang. We’re not in a dark situation, (no) blackout. We have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang.”
It’s unclear if North Korea responded to his overture – nothing indicated on its Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) web site on Saturday, available in English.
After Trump took office in January, a war of words between both countries followed, risking possible confrontation, a first if happens, two nuclear powers clashing with each other, a potentially catastrophic situation vital to avoid.
On Friday, DPRK and Russian officials met in Moscow. Head of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry North America Department met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and Ambassador At Large Oleg Burmistrov.
A Russian Foreign Ministry statement said “(t)he Russian side reiterated its readiness for joint efforts in the interests of settling existing problems of the sub-region by peaceful political and diplomatic means, including in the context of promoting the Russian-Chinese roadmap for the Korean settlement.”
Pyongyang is justifiably suspicious of US intentions. Nearly seven decades of its hostility won’t be erased by opening a channel of communication.
It’s not Washington’s intention, notably after Trump threatened “fire and fury,” days later saying he’d “totally destroy” the country during his deplorable General Assembly address, then warning Kim Jong-un “won’t be around much longer,” along with ruling out diplomacy all along.
On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, saying “(d)iplomacy is our preferred approach” ran counter to virtually everything coming out of Washington since Trump’s inauguration.
All US leaders since Harry Truman have been hostile toward the DPRK. Any direct communication, if it occurs, won’t change US hostility toward the country, not as long as it remains independent of Washington’s control.
As long as the threat of US belligerence remains, Pyongyang won’t halt its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, its only effective deterrents against feared US aggression.