“We do not seek a regime change, we do not seek a collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th Parallel,” U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson said on August 1.
He got a feedback from China. Foreign Minister Wang Yi “said Tillerson’s ‘Four Nos’ promise was a positive signal.” However, he complained that “China will pay the biggest price from the new United Nations sanction against North Korea because of its close economic relationship with the country, but will enforce the resolutions.”
It is how all the concerned parties play this game. Pyongyang strives to possess nuclear technology to protect North Korea from becoming another Iraq and Libya. Nuclear strike is its only way to deter any joint attack from South Korea and the U.S. as its conventional weaponry is much weaker than the latter. Washington, which is obligated to protect Japan and South Korea, aims at maintaining the status quo but the hawks have made the mistakes of provoking Pyongyang by operating too many times of military drills which posed serious threats onto Pyongyang. Beijing is grumpy because it is China who pays the price for Washington’s mistakes. Therefore, somehow someone has to learn a lesson from it.
Pyongyang has by now gained its necessary bargaining chips for negotiation (and given the “Four Nos”, the conditions for a six-party talk are deemed by Beijing as ripe). The U.S. State Department has recognized this reality but there is still a lack of consensus among all the decision makers in Washington (the so-called Deep State), such as Pentagon, the Council on Foreign Relations (and the Bilderberg Group), and of course the White House.
It is just a matter of time for Washington to structure its bottom line and strategy to handle the talk. As what I said before, ‘talk’ is only way to proceed.
The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.