Rex Tillerson, in Japan, Says U.S. Needs ‘Different Approach’ to North Korea
At a time of multiplying tensions in Asia, Rex W. Tillerson, the American secretary of state, began his first major foreign trip in Japan and said on Thursday that the United States needed a “different approach” to North Korea’s escalating nuclear threat, though he declined to give specifics.
Speaking to reporters in Tokyo after talks with Japan’s foreign minister, Fumio Kishida, Mr. Tillerson said, “The diplomatic and other efforts of the past 20 years to bring North Korea to a point of denuclearization have failed,” noting that during those 20 years, the United States had provided $1.35 billion in assistance to North Korea to encourage it to abandon its nuclear program.
“Part of the purpose of my visit to the region is to exchange views on a new approach,” Mr. Tillerson added, saying he would highlight the issue in Seoul, the South Korean capital, and Beijing, the next stops on his trip.
Analysts were hoping to use Mr. Tillerson’s remarks as guidance on the options that the United States might consider in responding to the nuclear threat from North Korea. American officials are reviewing options that could include a pre-emptive military strike and renewed talks with North Korea.
But when asked for details of a new approach, he did not answer.
Mr. Tillerson continued the cloistered style of his previous brief foreign trips, to Bonn, Germany, and Mexico City. He did not visit the American Embassy to meet State Department staff, choosing instead to rest and take briefings at his hotel in the morning before his meeting with Mr. Kishida.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/worl ... japan.html
Why bother going to the embassy when there is no ambassador yet...Tillerson's dialog with China will be the most crucial in regards to NorKor...If he is planning to float economic sanctions on them, a move done on them in the past although it hasn't deeply affected the status of NorKor as China's "cat's paw", he might be trying to shore up So. Korea and Japanese support for them, since they could be subject to backlash from China also.
And yes, more NYT analysis but...I understand the copy-pasta controversy so I won't paste it all, but I think it is important to observe the possible outcomes of defanging the State Dept...
Rex Tillerson, America’s Low-Energy Top Diplomat
This is part of a pattern. Ministers from Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Greece all visited the State Department in recent days for bilateral meetings. There were photos of handshakes, but the secretary had nothing to say about how the United States views the challenges these important allies face, or how it might help.
Last week, the State Department released its annual human rights report. Mr. Tillerson wrote an introduction but made no presentation of the report’s findings, another departure from past practice. The low-key rollout — interpreted as a downgrade of human rights as a policy priority — drew a sharp rebuke from Senator Marco Rubio.
When he met Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov of Russia for the first time, the Kremlin, not exactly a paragon of open government, provided more details of his meeting than the State Department did. Without an American media contingent in Beijing, the Chinese government will fill in the blanks regarding their discussions with Mr. Tillerson.
With the State Department muted, President Trump serves as the dominant voice of American foreign policy. “Are tweets policy?” the diplomatic corps has asked the chain of command at State. Who can tell? As a result, the United States now appears to have two, often conflicting foreign policies: one from Mr. Trump’s unscripted musings and another from his national security officials.
In his address to Congress, the president used withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement as an applause line. Mr. Trump says the United States does not win anymore, but he wrongly interprets complexity as decline. Actually, America gets its way far more often than not, thanks not just to the projection of military power, but also to its globally deployed foreign service.
To career diplomats, there is nothing controversial about putting America first. They are ardent believers in American exceptionalism. Where Mr. Trump sees a zero-sum world, diplomats are trained to look at it in positive-sum terms. But the start of the Trump administration has left profound doubts within the ranks.
The State Department is uniquely positioned to help the Trump administration move beyond a fortress mentality. But to do so, the secretary of state needs to be more visible and vocal.
“We represent the United States,” one officer said. “But we don’t know what that means anymore.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/opin ... &smtyp=cur
Not shedding a tear for the "globally deployed foreign service" but I think it is important to consider the implications of this, especially with state serving as the portal to the "Deep State" if you will...It seems that if the Deep State is pissed at Trump, he is definitely giving them, the various intelligence agency factions, a very long leash. Will the dogs run wild?