China and Russia heartened by Tillerson’s remark that America is ready to talk to North Korea

China and Russia heartened by Tillerson’s remark that America is ready to talk to North Korea

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The crisis on the Korean Peninsula is worrying China and the Russian Federation because of extremely strong rhetoric from America and North Korea. At the same time, South Korea seeks a more diplomatic stance compared with outward statements from Japan. This is based on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan being more in-tune with strong statements being ushered by President Donald Trump of America. However, behind the scenes in Japan, it is clear that no regional nation outside of North Korea is plugging for war, despite more conservative statements being sprouted by the Abe administration.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that the Secretary of State of America, Rex Tillerson, appears to be reaching out to North Korea. Hence, the confusing Trump administration continues to sprout mixed messages that often contradict earlier statements within days. Therefore, while Tillerson seems prepared to reach out to North Korea without any serious preconditions, the opposite is often stated by Trump.

In August this year, Tillerson said, “The best signal that North Korea can give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches.” If this happens, then “other means of communications” would become open between America and North Korea.

Turning to this week, then Tillerson reiterated that America is “ready to talk any time.”

He also commented, “Let’s just meet and let’s talk about the weather if you want and talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about…Then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map, of what we might be willing to work towards.”

China and the Russian Federation welcomed the words ushered by Tillerson. Hence, a spokesperson for President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation stated, “Such constructive statements impress us far more than the confrontational rhetoric that we have heard up to now.”

Similarly, the Foreign Ministry of China welcomed the more nuanced approach being taken by Tillerson. Hence, certain chains within the Trump administration appear more diplomatic.

However, the problem for all regional nations is that the current Trump administration is adept at mixed signals. Given this reality, it is difficult to note the reasoning of Tillerson in comparison to Trump who appears not to be softening his stance. Yet, even if America is focused on the “carrot and the stick” and then no preconditions, at least Tillerson’s words are being welcomed by China and the Russian Federation because both nations want to prevent war.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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