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Drums of war as US, Korea disagree on nuclear programme

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Era of strategic patience with Korea over —Mike Pence
Korea set for sixth nuclear bomb test
The United States is trying hard to get China to engage in talks
with North Korea, but that probably won’t happen until North Korea agrees to
suspend its nuclear program, retired US Army Colonel Jack

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. PHOTO: Korean Times

Jacobs told CNBC on

“We’re getting closer and closer to a real crisis and
that’s because for decades we ignored the problem,” the Medal of Honour
recipient said in an interview with “Closing Bell.”
On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence said the “era of
strategic patience” with North Korea was over.
“Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the
strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and
Afghanistan,” Pence said. “North Korea would do well not to test his
resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this
Tensions have been escalating following repeated North Korean
missile tests and concerns that it may soon conduct a sixth nuclear bomb test
in defiance of UN sanctions.
Former Defence Secretary William Cohen, meanwhile, thinks China
is dragging its feet when it comes negotiating with North Korea. He said the
country doesn’t want to see a unified Korea with military presence on its
However, “that’s something that you can sit down and work
out if the Chinese are willing to put the kind of pressure that needs to be put
on the North Koreans,” he told “Closing Bell.”
Cohen thinks it is in China’s long-term interest to have a
unified, demilitarised Korea, especially with South Korea being one of China’s
biggest trading partners.
That said, he doesn’t see that happening in the short term.
“The North Korean regime is a criminal enterprise. They are
extortionists. They are saying feed me, fuel me, employ me before I test again
or kill again,” he said.
“That has reached a point where this administration has
said, ‘We’re not going to play that game anymore,’ and so we’re asking China to
really have an impact in terms of what food and fuel and employment their
providing to the North Koreans,” he added.
Jacobs agreed that unification may be a long-term outcome but
said the first step needs to be getting rid of the nuclear weapons.
“We have to remember the North Korean government is a
continuing criminal enterprise. The thing they fear the most is not being in
power. China is very much concerned with destabilisation of Korean peninsula.
That comes with the North Korean’s government falling to pieces under pressure
from anybody.”

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