China, Russia try to cool North Korea-US tension
As world leaders continue to talk carefully about any action on North Korea, United States president Donald Trump boasts of the military might he is mustering near the Korean Peninsula.
“We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you. And we have the best military people on earth.”
North Korea is also talking loudly, claiming it is ready to react to what it calls “any mode of war” the United States declares.
But US secretary of state Rex Tillerson is more circumspect in describing the display of power.
“(The USS) Carl Vinson strike group is routinely in the Pacific Ocean, it’s in the Pacific theatre, and its movements in the Pacific are made in a way that’s planned by the military planners. There is no particular objective in its current course. The Vincent sails up and down the Pacific routinely. And so I would not read anything into the Carl Vinson’s current locations.”
Mr Tillerson was speaking after a meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.
Mr Lavrov spoke of broad agreement between Russia and the United States on the need for a political solution to the North Korean crisis.
“As far as I understood, apart from some nuances, even some serious nuances, there is a common desire to resolve this problem through an entirely political, peaceful method and to achieve denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula through the talks.”
North Korea has angered world leaders with a series of recent missile launches and is thought to be developing a long-range missile capable of striking the US mainland.
After generating what he calls “good chemistry” with Chinese president Xi Jinping, Mr Trump says he is offering China the incentive of a good trade deal to help.
“We have a very big problem in North Korea. I really think that China’s going to try very hard and has already started. A lot of the (North Korean) coal boats have already been turned back. You saw that yesterday and today, they’ve been turned back. The vast amount of coal that comes out of North Korea going to China, they’ve turned back the boats. That’s a big step. And there are many other steps that I know about. So we’ll see what happens. It may be effective.”
And if it is not effective, Mr Trump is promising the United States will be.