Tokyo — While in Tokyo on Thursday for his first visit to Asia as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson said a “new approach” to the North Korea situation is needed. At the same time, the North Koreans themselves were denouncing the United States’ use of heavy firepower in its ongoing drills with South Korea.
“North Korea on Thursday condemned South Korea and the United States for ‘escalating nuclear attack threats,’ citing the participation of U.S. strategic bombers and the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson in joint military drills in South Korea,” Yonhap News Agency reports.
Yonhap, South Korea’s largest media outlet, writes that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea’s official name, claims the U.S. is practicing to take out high-value targets in the North:
“North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, said a fleet of B-1B Lancer bombers from the Andersen air base on Guam made a stealth flight over the Sangdong firing range of South Korea on Monday for about an hour on a nuclear bomb-dropping drill aimed at making preemptive strikes at major targets of the DPRK.”
And depending on the narrative you believe, North Korea might be right.
On Monday, Anti-Media reported that soldiers from the most elite units in the U.S. military, including Delta Force, Navy SEALS, and Army Rangers, are, for the first time, being deployed to South Korea to take part in the drills. Their stated purpose is “simulating the removal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.”
If the fact that the U.S. military is making public the movements and intentions of its most elite forces gives you pause, it should. Recall — as the corporate media goes on about how the SEAL team that took out Osama Bin Laden is now training to take out another bad guy — that we only heard of those exploits after the raid was over.
As another example of how the media is, once again, steering attention toward what it wants its readers to believe is a rogue nation, note how CNN opened a piece on Thursday:
“The US intelligence community and the Defense Department are increasingly anticipating that North Korea will soon undertake a new round of testing of its missile and nuclear program, according to half a dozen US officials.”
Note, even, how CNN is admitting that an awful lot of knowledge is being made public on the North Korean front.
“In an unusually detailed public acknowledgement of what may be coming,” writes the corporate media outlet, “Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued a statement after he spoke to his South Korean counterpart, Gen. Sun Jin Lee, on Tuesday.”
Dunford’s statement claims the two men “assessed changes in North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat” and that they “recognized the possibility that North Korea could conduct proactive actions.”
And now, the U.S. secretary of state himself is calling for a new strategy on North Korea.
“In the face of an ever-escalating threat it is clear that a new approach is required,” Tillerson said Thursday.
And a new approach is definitely what Tillerson is bringing to the table. The Trump administration now appears ready and willing to take preemptive military action against North Korea. “[I]f they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action,” Tillerson said at a press conference in Seoul on Friday. “All of the options are on the table.”
Shortly after Tillerson’s remarks, Trump reinforced the comments on Twitter:
North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been “playing” the United States for years. China has done little to help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2017
That’s the other part of the corporate media narrative. That Tillerson will pressure China to constrain North Korea or else, since someone has to do it, the U.S. will step up to the plate. That supposed pressure is set to be applied this weekend as the secretary of state makes his first trip to Beijing.