Mattis: No Wedge Between U.S. and South Korea

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis on Sunday dismissed any concerns regarding the softening of relations between North and South Korea.  “I know that people are watching for a wedge between South Korea, Republic of Korea, in other words, and the United States. There’s no wedge there,” Mattis said to the reporters aboard the plane during his trip to Rome.

The defense secretary added that the South Korean minister of defense, Song Young-moo told him in a face-to-face conversation that there is no “gap” between the the U.S. and South Korea.

“So in a political level in Seoul, there is no — no wedge that can be driven between us by North Korea,” Mattis said.

Significant advances in the relation between North and South Korea have been made in recent times, as result of high-level talks regarding the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics.

However, the ongoing development according to South Korea’s former vice foreign minister is an attempt of North Korea to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul.

According to The Hill, the rapprochement has also raised hopes for a significant deescalation of the conflict, including the possibility of negotiations between the two sides. Mattis also warned that it is too soon to get hopes up high, because recent developments could change.

“Clearly it’s too early to say if this — this — that if using the Olympics as a non — using the Olympics in a way to reduce tension, if that’s going to have any traction once the Olympics are over. We can’t say right now.”

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday said the Trump administration was open to talking with North Korea without preconditions.

“The point is, no pressure comes off until they are actually doing something that the alliance believes represents a meaningful step toward denuclearization,” he told The Washington Post. “So the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify. But if you want to talk, we’ll talk.”


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.