‘US escalates war rhetoric with N. Korea, needs to go opposite direction’
US President Donald Trump said he is sending a 'very powerful armada,' or the USS Carl Vinson strike group, as a warning to North Korea. However, the aircraft carrier was spotted steaming the other way, toward Australia.
RT: Do you think the fact that the fleet still hasn't made its way to North Korea is a miscommunication on Trump's part or was it deliberate?
Brian Becker: There is no question at this point that this was a deception. However, it started as a misunderstanding or as direct deception. Trump knew, and the Pentagon knew for many, many days, perhaps as many days as full as a week that the USS Carl Vinson was going south, not north. It was going toward Australia, not toward North Korea. Obviously, the decision by the Trump administration to maintain the preferred pause as saber rattling and threats of war was the preferred course, even though they knew it to be not true. This was an active deception principally against the people in North Korea, in South Korea, where there is an election coming up - the high-stakes election. It changed the political climate in both parts of the Korean peninsula. A terrible act of deception – a lie in fact.
RT: Do you think such half-baked plans are what we should expect from Trump's administration in the future?
BB: The Trump administration’s policy and its diplomatic stance are full of bluster. The Trump administration easily takes an 180 degrees U-turn, as we can see when it comes to Syria when it comes to Russia. Now they are threatening to bring back new US sanctions on Iran. We don’t know really what the bottom line is of the Trump administration.
But we do know that when North Korea hears threats – when the US President says “we are sending an armada, we have a submarine that can obliterate 24 cities simultaneously…” And those submarines are there, even if the USS aircraft carrier went somewhere else. When the President talks like this, necessarily the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] government takes counter measures. They prepare for a confrontation, they prepare for war. Instead of escalating the war rhetoric, instead of climbing the escalation ladder, the US government needs to go in the opposite direction – it needs to begin talks to resume either bilateral talks or six-party talks to lead to a peaceful resolution in the Korean peninsula. This is an unnecessary graduated crisis provoked by the Trump administration I think principally for the domestic political purposes, because it mutes all of his critics here at home, including the mainstream media.
RT: Is there a way to defuse the situation?
BB: There is a clear roadmap for peace. The DPRK government both with Obama and in the first days of the Trump administration offered to suspend any further nuclear weapons tests in exchange to the US canceling war exercises that simulate the destruction of North Korea. Last year those war games war called “decapitation.” Both the Obama administration and the Trump administration immediately said “no” to the DPRK offer. What the DPRK really wants is an end to the Korean War; to replace the armistice from July 27, 1953, with a peace treaty, and the beginning of normal economic, political and diplomatic relations. That is the road toward peace. It is time for the US government to finally say: “the Korean War has come to an end.” Most wars have a beginning, and an end this war has no end so far. It needs to end it. That is what in fact the DPRK wants; that is what China wants, that is what Russia wants; that is what the people of South Korea want…
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.