The U.S. therefore continues to consider military options for striking North Korea. For the past several weeks, we’ve heard relatively little talk of U.S. preventive strikes from Cabinet officials.But such threats will probably resume in the spring, especially if North-South diplomacy collapses.Preventive strikes would not denuclearize North Korea and would probably spark a catastrophic conflict.But with no other way to avert an ICBM, the White House will continue to request military options from the Pentagon.And it will continue to hint at this preparation to try to intimidate North Korea.The North Korean nuclear program proceeds apace.North Korea hasn’t tested a long-range missile or a nuclear weapon since this Olympic thaw. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists But that doesn’t mean it has halted its programs.On the eve of the games, a major North Korean military parade displayed its latest hardware.Its scientists are likely working as furiously as ever to improve its nuclear arsenal’s sophistication and to perfect an ICBM reentry vehicle.Olympics diplomacy has bought Pyongyang time and space to continue these activities with less international scrutiny.But that hasn’t weakened its interest in having a reliable nuclear arsenal.If U.S. officials continue to send signals that they believe they have a “window of opportunity” in which to strike North Korea and prevent its ability to threaten the United States, Pyongyang will want to rush to complete its programs.It will need another test – or several – to accomplish this. That all but assures U.S. ire. Kim Jong Un has done an excellent job of capitalizing on and exacerbating discord in the U.S.-South Korea alliance, trying to separate the allies.He can anticipate that a summit will sow more strife on its own.And if the exercises do go ahead despite North Korea’s charm offensive, Kim will probably test something in response.The U.S. negotiating position hasn’t changed.The United States continues to insist that North Korea must come to the negotiating table prepared to denuclearize.There is almost no chance that North Korea intends to give up its nuclear weapons, and therefore will not negotiate to this end.It might be willing to engage in diplomacy if it believed U.S. objectives were more modest. Categories: Editorial, OpinionBoth during the run-up to the PyeongChang Olympics and during the Winter Games, the tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons have appeared to relax significantly.Reports that Vice President Pence’s bellicose rhetoric derailed diplomacy with the North, however, reveal a harsher reality.After the Olympics are over, the temperature between Washington and Pyongyang will almost certainly spike again.Here are five reasons.Inter-Korean diplomacy isn’t about nuclear weapons.The cooler temperatures on North Korea come from inter-Korean diplomacy – not diplomacy that includes the United States or other major powers.President Moon Jae-in of South Korea calculated that it was more advisable to have North Korea participate in the Olympics than to let North Korean leader Kim Jong Un spoil things from the periphery, potentially testing missiles or nuclear weapons just 60 miles to the north. But if Washington continues to press disarmament publicly, Pyongyang is unlikely to believe a deal can be reached at all.The U.S. objectives haven’t changed.Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has taken the position that North Korea should not be allowed to acquire an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear payload to the United States.Some senior officials have provided alternative takes on this red line, but the stance is basically unchanged:The administration wants to prevent a fully operational North Korean ICBM.Unfortunately, the administration has few tools with which to achieve this.Diplomacy is unlikely to succeed in the short term for the reasons described above, and sanctions can’t wrest long-range missiles out of Kim’s hands. The Olympics offered a reprieve in North Korea tensions.That hints at what diplomacy could produce if all parties shared approaches and objectives:A pause in North Korean testing in exchange for modified U.S.-South Korea exercises and space and time for multilateral diplomacy.But because inter-Korean diplomacy has moved ahead of nuclear diplomacy, because there has been no real progress between Pyongyang and Washington, and because the U.S. and North Korean positions remain locked in opposition, this Olympic pause will be transitoryLet’s hope it is not broken by fire and fury.Mira Rapp-Hooper is a senior research scholar at the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School and an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. The two countries have discussed holding more formal talks after the Olympics are over, including a possible summit meeting.However, inter-Korean diplomacy is primarily focused not on North Korea’s weapons programs but on issues specific to North and South Korea, like reuniting families divided by the Korean War.Alliance trouble ahead.If Moon decides to pursue a North-South summit, he may further postpone annual military exercises with the United States, which have already been pushed back because of the Olympics.Pyongyang finds the exercises problematic, believing they’re U.S. preparation for a decapitation strike against the north.From a military perspective, the annual drills could probably be delayed with no more than a modest impact on U.S.-South Korea readiness.But if Moon unilaterally decides to do so, it will ruffle U.S. feathers.
0Shares0000That’s my boy: Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola and striker Sergio AgueroLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 10 – Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero says playing under Pep Guardiola this season has changed his style of play.Aguero has been in exceptional form during the 2017/18 campaign, scoring 30 goals in 37 games. He is now just four away from reaching a career-best season tally and says adapting to Guardiola’s tactics has greatly contributed to his current form. The striker says that although Pep is very demanding as a coach and wants the best results, he has managed to change his game and play according to how his manager wants City to play.The Argentine believes that there is always a learning process in the game and is always willing to take on new directives to help him improve as a player.“I think being able to adapt to Pep’s playing style has a large contributing factor in my form this season.“I’m driven to keep on learning, and I have always been able to absorb the lessons of other coaches and put them to practice.“Pep is very demanding, but I simply had to adapt my game and mindset and change how I play to his style,” Aguero told the Manchester City website.“That means helping recover the ball, press, pass it around more, search for my teammates and remain open for passes to find the goal.“It’s a continuous learning process, and I value that kind of thing as it helps me improve as a player,” he said.Aguero recently recovered from a knee injury, and made a second-half appearance against Manchester United in the 3-2 derby loss, where he was unlucky not to be awarded a late penalty.He is set to play in the second leg of the Champions league quarter-final clash against Liverpool, where the Reds hold a 3-0 advantage, and hopes his side will be ready for what their Merseyside opponents bring to the challenge.“This has been a very intense season and the final stretch will likely be demanding as well,” he explained.“We’re prepared, and the whole staff is doing a great job to face what’s up ahead. I have a great deal of trust in the team, and the Champions League remains one of our objectives.“There is everything to play for.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)