♦Last week Vice President Mike Pence visited Japan, China, South Korea, Indonesia and Australia. One of the primary topics was North Korea. ♦Yesterday (April 23rd), President Trump followed up on Pence’s visit with personal phone calls to China’s President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; again, the topic was North Korea:
“The two leaders reaffirmed the urgency of the threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, and committed to strengthen coordination in achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” (link)
♦Today (April 24th), U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley brings the U.N. Security Council to the White House for lunch with President Trump. The President spoke of the need for the U.N. to fulfill its original charter. ♦On Wednesday (April 26th), President Trump has invited all U.S. Senators to the White House for a classified briefing on North Korea.
♦On Friday (April 28th), U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be traveling to the U.N. to speak to the Security Council personally:
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to New York City on Friday, April 28, to chair a special ministerial meeting of the United Nations Security Council at 10:00 a.m.
The D.P.R.K. poses one of the gravest threats to international peace and security through its pursuit of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other weapons of mass destruction as well as its other prohibited activities.
The meeting will give Security Council members an opportunity to discuss ways to maximize the impact of existing Security Council measures and show their resolve to respond to further provocations with appropriate new measures. (read more)
Revisit the April 8th post-China Summit Debriefing HERE
PREVIOUSLY – [T]here are limits to what China will be willing to do, not because they are unwilling per se’, but rather specifically because China is unwilling to be seen on the world stage as being leveraged by the U.S. In this regard it’s a matter of pride over principle.
Ultimately if the China-Leverage approach is to work, the Trump administration needs to position China as the ‘good cop’, and the US as the ‘bad cop’. This gives Xi Jinping the ability to criticize the U.S. for aggressive posturing toward North Korea. This also positions Xi as the magnanimous world leader bringing prudent pause with the cessation of hostility.
All previous action by the White House in this regard has been the intentional non-connection of policy and strategy dots allowing everyone to fill in the space between words with their own assumptions.
[Informing the Senate of the approach] could be the first time POTUS tells congress what the larger, more consequential, objectives are; and specifically what the Senate needs to know about the potential for the ‘bad cop’ to punch a hole in the wall just prior to exiting the room and setting the stage for ‘good cop’ Xi Jinping’s entry. (more)
There is a clear strategy here. There is also a very clear outline of what President Trump will do in the next five days. The important aspect to remember is that NOTHING that happens in the next week will be a surprise to China’s President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Nothing that happens over the next five days will be a surprise to China’s President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
PM Shinzo Abe, President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump know exactly what is next. Vice-President Mike Pence and his counterparts know precisely what the next step is. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his counterparts in Japan and China also know what is coming.
Forget how the media frames the narrative – there are ZERO surprises here. These dots are self evident; there is no guesswork needed. The communication has been so comprehensive and thorough because the risk of getting the intention wrong is so severe.
There is no doubt President Trump has been deep with this diplomatic communication.