But Mullen directed some of his most pointed criticism at
“The Chinese have enormous influence over the North,
influence that no other nation on earth enjoys,” said Mullen at a news
conference at the South Korean Ministry of National Defense. “And yet,
despite a shared interest in reducing tensions, they appear unwilling
to use it.”
“Even tacit approval of
At the joint news conference Wednesday,
own top commander, said that rules of engagement are being strengthened
to allow commanders on the ground to fire back immediately in case of
another North Korean attack.
Geopolitical fault lines dating back to the 1950-1953 Korean War have re-emerged, with
In a show of force designed to deter
Tensions that had been repressed during seven years of six-nation talks over the fate of
and the two Koreas — have shot to the surface after the deadly
Yeonpyeong island incident. The South Korean government is furious that
held both Koreas equally culpable, an echo of its refusal to accept
evidence of North Korean guilt in the sinking earlier this year of the
Cheonan, a South Korean military ship hit by a torpedo.
The Chinese also have refused to publicly condemn
should cut off relations with the ally for which it sent 3 million
soldiers to fight during the Korean War. But he argues that Chinese
backing for North Korean adventurism should not be unconditional.
“It is not just that
The Chinese response to the artillery exchange two weeks ago has been to call on the other five nations to resume talks on
But the Obama administration has been open about the need for
On Sunday, Obama spoke by phone with Chinese President
And on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State
“The trilateral foreign minister meeting won’t change the fact that
In a separate piece, it added, “What the three foreign ministers of the U.S.,
The U.S. administration has also signaled that it is
not ready to return to the previous diplomatic path of the six-party
talks, a position Mullen reiterated Wednesday.
“We first need an appropriate basis for the resumption of talks,” he said. “There is none so long as
persists in its illegal, ill-advised and dangerous behavior. I do not
believe we should continue to reward that behavior with bargaining or
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