Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in South Korea yesterday. It is the 3rd stop on her four nation Asian tour. While en route to Seoul, South Korea, Secretary Clinton spoke extensively with reporters aboard her plane on the tense relationship between North and South Korea that has recently heated up given the “evidence that North Korea was gearing up for a launch of a long-range missile.” Clinton said she “will be receiving briefings in Seoul by the U.S. military and their South Korean counterparts on their assessment of the North’s recent actions.”
Clinton said today that “that a potential power struggle to succeed North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-il, had injected a troubling new element into negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.”
“If there is a succession, even if it’s a peaceful succession, that creates more uncertainty, and it may also encourage behaviors that are even more provocative, as a way to consolidate power within the society,” said Mrs. Clinton, on her first foreign trip as secretary of state.[…]
“This is an especially important time for South Korea, as they are confronting a lot of worries about what’s up in North Korea, what the succession could be, what it means for them,” Mrs. Clinton said.
“Our goal,” she added, “is try to come up with a strategy that is effective in influencing the behavior of the North Koreans, at a time when the whole leadership situation is somewhat unclear.”
Clinton also said that the U.S. is “eager to defuse tensions between North Korea and South Korea, though she acknowledged that would be difficult in the current tense atmosphere.”
[Originally published at TaylorMarsh.com]