Trump’s na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser to tackle N Korea nu­clear threat

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser says North Korea’s nu­clear pro­gramme would be given a high pri­or­ity un­der the new ad­min­is­tra­tion, a South Korean of­fi­cial who held talks with him said yes­ter­day.

Michael Flynn, one of Trump’s clos­est ad­vis­ers, also said he would work to strengthen the US al­liance with South Korea, call­ing the re­la­tion­ship “vi­tal,” the South’s deputy pres­i­den­tial na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Cho Tae-yong was quoted as say­ing by Yon­hap news agency.

Cho was lead­ing a South Korean del­e­ga­tion to the United States to meet with key ad­vis­ers to the pres­i­dent-elect to dis­cuss the two coun­tries’ re­sponse to the North’s pur­suit of nu­clear weapons in de­fi­ance of in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions.

Cho spoke to South Korean re­porters in Wash­ing­ton fol­low­ing the meet­ing with Flynn, Yon­hap said.

Flynn is a re­tired Army lieu­tenant gen­eral and a mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence vet­eran of three decades who has cham­pi­oned Trump’s prom­ises to take a more ag­gres­sive ap­proach to ter­ror­ism. His ap­point­ment as na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser this week does not re­quire Se­nate con­fir­ma­tion.

The North con­ducted its fourth and fifth nu­clear tests this year un­der young leader Kim Jong Un, who has vowed to build a nu­clear arse­nal and bal­lis­tic mis­siles to de­liver them.

The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil has held dis­cus­sions to adopt a tough­ened new sanc­tions res­o­lu­tion fol­low­ing the North’s Sept. 9 nu­clear blast. US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama has been crit­i­cized by Con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans that his pol­icy of “strate­gic pa­tience” was a fail­ure and that he must make full use of sanc­tions au­thor­i­ties given to him by Congress.

Trump pledged his com­mit­ment to de­fend South Korea un­der an ex­ist­ing se­cu­rity al­liance dur­ing a phone call with South Korean Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye, Yon­hap said last week. Trump had sug­gested dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign he would be will­ing to with­draw US mil­i­tary sta­tioned in South Korea un­less Seoul paid a greater share of the cost of the de­ploy­ment.

There are about 28,500 US troops based in South Korea in com­bined de­fense against North Korea.—Reuters

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