Bannon Interview Deepens Confusion Over U.S Strategy for North Korea

August 17, 2017

The New York Times:

BEIJING – Conflicting messages from the Trump administration on Thursday deepened more than a week of uncertainty over how it will confront North Korea’s nuclear program, with blunt remarks by a top White House adviser, Stephen K. Bannon, undercutting the United States’ top military official as he sought to persuade China to get tough on the North during a visit to Beijing.

In an interview published on Wednesday, Mr. Bannon, Mr. Trumps chief strategist, said he might consider a deal in which United States troops withdrew from South Korea in exchange for a verifiable freeze in the North’s nuclear program.

Such a deal, which would be a radical departure from decades of United States policy, is unlikely to happen. But its mere suggestion stunned analysts in a region still grappling with the implications of Mr. Trump’s threat last week to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea.

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