Foreign policy analyst and former American diplomat Evans Revere was in Tokyo on Friday February 15, where he remarked on policy toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). “There are some interesting gaps that are developing right now in mainstream American thinking…and (South) Korea,” he said.
The remarks refer to the United States’ effort to apply the brakes to South Korea’s conciliatory stance toward the DPRK. They came during a Q&A session at the Japan-U.S. Dialogue in Tokyo titled: “U.S.-China New Cold War: Implications for Japan and the United States,” where Mr. Revere was a
Previously Revere served as acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs during the George W. Bush administration and is now a senior advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group.
Pointing to South Korea’s intentions in its official dialogues with the DPRK, he discussed the risk that South Korea’s desire to move forward quickly appears at odds with U.S. intentions, raising the risk of concessions to the North beyond those the U.S. and other allies are willing to give. He added: “My suspicion is that those gaps are bigger, not smaller.”
Moreover, Revere cautioned that South Korea’s conciliatory stance toward the DPRK would be a “problem” as it is diminishing cooperation with its allies, especially the U.S. Referring to South Korean President Moon Jae In without naming him directly, Revere said he is “the only person who seems
to be more in love with Kim Jong Un than Donald Trump.”
Regarding the worsening Japan-South Korea relations due to various issues – including differences on the comfort women issue and the South Korean navy’s radar lock-on of Japan’s Self-Defense Force patrol plane – Revere indicated the “problematic relationship between Japan and Korea right now
is something that is not helpful” for the East Asia security environment.
He voiced his concern about the lack of ideas for getting the United States more engaged with both allies to encourage them to groom their relationship in a “more positive and cooperative direction.”
On the subject of China’s military and economic expansion, Revere emphasized, “we should reiterate and make it clear that the U.S.-Japan alliance remains strong and united,” adding we should resist any attempt by China to divide us as partners. He also said the “U.S. and Japan must
develop a shared strategy” for prevailing against China.
(Click here to read the article in Japanese.)
Author: Mizuki Okada