Gates: U.S. doesn’t want regime change in NorthU.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States is not interested in “destabilizing North Korea” or regime change in the communist country, in remarks made at the 10th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
Gates said America hopes six-party denuclearization talks will “get the North Koreans to live by the same rules of international engagement that everyone else does.”
The remarks came as the United States and South Korea reaffirmed their common stance on North Korea. Gates underlined the importance of the alliance at the Singapore talks and said the relationship will help stabilize American interests in Northeast Asia.
“The U.S. alliance with the Republic of Korea remains another pillar of our Asia-Pacific security strategy,” he said, “one that has emerged out of its Cold War origins to confront a new array of security challenges in the region and globally as well.”
With North Korea in mind, Gates also said the alliance is “not designed to simply stand against another nation.”
The United States and South Korea have shown close cooperation in reacting to North Korea’s allegation that Seoul sent emissaries to beg and bribe Pyongyang to hold three summit meetings between the presidents of the two sides.
The Blue House has kept quiet on the issue, and the South Korean government denounced the North causing trouble on the Korean Peninsula. Washington had similar words, urging North Korea to act responsibly.
Possible resumption of U.S. food aid to North Korea has put Washington at odds with Seoul, but South Korean diplomatic sources said its government’s opinion had been taken seriously and factored into the U.S. decision.
Gates said “the danger of unpredictable escalation in the event of another provocation” is something that must be worked out among the six nations that make up the denuclearization talks. Gates said North Korea has made provocations before and has been rewarded with negotiations and concessions. That should not happen again, the defense secretary said.
“I’m tired of buying the same horse twice,” Gates said. “And so I think the time has come to make some long-term judgments and some long-term decisions in terms of how the international community deals with North Korea and the expectations we have of North Korean behavior.”
By Christine Kim [email@example.com]
한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
게이츠 “북 정권 교체 관심 없다”
로버트 게이츠 미국 국방장관이 지난 4일 “미국은 북한의 정권 교체에 관심이 없으며 북한을 불안정하게 만드는 데도 관심이 없다”고 말했다. 게이츠 장관은 이날 싱가포르에서 열린 아시아 안보회의 ‘샹그릴라 대화’에서 북한 문제와 관련된 질문을 받고 이같이 대답했다. 하지만 그는 “북한은 계속되는 장거리 미사일 개발 가능성 및 핵무기 개발로 미국에 직접 위협이 되어가고 있다”고 지적했다. 그는 또 북한의 천안함 폭침과 연평도 도발 등을 거론하며 “또 다른 도발이 있을 경우 예측할 수 없는 긴장 고조 위험에 대해 우려한다”고 말했다.