In classic militarist fashion, Vincent Brooks, chief of the U.S. Armed Forces in South Korea, has warned against raising hopes over diplomatic overtures made between the people of Korea (north and south).
“We must keep our expectations at the appropriate level,” he said during an address at the University of Seoul, according to Yonhap news agency.
Brooks, who also serves as commander of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, as well as the United Nations Command, claimed that North Korea's overture was intended to divide five countries – the United States, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia – in order to gain acceptance as a “nuclear capable” nation.
“We can’t ignore that reality,” he said, adding that it's strategically important for the United States and South Korea to maintain an “ironclad and razor sharp” alliance, Yonhap reported.
The rhetoric is consistent with the United States' record of hostility, having been at war 93 percent of the time — 222 out of 239 years since independence in 1776 — according to Global Research.
However, North Korea's diplomatic request was welcomed by a serious, less belligerent partner — none other than South Korea, which offered to hold high-level talks with its northern neighbor next week.
South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon said the offer had been discussed with the United States. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she was not aware if the matter had been discussed in advance of the South Korean response.
During his New Year's address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed willingness to establish dialogue with South Korea. He added that he may send an athletic delegation to this year's Winter Olympics, which will be hosted in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang.
Officials in Seoul responded favorably, proposing talks with North Korea at the border truce village of Panmunjom on Jan. 9. North and South Korea also re-established a border hotline that had been disconnected for almost two years.