The White House’s policy on North Korea has been to put out an array of talking points to counter North Korean rhetoric, but the president has taken a more aggressive approach.
And the administration is trying to change that.
The administration is developing a strategy for dealing with North Korea that includes a stronger military, stronger economic incentives and a tougher line on the country’s nuclear program.
The White Houses strategy is a way to build a sense of unity around President Donald Trump, said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary.
In a recent interview, Mr. Carney said Mr. Trump’s focus on the North Korean threat was “not just something that he’s been thinking about for some time.
This is his first major foreign policy speech.”
The strategy calls for more military action, including a planned deployment of U.S. warships to the Korean Peninsula, as well as sanctions that would target North Korea’s leadership and military infrastructure.
In addition, Mr, Carney said, the administration will seek a diplomatic solution with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, including through “all diplomatic channels.”
That is not a new approach, nor does it have to be.
After the United States pulled its troops out of Afghanistan in 2014, Mr Trump said he had no intention of going back.
But the strategy will be different, he said, because Mr. Kim has the power to use nuclear weapons against the United Kingdom.
The plan was first proposed by White House senior policy adviser Valerie Jarrett.
It was later endorsed by the National Security Council.
The strategy would focus on how to deter North Korea from a nuclear weapons program, and it will address how to negotiate with the North Koreans.
The focus on deterrence means Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush used a strategy called “strategic patience” to make sure that the North would be ready for the “nuclear winter” when they left the country in 2017.
Mr. Jarrett has said the new strategy is different, but she is not calling for it to be called the “strategy of patience.”
The new strategy, she said, will focus on “making sure that there are strong sanctions against North Korea.”
The United States is not currently doing anything to prevent North Korea or its leader from acquiring nuclear weapons.
That is because Mr Trump has not been able to get congressional approval for the sanctions he has proposed to punish North Korea.
That means the administration could be able to act on the strategy without a bill from Congress.
Mr Trump is expected to make a speech Thursday morning at the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, to announce a series of sanctions against Mr Kim.
The president has not specified what those sanctions would be, but he has said they could include a freeze on North Korean exports of oil and other minerals and a ban on imports of coal and other fossil fuels.
The sanctions will also target a Chinese company called the State Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A spokesperson for the State Department told The Washington Post that the agency is reviewing Mr. Kerry’s proposed sanctions package, but declined to say if the administration has made a final decision on them.
The new administration’s strategy is also aimed at pressuring the North, said Matthew Pappas, who was the senior national security adviser under Mr. Biden.
Mr Pappa, who is now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress think tank, said the administration wants to build up the pressure on Mr. Pyongyang to comply with its international commitments.
But he said it is not clear that Mr. McMaster will be able or willing to pursue this strategy alone.
“I don’t think that it is a realistic option to have the administration take that lead,” Mr. Pappis said.
The North Korean government has also said it will not meet its international obligations.
The United Nations Security Council voted last month to impose new sanctions on the regime, and China has said it has expressed “serious concern” over the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Mr Carney told The Post that there is still a chance the North could find a way out of the sanctions, but that the White Houses goal was to “start a conversation” with Mr. Mr Kim, not impose sanctions.
But that does not mean the White houses approach to the North has changed.
Mr Carney said the White house would continue to work with the Obama administration on ways to bring the North into compliance.
Mr Biden and Mr Obama spoke by phone earlier this year, during which Mr Trump was critical of the North.
The call was “very productive,” Mr Carne, the National security adviser, said.
Mr Obama also said he believed Mr. Clinton and Mr Trump could work together to contain North Korea and said Mr Trump and Mr Biden would meet when Mr Trump visits the Korean peninsula.
“We will meet again with the president,” Mr Biden said.
But Mr Carney said the president believes Mr. Putin, the Russian president, should be part of the effort to contain the North and is willing to negotiate in a way that he thinks Mr. Tillerson would approve