Russia/North Korea: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Russia of helping North Korea bypass some international sanctions against its nuclear and ballistic programs. Last year, Moscow adopted every UN Security Council resolution imposing new sanctions on Kim Jong-un’s regime, after it used missiles or repeated nuclear tests. But « it seems clear to us that they are not fully applying all the sanctions, and there is evidence that they even go against certain sanctions, » said Rex Tillerson in the night of Wednesday to Thursday, on the plane that brought him back to Washington after a conference in California.
Syria/Turkey: On Wednesday, Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, sought to remove doubt about the reality of US engagement in Syria. « It is crucial for our national interest to maintain a military and diplomatic presence in Syria, » said the US foreign minister during a speech at Stanford University in California. Tillerson enumerated the objectives that Washington assigns, remaining in Syria. First «that IS does not resurface». « ISIS, » he said, « currently has one foot in the grave, and by keeping a US military presence in Syria, will soon have two. » Rex Tillerson called not to « make the same mistake as in 2011 » when « a premature departure from Iraq allowed al-Qaeda to survive”, in that country before molting to bring ISIS to life. After announcing that they would train 30,000 militiamen to protect the borders of their Kurdish allies in northern Syria, the United States, under Turkish pressure, lowered their ambitions. « This is not a new army or a conventional force of border guards, » was stated in a Pentagon statement on Thursday.