Headlines from the New York Times for Friday, March 17, 2017
Tillerson Says No Negotiations With North Korea on Nuclear Program – Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson ruled out on Friday opening any negotiation with North Korea to freeze its nuclear and missile programs and said for the first time that the Trump administration might be forced to take pre-emptive action “if they elevate the threat of their weapons program” to an unacceptable level.
Mr. Tillerson’s comments in Seoul, a day before he travels to Beijing to meet Chinese leaders, explicitly rejected any return to the bargaining table in an effort to buy time by halting North Korea’s accelerating testing program, which the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, said on New Year’s Day was in the “final stages” of preparation for the first launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the United States.
The secretary of state’s comments were the Trump administration’s first public hint at the options being considered, and made clear that none involved a negotiated settlement or waiting for the North Korean government to collapse.
“The policy of strategic patience has ended,” said Mr. Tillerson, a reference to the term used by the Obama administration to describe a policy of waiting out the North Koreans, while gradually ratcheting up sanctions and covert action.
Reading from Isaiah 30.8-17 for Friday, March 17, 2017
Key verses in this section are Isaiah 30.9-11. Isaiah writes about the nature of rebellion that ends in people who refuse to take direction from God. They refuse to hear the words of the prophet and choose to be ignorant of the views of the wisest and most loving being of all – God.
Isaiah 30.9-11 – For they are a rebellious people, faithless children, children who will not hear the instruction of the Lord; who say to the seers, “Do not see”; and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
Prayers for Friday, March 17, 2017
I am old enough to remember bomb shelters in the backyards of my parent’s friends, listening to President Kennedy speak on the radio during the Cuban missile crisis, and having bomb drills in school. Praying people are essential at this time in history. The threat of nuclear war is a horrific possibility. May God’s praying people join in praying God’s word over the world events of our times.
Dear God, please help leaders throughout the world to hear your voice. May they be willing to take your instruction. May praying people align their lives with your plans and intercede on behalf of your best for the world.