Trump Should Meet With Kim Jong-un, by Justin Raimono

The drums of war beat so loudly that SLL will give almost anybody who wants to pass the peace pipe a forum. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

It could pave the way for peace on the Korean peninsula

The launching of yet another ballistic missile test by North Korea dramatizes the conundrum we face in dealing with Kim Jong-un. The trajectory of the missile – it traveled around 430 miles and landed some 60 miles from Russia, in the Sea of Japan – limns the trajectory of North Korea’s course in its confrontation with what Pyongyang views multiple threats to its sovereignty.

Previous missile tests landed off the Japanese coast: this one splashed down close to Russia. It’s no coincidence that Vladimir Putin was at that moment in China, speaking at the “One Belt, One Road” conference, the Chinese version of the Davos conclave. The test also underscores a major misconception – held by many in the US, including the Trump administration – that China is North Korea’s ally, and can effectively rein in Kim Jong-un. This launch is a rebuke to both Moscow and Beijing, one that can be easily understood given some grounding in the history of Pyongyang’s relations with those two powers.

While it is true that the Chinese supported Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, during the Korean war, subsequent relations with the fiercely independent North Koreans were contentious, to say the least. Starting in 1952, Kim Il-Sung inaugurated a series of purges aimed at the pro-Chinese faction of the ruling Korean Workers Party: this culminated in 1956, when leaders of both the pro-Chinese and pro-Russians factions were expelled. The purges left a trail of executions, while several of the expellees fled to China.

During the cold war era, Kim IL-sung deftly maneuvered between Beijing and Moscow, playing off the growing competition between the two communist powers, and significantly siding with the Russians when the Sino-Soviet split went public. They heartily disliked Gorbachev, and when he visited South Korea, snubbing the North, and threatened an embargo if they didn’t submit to inspection of their nuclear facilities, relations were practically severed. Moscow cut off military aid to Pyongyang in 1989. Post-Soviet Russia has supported Western efforts to sanction North Korea for its nuclear brinkmanship, albeit stopping short of endorsing military action.

To continue reading: Trump Should Meet With Kim Jong-un

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