“[W]hen Trump does anything quietly, take note.” (“Is Trump Winning?” Trump and team may be moving quietly towards negotiations with North Korea. If there are negotiations, give Gareth Porter credit for picking up the signals before anyone else. From Porter at antiwar.com:
For months, the Trump administration and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have each made a series of moves that have appeared to take them ever closer to the brink of war.
But a closer review of the escalation of the conflict reveals that both sides are consciously maneuvering for what they know will be extended serious negotiations on a new framework for peace on the Korean peninsula. The Trump administration is well aware that it has no real military option against the North, and the Kim Jong-un regime seems to have sought to use missile launches as signals to the Trump administration to convey not only North Korea’s determination not to give in to pressure, but also its hopes to stabilize the situation and avoid further escalation in US-North Korea military relations.
The latest US-North Korean crisis revolves around the Trump administration’s public refusal to accept North Korea’s nuclear weapons and long-range missile program, and Trump’s flirtation with options for removing it that would certainly result in a highly destructive and destabilizing Korean War.
Those military options preceded the new administration. In mid-2015, after a series of North Korean nuclear tests between 2006 and 2013, the US military and the South Korean military both adopted a new war plan for the Korean Peninsula, OPLAN 5015. The plan called for surgical strikes on North Korea’s nuclear and missiles sites and command-and-control facilities, as well as “decapitation” raids by Special Forces to take out senior North Korean leaders.
To continue reading: Can the US and North Korea Move From Threats to Negotiations?