Tag Archives: Kim Jong Un

The Unfreezing of Korea Begins, by Tom Luongo

Tom Luongo finds the positives in the Singapore summit. From Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Now that we’ve had a few days to let the war-mongers and Democrats (or do I repeat myself) fulminate over the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un it’s important to look at what actually happened and where we’re going next.

For a good analysis of what was actually accomplished, read this excellent post over at Moon of Alabama.

… the ‘freeze for freeze’ North Korea had offered [Obama previously in 2015 and 2016] and China promoted. The U.S. stops the large “strategic” maneuvers involving nuclear capable bombers flying from Guam, aircraft carriers and the like, while North Korea stops testing nukes and missiles. North Korea achieved its first aim. It can now lower its miliary posture and develop its economy.

The situation is still somewhat unstable as both freeze steps are reversible.

The ‘freeze for freeze’ is, as the Chinese Foreign Minister envisioned, a starting point for a long series of talks which may finally lead to a peace agreement and some nuclear disarmament. Now comes the “dual-track approach” of a peace agreement in exchange for some disarmament “in a synchronized and reciprocal manner”. This will be a “step-by-step” process which will take years or even decades.

Russia was promoting this same strategy publicly during the worst of the tensions between Trump and Kim last year. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke of the ‘double freeze’ repeatedly.

And it was always going to end this way because, as I’ve been saying all along, North Korea has a nuclear weapon and the U.S. will only come to the bargaining table when it has lost significant leverage.

And a nuclear deterrent is a major bit of leverage.

So, the “Freeze for Freeze” is now in effect.   The war games are a direct economic benefit to North Korea as MoA points out at length.  And Trump gets the win by spinning it as a cost-cutting measure.

The imperial sycophants and quislings are crying in their lattes over this and defense stocks have taken it on the chin.  All of this is to the good of mankind.

To continue reading: The Unfreezing of Korea Begins

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Optimism, by Caitlin Johnstone

Pessimists are not the ones who move the world. From Caitlin Johnstone at steemit.com:

Off the top of my head I have a hard time thinking of anything sleazier than smearing peace talks in order to gain partisan political points, but that has indeed been the theme of the last few days when it comes to the Singapore summit. Liberal pundits everywhere have been busily circulating the narrative that Kim Jong-Un “played” Trump by getting him to temporarily halt military drills in exchange for suspended nuclear testing. It was the most fundamental beginning of peace negotiations and a slight deescalation in tensions on the Korean Peninsula, but the way they talk about it you’d think Kim had taken off from Singapore in Air Force One with the keys to Fort Knox and Melania on his lap.

I’m not sure how far up the military-industrial complex’s ass one’s head needs to be to think that one single step toward peace is a gigantic take-all-the-chips win for the impoverished North Korea, but many of Trump’s political enemies are taking it even further.

Senate Democrats have introduced a bill to make it more difficult for Trump to withdraw US troops from South Korea, because while you can always count on Capitol Hill to make it incredibly easy for a president to deploy military personnel around the globe, giving that same office the power to bring troops home is a completely different matter.

Surprising no one, MSNBC’s cartoon children’s program The Rachel Maddow Show took home the trophy for jaw-dropping, shark-jumping ridiculousness with an eighteen-minute Alex Jones impression claiming that the chief architect of the Korean negotiations was none other than (and if you can’t guess whose name I’m going to write once we get out of these parentheses I deeply envy your ignorance on this matter) Vladimir Putin.

To continue reading: Optimism

It Didn’t Take a Village of Deep Staters – Just The Donald, by David Stockman

Funny things happen when you reject the conventional wisdom. From David Stockman at antiwar.com:

The village idiots of Imperial Washington are having conniption fits about the Singapore summit. That’s because after 65 years of lobbing military threats and diplomatic poison pens at Pyongyang, the Donald showed the way to resolving the North Korean file in just six hours.

That is, in the case of the Korean peninsula like the rest of the world, it is Washington’s job to safeguard the American homeland, not to pass judgment on the merits and morality of foreign leaders and regimes.

That’s the essence of the Donald’s triumph in Singapore.

By not listening to the Washington poobahs of failure and perpetual war, Trump ended in one grand photo op the senseless demonization, isolation and ostracization of a regime that has maintained its brutal rule owing to one overriding factor: Namely, the omnipresent hostility implicit in the US military occupation of the peninsula’s south and the lethal armadas it maintains in the seas and airspace all around it.

The encirclement of North Korea by Washington’s war machine was never remotely justified, however, because the former did not and does not present a threat to the American homeland. How could it with a per capita income of barely $1,200 and a minuscule, impoverished, technologically-stillborn economy whose annual production amounts to 12 hours of US GDP?

Yes, in recent years North Korea has embarked on a quest for nuclear weapons. But its understandable need for deterrence should be evident to any simpleton not schooled in the hypocrisy of Imperial Washington.

To wit, its ruling family did not wish to become another experiment in “regime change” and thereby end up hanging from an American gallows like Saddam or being dragged from the back of a Jeep and brutalized and sodomized like Khadafy.

And that’s why the Kim regime was going for ICBMs and nukes. Full stop.

To continue reading: It Didn’t Take a Village of Deep Staters – Just The Donald

Trump’s Bold Historic Gamble, by Patrick J. Buchanan

Trump may be gambling, but he’s got some pretty good hole cards. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

President Donald Trump appears to belong to what might be called the Benjamin Disraeli school of diplomacy.

The British prime minister once counseled, “Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to Royalty you should lay it on with a trowel.”

At his Singapore summit, Trump smartly saluted a North Korean general and then lavished praise on Kim Jong Un as a “strong guy” with a “good personality” and a “great negotiator.” “He’s funny, and … very, very smart … and a very strategic kind of a guy. … His country does love him.”

Predictably, Trump is being scourged for this.

Yet, during his trip to Peking in 1972, Richard Nixon did not confront Chairman Mao on his history of massacres and murder, though Nixon’s visit came in the midst of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, a nationwide pogrom.

Nor did Churchill or FDR at their wartime summits confront their ally Stalin for his legendary crimes against humanity. Both gushed over “Uncle Joe.”

Still, if the Trump-Kim camaraderie goes south and the crisis of 2017, when war seemed possible, returns, Trump, as he concedes, will be charged with naivety for having placed his trust in such a tyrant.

Yet, to Trump’s credit, we are surely at a better place than we were a year ago when Kim was testing hydrogen bombs and ICBMs, and he and Trump were trading threats and insults in what seemed the prelude to a new Korean War.

Whatever one may think of his diplomacy, Trump has, for now, lifted the specter of nuclear war from the Korean peninsula and begun a negotiating process that could lead to tolerable coexistence.

The central questions to emerge from the summit are these: What does Kim want, and what is he willing to pay for it?

Transparently, he does not want a war with the United States. That black cloud has passed over. Second, Kim and North Korea have emerged from their isolation in as dramatic a fashion as did Mao’s China in 1972.

In 2018, the North was invited to the Seoul Olympics. Kim met twice with South Korea’s president and twice with China’s Xi Jinping. Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister stopped by. And Kim had a face-to-face summit with a U.S. president, something his grandfather and father never came close to achieving.

It is unlikely Kim will be retreating back into the cloisters of the Hermit Kingdom after being courted by the world’s foremost powers.

To continue reading: Trump’s Bold Historic Gamble

Kim Jong Un Offers to Host Peace Talks Between United States and Canada, by Andy Borowitz

And now for a little humor, from Andy Borowitz at theburningplatform.com:

SINGAPORE (The Borowitz Report)—One day before his summit with Donald J. Trump, the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, has offered to host peace talks between the United States and Canada.

Speaking to reporters at his hotel in Singapore, Kim said that the rising tensions between the North American neighbors were posing an “intolerable threat to world peace.”

In addition to offering to host U.S.-Canada talks in Pyongyang, Kim urged the immediate creation of a demilitarized zone along the border separating the two hostile nations.

“In exchange for Canadian Mounties agreeing to stand down on their side of the border, the United States, in turn, would dismantle its nuclear weapons,” Kim said.

Although stating that “North Korea stands ready and willing to be an honest broker” in peace talks between the two countries, he urged Trump to dial back the “inflammatory rhetoric” that he aimed at Canadians over the weekend.

“Violent language and threats have no place in international diplomacy,” Kim said.

Singapore Summit: A Victory for Peace, by Justin Raimondo

Nothing demonstrates that the War Party deserves to be called the War Party like its reaction to Singapore. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

A stinging defeat for the War Party

You could hear the cries of anguish and the gnashing of teeth emanating from Washington, D.C., and the isle of Manhattan, as the media and the political class mourned the coming of peace to the Korean peninsula. Max Boot, one of the primary leaders of the anti-Trump “Resistance,” declaredthat “For Kim Jong-un this is already a victory because he wants legitimacy, he wants a place on the international stage, he wants to be recognized as an equal by the president of the United States, he wants to seen as nuclear power, and he’s achieving all of that. This is a tremendous propaganda victory for him.”

This summarizes the reaction from the anti-Trumpers, who apparently really do believe that Kim derives his legitimacy from factors outside North Korea, and specifically from recognition by Americans, i.e. themselves. The narcissism of these people would be comical if it weren’t so dangerous.

This folderol about being “recognized as an equal” is similarly humor of the unintentional variety: does anyone, including Kim, really believe that a poor, isolated, and desperately poor regime is really the equal of the world’s sole “super-power,” no matter how many photo ops are taken with POTUS? Of course they don’t.

Does Kim want to “be seen as a nuclear power”? But of course North Korea isindeed a nuclear power – are we supposed to ignore this? And what about this “tremendous propaganda victory” – just how tremendous is it? Is it convincing the world’s peoples that the North Korean system is superior to liberal democracy? Nope. Quite the opposite: Kim has been driven to negotiate because his own system is failing.

Well, enough of refuting the easily refutable Señor Boot: what’s scary is that the “progressives” in the mass media and the thinktanks are repeating the same party line. Nancy Pelosi recovered long enough from her impending Alzheimer’s to denounce the summit as a bunch of “vague promises” with no “clear and comprehensive pathway to denuclearization and non-proliferation.” She continued:

“In his haste to reach an agreement, President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo.”

To continue reading: Singapore Summit: A Victory for Peace

Career State Department Officer Rages: 5 Media Myths Of Trump-Kim Summit, by Tyler Durden

Not that it’s difficult, but President Trump and Kim Jong Un just made the mainstream media look like the idiots they are. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

In the midst of Tuesday’s historic Trump-Kim summit and accompanying myriad pundits giving their hot takes on mainstream news networks, 24-year State Department veteran and geopolitics expert Peter Van Buren began an epic rant on twitter with the following: “If you’re keeping score at home, every pundit and MSM head who claimed the summit would never happen, or Trump would blow up, is now 100% and forever wrong. Still watching CNN????”

Van Buren is best known as a whistleblower who was ousted from a successful career as a foreign service officer after he chronicled the astronomical amount of US government waste, fraud, criminality and abuse in post-Saddam Iraq based on his experience leading two reconstruction teams for the State Department.

His 2011 book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, which precipitated a lengthy legal battle with the US government as he stood accused of leaking allegedly sensitive and classified information in the book, initially earned him the ire of beltway bureaucrats, mainstream pundits, fanatical neocons, and liberal interventionists alike. But he was proven right.

Career State Department officer and U.S. Envoy to Iraq Peter Van Buren. Image source: We Meant Well

During and after the Trump-Kim meeting Van Buren live tweeted in reaction to the cable news shows repeatedly slamming the whole event as a charade merely meant to score domestic propaganda victories for both leaders.

Here are 5 media myths which persisted throughout the day’s wall-to-wall mainstream coverage based on career State Department expert Peter Van Buren’s analysis…

* * *

Myth #1: Trump “betrayed” US ally South Korea

No, the South Korean’s were not “betrayed” or “abandoned” as Vox , MSNBC, and many others claim — the reality is opposite: the peace efforts are being led by the South Koreans, as President Moon Jae-in’s own unambiguous words indicate, saying he was very happy with the meeting.

“I offer my heartfelt congratulations and welcome the success of the historic North Korea-United States summit,” Moon’s statement begins.

The fact remains that 81% of South Koreans supported the summit, and 88% supported the prior Kim-Moon summit. Moon also has an 86% approval rating. 70% of Americans support the meeting.

The pundits now claiming “betrayal” of South Korea have no clue what they’re talking about.

To continue reading: Career State Department Officer Rages: 5 Media Myths Of Trump-Kim Summit