Tag Archives: Kim Jong Un

“Big Progress” – North Korea To Halt Nuclear, ICBM Tests; Dismantle Test Site; Pursue Peace, by Tyler Durden

This looks like good news. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Update 3: President Trump has tweeted the “good news,” adding that this move was “big progress.”

“North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit.”

Update 2: North Korean Leader Kim’s full statement (via KCNA):

The decision “to include the great victory of the economic construction and nuclear armed forces construction transfer line” includes the following decisions.

  • First, in the course of struggle to carry out the party’s translation, we carried out the nuclear test and the underground nuclear test, the miniaturization and the lightening of the nuclear weapon, and the project for the development of the ultra-large nuclear weapon and the transportation means sequentially and faithfully realized the nuclear weaponization. I declare it solemnly.
  • Second, from April 21st, Juche 107 (2018), the nuclear test and the intercontinental ballistic rocket test will be discontinued. North Korea’s nuclear test center will be discarded in order to ensure the transparency of the suspension of the nuclear test.
  • Third, the suspension of nuclear testing is an important process for global nuclear disarmament, and the DPRK will join international efforts and efforts to halt the nuclear test altogether.
  • Fourth, we will never use nuclear weapons unless there is nuclear threat or nuclear provocation to our country, and in any case we will not transfer nuclear weapons and nuclear technology.
  • Fifth, we will concentrate all the efforts to build up a strong socialist economy and mobilize the human and material resources of the country to dramatically raise people’s lives.
  • Sixth, we will establish a favorable international environment for the construction of a socialist economy, and will intensify close dialogue and dialogue with neighboring countries and the international community in order to protect the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the world.

To continue reading: “Big Progress” – North Korea To Halt Nuclear, ICBM Tests; Dismantle Test Site; Pursue Peace

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Could the Trump-Kim Summit Succeed? by Ramesh Thakur

Both the US and North Korea have ample reasons to reach some sort of agreement. Whether they will or not is another question. From Rahesh Thakur at project-syndicate.org:

The Kim-Trump summit is an opportunity that will be difficult to seize and easy to squander. For example, if Trump decertifies the Iran nuclear deal on May 12, ahead of the summit, the move would almost certainly call into question America’s good faith and ability to honor negotiated international agreements.

CANBERRA – Last year, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump were hurling kindergarten insults at each other – “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission,” said Trump of Kim; “mentally deranged US dotard,” Kim retorted – while threatening to reduce East Asia to a post-atomic wasteland. Now, in a stunning and dramatic development, the two are to meet by May. Kim reportedly is willing to denuclearize and eager to talk directly to Trump, who has agreed.

But optimism about this turn of events must be tempered with cautious realism. North Korea is the nuclear problem from hell. Neither South Korea nor the United States can control the narrative; definitions of success or failure are highly relative; and Trump must enter the talks with no exit strategy. The six decades since the Korean War ended in 1953 – with a ceasefire but no peace agreement – have hardened an increasingly dangerous stalemate. Although neither side is likely to launch a premeditated nuclear attack, the risk of warfrom miscommunication, misperception, or miscalculation is real.

All key announcements so far have come from Seoul, not Pyongyang or Washington. President Moon Jae-in, a son of refugees from North Korea, was elected on the promise of a two-track approach to the North: sanctions and diplomacy. This led to the Olympic initiative whereby Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, attended the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, and the two countries competed as one team. Afterwards, Moon’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, and intelligence chief Suh Hoon traveled to Pyongyang and Washington, where, standing on the White House lawn with Cho Yoon-je, South Korea’s ambassador to the US – but with no US officials present – they announced the summit.

Trump Is Making Diplomacy Great Again, by Justin Raimondo

Trump’s threatened war with North Korea was going to be the end of the world. Now his peaceful overture is the end of the world. Trump’s critics need to make up their frigging minds. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

The Trump-Kim summit: A great idea whose time has come

No sooner had I published a column entitled “And Now For The Good News,” predicting that the war on the Korean peninsula the Never Trumpers had been envisioning (and secretly hoping for) would not happen, and hailing the North-South negotiations as the first step toward a final settlement of the Korean question, then President Trump advanced the process a thousand-fold by accepting Kim Jong-un’s invitation for a one-on-one meeting.

The Washington policy wonks, the Never Trumpers, the right and the left – all erupted in a chorus of “He can’t do that!

Ah, but he can, he has, and he will.

Reports in the media have it that the three South Korean emissaries sent to Washington to report on the progress of talks with the North were interrupted in their internal discussions by the President, who walked into the room, heard them talking about the North Korean leader’s invitation to meet, and told them: “I’ll do it.”

Just like that.

This is supposed to be irresponsible, not at all the way Things Are Done, and indicative that the President is adrift at sea without a paddle. Yet it is the President’s adversaries who are adrift, and have been aimlessly floating in a stagnant sea of routinism since the non-end of the Korean war – while the threat of another war has slowly gathered on the horizon.

There are all sorts of objections from the self-appointed “experts” as to why direct US-North Korean negotiations – and particularly a personal meeting between Trump and Kim – is a Very Bad Idea. I’ll ignore the ad hominemattacks on Trump’s character, since these are subjective value judgments and cannot be either contested or proved. So that takes care of half of them. The other half have to do with the alleged lack of preparation and the supposed paucity of our diplomatic personnel conversant with matters Korean. Peter van Buren, a former State Department official, makes short work of this line of thinking here, and I’ll briefly quote a piece that should be read in its entirety:

“The State Department is gutted, say some. The United States has no ambassador to South Korea. The Special Representative for North Korea Policy just retired. But it is disingenuous to claim there is no one left to negotiate with Pyongyang simply because their names are unfamiliar to journalists.”

He goes on to name four, and adds:

“There are similar decades of Korean expertise at the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, in the military, as well as among South Korean diplomats, to support Trump’s efforts. Preparation? These men and women have spent their whole careers preparing.”

To continue reading: Trump Is Making Diplomacy Great Again

Trump’s Historic Bet on Kim Summit Shatters Decades of Orthodoxy, by Justin Sink, Toluse Olorunnipa, Margaret Talev and Bill Faries

It’s always amazing when US policy makers and media figures who consistently advocate US interventionism and war are never called to account for the manifest risks of such war, but President Trump announces he’s going to sit down with North Korean lead Kim Jong Un and critics come out of the woodwork worrying about the “risks.” From Justin Sink, Toluse Olorunnipa, Margaret Talev and Bill Faries at bloomberg.com:

Donald Trump took the biggest gamble of his presidency on Thursday, breaking decades of U.S. diplomatic orthodoxy by accepting an invitation to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

 The bet is that Trump’s campaign to apply maximum economic pressure on Kim’s regime has forced him to consider what was previously unthinkable: surrendering the illicit nuclear weapons program begun by his father. If the president is right, the U.S. would avert what appeared at times last year to be a steady march toward a second Korean War.
It was classic Trump, showing an unerring confidence to get the better end of any negotiation. But it was also Trump in another way: high risk and high reward, with little regard for those in the foreign policy establishment who worry it’s too much, too soon.
 “He’s taking a risk,” said Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. “By seizing an opportunity for a summit meeting, a decision that would have taken much more time in another administration, the president has said, ‘I’m going to go right now. And we’re going to test this.”’

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders appeared to introduce a bit of wiggle room for Trump on Friday, telling reporters at a briefing that the president wouldn’t proceed with the meeting “until we see concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of North Korea.” She didn’t elaborate, though a South Korean envoy said Kim pledged to stop nuclear tests until the summit.

To continue reading: Trump’s Historic Bet on Kim Summit Shatters Decades of Orthodoxy

Breakthrough: North Korea Ready To Denuclearize “If Regime Safety Is Guaranteed”, by Tyler Durden

If this pans out it would be good news indeed. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Score another diplomatic victory for Trump, whose hard line negotiating tactic appears to have generated a dramatic – and favorable for market – outcome. Moments ago futures spiked, 10Y yields jumped and the USDJPY bounced about 106 on what the FT dubbed a “diplomatic breakthrough” that North and South Korea have agreed to hold direct talks between their leaders with North Korea signalling it is willing to abandon its nuclear program “if regime security can be guaranteed.

  • NKOREA OPEN TO DENUCLEARIZE IF REGIME SAFETY GUARANTEED: SKOREA

The headlines come from South Korean National Security Office special envoy Chung Eui-yong, who is speaking to reporters in Seoul after returning from Pyongyang. Remember he and another envoy, National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Monday. Chung confirms that North Korea is indeed ready to stop the jawboning and negotiate:

  • Kim Jong Un open to frank talks with U.S. for denuclearization: Chung
  • North Korea to suspend provocations during talks: Chung
  • Promises not to use any weapons against South Korea: Chung

Next step: a summit in April between the two neighbors where details will be ironed out: “North Korea, South Korea agree to hold summit in April”, Chung says. Pyongyang vowed not to test any ballistic missiles or make further provocations during talks, according Chung clarified.

The easing of tensions between the two Koreas and this clearly positive geopolitical development has triggered a broad based risk-on move. Fixed income is selling off sharply here, with Bunds flying. As the spot KRW market is closed, the NDF space is in focus. The 1m NDF has traded from 1076.0 to 1070.8 at time of print. USDJPY is spiking higher at 106.10 at print. This move may have legs especially as early NY begins to come in

The question now is whether this unexpected diplomatic victory for Trump will further empower him to demand similar concessions on the trade side, and launch the “trade wars”, even as the market is now fully convinced that the US president will backtrack.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-06/north-korea-ready-denuclearize-if-regime-safety-assured

Watch A Sitting Congresswoman Shred The MSM Narrative In Under A Minute, by Tyler Durden

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard believes that Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons are  his insurance policy against the kind of US regime change operation that murdered Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard appeared on multiple Sunday news shows a day after her state’s false ICBM emergency alert sent the islands into a tense 40 minutes of panic before it was revealed to be a message sent in error, where she slammed the mainstream media’s reporting on the North Korean nuclear threat, saying“We’ve got to understand that North Korea is holding onto these nuclear weapons because they think it is their only protection from the United States coming in and doing to them what the United States has done to so many countries throughout history.” 

 She further called for Trump to hold direct talks with Kim Jong Un in order to prevent the real thing from ever happening. 
Tulsi Gabbard
@TulsiGabbard 

We’ve got to understand that North Korea is holding onto these nuclear weapons because they think it is their only protection from the United States coming in and doing to them what the United States has done to so many countries throughout history.

“We’ve got to get to the underlying issue here of why are the people of Hawaii and this country facing a nuclear threat coming from North Korea today, and what is this President doing urgently to eliminate that threat?” Gabbard said on CNN’s State of the Union. She added that Pyongyang sees its nuclear weapons program as “the only deterrent against the U.S. coming in and overthrowing their regime there” after decades of the US exhibiting a pattern of regime change when dealing with rogue states, which she said makes setting up preconditions for talks a self-defeating step.

And concerning the potential for an “unintentional” nuclear war, Gabbard said, “It’s not just the President making a decision to launch a nuclear weapon. It’s these kinds of mistakes that we have seen happen in the past that bring us to this brink of nuclear war that could be unintentional.”

To continue reading: Watch A Sitting Congresswoman Shred The MSM Narrative In Under A Minute

Little Rocket Man Wins the Round, by Patrick J. Buchanan

Has the world underestimated Kim Jong un? From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

After a year in which he tested a hydrogen bomb and an ICBM, threatened to destroy the United States, and called President Trump “a dotard,” Kim Jong Un, at the gracious invitation of the president of South Korea, will be sending a skating team to the “Peace Olympics.”

An impressive year for Little Rocket Man.

Thus the most serious nuclear crisis since Nikita Khrushchev put missiles in Cuba appears to have abated. Welcome news, even if the confrontation with Pyongyang has probably only been postponed.

Still, we have been given an opportunity to reassess the 65-year-old Cold War treaty that obligates us to go to war if the North attacks Seoul, and drove us to the brink of war today.

2017 demonstrated that we need a reassessment. For the potential cost of carrying out our commitment is rising exponentially.

Two decades ago, a war on the Korean Peninsula, given the massed Northern artillery on the DMZ, meant thousands of U.S. dead.

Today, with Pyongyang’s growing arsenal of nuclear weapons, American cities could face Hiroshima-sized strikes, if war breaks out.

What vital U.S. interest is there on the Korean Peninsula that justifies accepting in perpetuity such a risk to our homeland?

We are told that Kim’s diplomacy is designed to split South Korea off from the Americans. And this is undeniably true.

For South Korean President Moon Jae-in is first and foremost responsible for his own people, half of whom are in artillery range of the DMZ. In any new Korean war, his country would suffer most.

And while he surely welcomes the U.S. commitment to fight the North on his country’s behalf as an insurance policy, Moon does not want a second Korean war, and he does not want President Trump making the decision as to whether there shall be one.

Understandably so. He is looking out for South Korea first.

To continue reading: Little Rocket Man Wins the Round