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Tag Archives: North Korea

The Media’s Brazen Dishonesty About North Korean Nuclear Violations, by Gareth Porter

It’s annoying now, this establishment onslaught against negotiations with anybody or peace anywhere, but it’s hard to see how in the long run that’s anything more than a strategy that will backfire. You can’t come out and actually say you’re against negotiations and peace, so have to resort to lies and subterfuge, which the establishment and its media arm are employing with reckless abandon. From Gareth Porter at theamericanconservative.com:

Press irresponsibly relies on single-source report to accuse Kim of breaking an agreement he never made

President Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong Un shake hands in summit room, June 12, 2018. (Office of the President of the United States/Public Domain)

In late June and early July, NBC News, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal published stories that appeared at first glance to shed a lurid light on Donald Trump’s flirtation with Kim Jong-un. They contained satellite imagery showing that North Korea was making rapid upgrades to its nuclear weapons complex at Yongbyon and expanding its missile production program just as Trump and Kim were getting chummy at their Singapore summit.

In fact, those media outlets were selling journalistic snake oil. By misrepresenting the diplomatic context of the images they were hyping, the press launched a false narrative around the Trump-Kim summit and the negotiations therein.

The headline of the June 27 NBC News story revealed the network’s political agenda on the Trump-Kim negotiations. “If North Korea is denuclearizing,” it asked, “why is it expanding a nuclear research center?” The piece warned that North Korea “continues to make improvements to a major nuclear facility, raising questions about President Donald Trump’s claim that Kim Jong Un has agreed to disarm, independent experts tell NBC News.”

CNN’s coverage of the same story was even more sensationalist, declaring that there were “troubling signs” that North Korea was making “improvements” to its nuclear facilities, some of which it said had been carried out after the Trump-Kim summit. It pointed to a facility that had produced plutonium in the past and recently undergone an upgrade, despite Kim’s alleged promise to Trump to draw down his nuclear arsenal. CNN commentator Max Boot cleverly spelled out the supposed implication: “If you were about to demolish your house, would you be remodeling the kitchen?”

To continue reading: The Media’s Brazen Dishonesty About North Korean Nuclear Violations

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From Singapore to Helsinki: The Case for Peace, by Justin Raimondo

The same usual suspects have lined up against Trump and Kim Jong Un’s negotiations and the Helsinki summit. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

North Korea’s opacity is a boon to the War Party: they can seize on any glitch in the ongoing negotiations with the Trump administration as “proof” that Kim Jong-un “will never give up his nuclear weapons,” as former anti-interventionist Daniel Larison tweets 24 hours a day. The contention is that Pyongyang has a different definition of “denuclearization” than the rest of the world: it means US withdrawal from South Korea, we are told. Yet Kim has reportedly agreed to not dispute the presence of US troops in the south, and this is clearly a distortion of what’s really going on.

So what’s the real story?

We don’t know: all the “news” stories about this matter pretend to be omniscient, as if reporters were flies on the wall listening in to the negotiators. This is obviously not the case, and it is especially true in this case: North Korea is a closed society, and access is granted only rarely. This has led to the improbable impression that it is a monolith, that there are no factions or political struggles. This is a) impossible, and b) disproved by history. Indeed, the history of the ruling Korean Workers Party is one of continuous power struggles followed by ruthless purges: there are even reports of actual fighting between rival units of the military.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s most recent trip to Pyongyang is being depicted in the media as a rebuke and a major setback for the peace talks, the major point being that he did not meet with Kim and was treated rather shabbily. Yet we don’t know the reason for this, although the “experts” and the media pretend to know. Of course, I don’t know, either, and yet my own theory is a lot more credible, given the historical context, than the “we got suckered” dogma that the phony “experts” – Trump-haters all – are circulating.

Kim is not just looking for a peace treaty and the elimination of hostilities: as I’ve written previously, he has launched a radical new turn toward the West. Today he rules over a ramshackle country that cannot feed its own people: the “Juche” system of absolute autarchy isn’t working because it cannot work. This failure undermines Kim’s legitimacy, and he is determined to correct it not with piddling little reforms but by transforming his country in much the same way as Mikhail Gorbachev transformed the Soviet Union and put the country on a path to complete de-Sovietization. In short, Kim wants Pyongyang to resemble Singapore rather than Senegal.

To continue reading: From Singapore to Helsinki: The Case for Peace

President Trump: End The Korean War! by Eric Margolis

Did North Korea call Trump’s bluff. If so, what’s next? From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

“I have some pretty severe things we’re thinking about,” Trump said of North Korea at a news conference in Warsaw. “Doesn’t mean we’re going to do them.”

What President Trump really meant is that he has painted the US into a corner with all his threats of war and really does not know what to do next.   North Korea called his ‘or else’ bluff.  Good.  No action on North Korea is better than any conceivable military operation.

Last week the North Korea test fired a new, longer-ranged strategic missile, Hwasong-14, that US experts claimed was capable of hitting Alaska and perhaps even San Francisco.   North Korea is now believed to have mastered a lightweight nuclear warhead that can be carried by the Hwasong and shorter-ranged Taepodong and Nodong missiles.

North Korea can’t today seriously threaten North America with missile strikes, but it probably will by 2019.   Meanwhile, North Korean nuclear and conventionally-armed missiles (and this could include poison gas and biological warheads) today threaten the 80,000 plus US military personnel based in Japan, South Korea and Guam.  They would be immediate targets should the US and South Korea attack the north.

Add tens of millions of South Korean and Japanese civilians who are at risk of North Korean retaliation.   Half of South Korea’s capitol, Seoul, is within range of North Korean heavy artillery and rocket batteries dug into the so-called Demilitarized Zone.

It would take only three nuclear weapons to shatter Japan and just two to cripple South Korea, not to mention polluting the globe with radioactive dust and contaminating North Asia’s water sources.  Nuclear explosions would spread radioactive contamination over northern China and Pacific Russia.

Why are we even talking about nuclear war in North Asia?

Because North Korea has scraped and skimped for decades to build nuclear weapons for the sole reason of deterring a major US attack, including the use by the US of tactical nuclear weapons.  Pakistan ‘ate grass’ for decades to afford nuclear weapons to offset the threat from far more powerful India.  Israel uses the same argument to justify its large nuclear arsenal.

To continue reading: President Trump: End The Korean War!

Sovereignty, Singapore, and the Road to Peace, by Justin Raimondo

The US ruling class is putting together a first-class losing streak. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

Life in “interesting times” – a curse or an opportunity?

A lot of the confusion and anger exhibited by the political class – still in shock over Hillary Clinton’s defeat – is due to their inability to accept the pace and character of change. Our Korea “experts” are universally naysaying the Singapore summit not only because they hate Trump to a man (and woman!), but because they are generals fighting the last war – the cold war, that is.

Long after the fall of the Soviet empire, and the semi-formal rejection of Marxist-Leninist dogma by most of the Communist parties of the world, including – in practice – the Chinese, the assumptions that shaped the cold war universe are still canonical in Washington, D.C. The reason for this is that human beings are creatures of habit: and they’re lazy. Rather than recognize a new reality and adapt, most would rather just continue the same old routine. It’s easier, at least in the short term….

Reality eventually catches up with those who choose to ignore it, however, and that’s when that old Chinese saying – or it is a curse? – “May you live in interesting times” takes on new meaning.

We are living in just such a time, with the blowback from decades of errors, miscalculations, and outright crimes coming to visit their vengeance on our political class: unfortunately, the rest of us have to suffer along with them. The difference, however, is that ordinary people have more of an inkling of what’s going on than the pundits and other professional prognosticators who litter the public discourse.

To start with the most obvious example: the media, the pollsters, the Professor Know-it-alls, the Washington mandarins, the oligarchs who are now called the “donor class” – all missed the momentum and meaning of Donald J. Trump. More than a year later, they still don’t know what hit them, and so they’ve had to invent a conspiracy theory involving Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, and presumably Trump himself to “steal” the election from the one who was entitled to win, even if she did not in fact win. As “Russia-gate” crumbles into dust, along with the influence of the Clintons even on their own party, Hillary’s list of blameworthy villains gets longer, and her paladins on Twitter keep the faith alive. However, nobody is listening anymore. As that old Clintonian pep rally song put it: “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow!”

To continue reading: Sovereignty, Singapore, and the Road to Peace

“Officials” Attempt To Sabotage Further North Korea Talks, by Moon of Alabama

Certainly the last thing official Washington wants is anything constructive to come out of the Trump/Putin summit. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.org:

Several Congress people and some officials in the CIA and Trump administration try to throw a spanner into the negotiations with North Korea. They “leak” to NBC News about an intelligence assessment on North Korea’s nuclear facilities. The result is a sensationalized piece that includes no surprising facts.

North Korea has increased nuclear production at secret sites, say U.S. officials
“Work is ongoing to deceive us on the number of facilities, the number of weapons, the number of missiles,” said one U.S. official.

One of the NBC authors is Ken Dilanian who is well known for his tight cooperation with the CIA.

Its opening:

U.S. intelligence agencies believe that North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months — and that Kim Jong Un may try to hide those facilities as he seeks more concessions in nuclear talks with the Trump administration, U.S. officials told NBC News.

The intelligence assessment, which has not previously been reported, seems to counter the sentiments expressed by President Donald Trump, who tweeted after his historic June 12 summit with Kim that “there was no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”

Analysts at the CIA and other intelligence agencies don’t see it that way, according to more than a dozen American officials who are familiar with their assessments and spoke on the condition of anonymity. They see a regime positioning itself to extract every concession it can from the Trump administration — while clinging to nuclear weapons it believes are essential to survival.

The result of the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore was a “freeze for freeze” deal. North Korea stopped its nuclear and missile testing while the U.S. stopped the large maneuvers it regularity held with South Korea’s army. Both sides agreed to further talks. North Korea made some aspirational statements about denuclearization which have the same time frame as similar aspirational statements made by the U.S. in Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). There is no time frame to reach a certain state. There is no commitment towards declaring nuclear sites nor is there a commitment to stop the production of nuclear stuff.

To continue reading: “Officials” Attempt To Sabotage Further North Korea Talks

Get On the Trump Peace Train! by Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo waxes euphoric over recent Trump foreign policy initiatives. From Raimondo at antiwar.com:

He wants out of Korea, Germany, Syria – and NATO!

There’s never a dull moment with the Trump administration, which means: never a moment of rest for the War Party. Trump keeps throwing fast balls at the pundits and assembled “experts,” and they keep striking out, bigtime, as the ball whizzes past their heads and lands, with a thwack!, in the catcher’s mitt.

“Steee-rike one!”

First it was the meet up with Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The media and their attendant policy wonks weren’t ready for Singapore, where the President gave Kim a glimpse of what his country could achieve if it would only come in from the cold and allow the warm embrace of the international community. And while the North Koreans have repeatedly pledged to give up their nukes, that’s not good enough for the universally negative “experts,” some of whom aren’t experts at all but merely former bloggers with history degrees. Now they’re citing fake news from NBC claiming that no less than eight anonymous “US officials” have stated that the North Koreans are covertly building up their nukes at a super-duper top secret site and it’s all a commie trick to – do what? Provoke an attack from an easily provoked Trump? Start World War III? Commit mass suicide?

The icing on the cake is that the author of this nonsense is none other than Ken Dilanian, the former national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times, who was fired for having a “collaborative relationship” with the CIA. Yes, that got him fired from the Times, but it’s a qualification rather than a negative as far as NBC is concerned.

“Steee-rike two!”

If the Singapore summit hit them in an unexpected place – who knew that, months after the exchange of bloodcurdling threats between Trump and Kim, they’d be shaking hands and making peace? – then the Helsinki summit with Putin is the knockout punch. And the howls of pain arising from our hateful warmongering media, the Democratic party politicians they’re in thrall to, and the phony “human rights” scamsters, are getting louder by the minute. We should all revel in their misery.

To continue reading: Get On the Trump Peace Train!

The Three Landmines That Could Kill the Korea Deal, by Ted Snider

This is a good analysis of what could derail the Korea deal. From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:

A denuclearization deal with North Korea is more within reach than anyone could have thought possible a very short time ago. Thanks to the tireless diplomatic work of Moon Jae In of South Korea and the unexpectedly adept diplomatic work of Kim Jong Un of North Korea, a joint statement between North Korea and the United States exists and the impossible is suddenly under way.

Those who dismiss the the joint agreement as vague and vacuous and light on detail forget how far the language of the joint declaration has traveled since Trump’s first “fire and fury like the world has never seen” attempt at diplomacy. They also commit the error of comparing the joint statement to history’s final agreements rather than to other first meetings. The diplomacy may also have more content than the joint statement reveals, since some steps seem to have been negotiated that have not yet been made public.

The blueprint for any eventual nuclear deal has long been clear. In fact, thanks to recent revelations by Joel S. Wit who worked on the Agreed Framework with North Korea and who was one of a very few people to take part in informal meetings with North Korean officials in 2013, it is now known that that blueprint has been seriously laid out on the workbench for much longer than anyone thought.

Wit says that Kim Jong UN always intended North Korea’s nuclear weapons program as a deterrent against American bullying and aggression. As early as June of 2013, North Korea’s National Defense Commission declared that it was willing to negotiate denuclearization. The National Defense Commission is chaired by Kim Jong UN himself. And as early as 2013, the formula was clear: North Korea would erase its nuclear weapons program in exchange for U.S. guarantees that it would cease its “hostile policy” of political, economic and security threats.

To continue reading: The Three Landmines That Could Kill the Korea Deal

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