AuthorTopic: The Korea thread  (Read 1931 times)

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #75 on: May 25, 2018, 03:41:55 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZwMVMbmQBug" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ZwMVMbmQBug</a>

JUST DO SOMETHING ONCE BEFORE YOU DIE. 
Get angry.  Fight back, although the situation is hopeless. Take a risk. Die on your feet, not on your knees. Are you a man or a mouse?

"Oooooh, God wouldn't want me to do that, he would want me to keep working and paying my taxes, he would want me to eat my dried beans and be proud I had protected my family from the nuclear war, and accept my fate!"

Pathetic zombies.

Your over doing it now Palloy and acting like a horse's ass 17 year old.

No fucking good will come of it. That's the fucking point.

You may as well stick your fucking head into a toilet bowl and scream your fucking head off.

We care. We Get it. Thanks for your input and determination. Let me assure you your message has been received  by all and we would love to help.     Thanks Again,     GO


                               

Offline Surly1

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #76 on: May 25, 2018, 04:16:19 PM »
Pretty perceptive.

Trump’s and Bolton’s Instincts Form a Toxic Combination

 
 
John Bolton looking at President Trump
National-Security Adviser John Bolton at a Cabinet meeting in AprilEVAN VUCCI / AP
 

Why did the Trump administration cancel its much-hyped nuclear summit with North Korea? And why the confusing semi-backtrack the following day, in which Trump embraced North Korea’s “warm and productive statement” regretting the cancellation, and left the door open to a meeting he’d ditched barely 24 hours before? The answer lies in the toxic interplay between Donald Trump’s instincts and John Bolton’s. Each man’s foreign-policy views are dangerous enough in and of themselves. Put them together and you have the perfect cocktail for the decimation of American power.

Bolton is a Manichean in the tradition of his hero, Barry Goldwater. He has spent his career depicting America’s adversaries—the Soviet Union, Cuba, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and these days, Iran and North Korea—as evil. He denies that they have any legitimate security concerns. He abhors compromise. He demands maximum American economic, political and, if necessary, military pressure. He basic negotiating posture is: Once you give in on everything, then we’ll start talking.

But while Bolton’s Manicheanism is dangerous, it’s also targeted. Bolton wants to turn the screws on Iran and North Korea. He doesn’t want to turn the screws on American allies like Germany, France, South Korea, and Japan—except to the degree that they resist a hardline posture towards North Korea and Iran. Bolton has little use for international law but he likes America’s alliances.

Trump is different. He doesn’t divide the world into virtuous, pro-American regimes, which the United States should support, and villainous anti-American ones, which the United States should crush. Trump is less ideological. Instinctively, he believes that almost every regime is ripping America off—the adversaries and the allies too. That inclines him to pick a broader array of fights. But it also makes him more willing to resolve them. Trump is not moralistic and he’s not a stickler for detail. Bolton seems to want to be the 21st-century version of Reagan (as he’s imagined in conservative mythology): standing up to the evil enemy and bringing about its downfall. Trump seems to want to be the political version of Trump the real-estate whiz (as he’s imagined in Trump’s own mythology): cutting great deals that make everyone rich.

The Trump administration’s North Korea policy is what happens when you put these two instincts together. On his own, it’s unlikely Bolton would have agreed to a summit with Kim Jong Un in the first place since it violates one of his core principles: Never concede anything until the other side does first. Bolton’s maximalism would have made any diplomatic deal with Pyongyang unlikely. But Bolton—because he draws a clear distinction between America’s enemies and its allies—would probably not have picked a fight with South Korea over steel tariffs. Nor would he have risked a trade war with China while seeking its help in pressuring North Korea. Bolton is a national-security hardliner, not a trade hardliner.

Trump, on the other hand, was elected as much to confront America’s economic partners as to confront its national-security adversaries. So he threatened trade wars with China, South Korea and Japan even as he threatened a real one with Pyongyang.

But Trump’s love of the deal also led him to embrace a summit with North Korea that he believed might bring him the adulation and vindication he craves. Left to his own devices, he might have attended the summit, agreed to some vague, flowery language about denuclearization, demanded the Nobel Prize, and moved on to other subjects even as North Korea didn’t actually eliminate its nuclear program. And indeed, all it took was an expression of North Korean regret to get Trump to start speculating that the June 12 summit could be back on, and that “we’ll see what happens.” Given the importance of avoiding war on the Korean Peninsula, and the benefits of opening up North Korea to South Korean influence, that would constitute progress.

But not for Bolton, who laid down a marker by declaring that his model was Libya, wherein Muammer Qaddafi utterly capitulated. The North Koreans—who are terrified of the Libya model because they believe Qaddafi’s denuclearization left him vulnerable to Western regime change—responded with fury. And while Trump tried to keep the summit on track by declaring that America wasn’t seeking regime change, he managed to threaten it nonetheless, as did Mike Pence. As North Korea’s rhetoric grew more bellicose, Trump reportedly began to fear that the summit would bring him not glory but embarrassment. As Trump’s biographer, Tony Schwartz, told The New York Times, “Trump has a morbid fear of being humiliated and shamed. This is showing who’s the biggest and the strongest, so he is exquisitely sensitive to the possibility that he would end up looking weak and small.” This analysis was corroborated by an NBC report suggesting Trump pulled out of the summit because he feared the North Koreans would first.

In the end, Trumpism and Boltonism have produced an outcome that’s worse than either on its own. The summit is or maybe isn’t off, and the U.S. is back to threatening war but confusingly somehow seeking talks. None of this enhances Trump’s credibility as a negotiating partner. Meanwhile, North Korea still has its nuclear weapons, and could resume testing them. By confronting Beijing on trade, the U.S. has squandered some of the leverage it needs to convince China to keep imposing tough sanctions on Pyongyang. And with his initial letter cancelling the summit, Trump surprised and humiliated South Korean leader Moon Jae In, who may still pursue détente with the North whether or not Trump rescinds his cancellation, thus undermining Trump and Bolton’s maximum-pressure campaign. South Korea may also draw closer to China, which would leave the U.S. more isolated in Northeast Asia than it has been in decades.

 
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #77 on: May 25, 2018, 05:59:28 PM »
Quote
Trump’s and Bolton’s Instincts Form a Toxic Combination

Completely ignores US-SK war games, which runs counter to section 2.1 of the Declaration, signed only 3 weeks before.  Completely ignores that "denuclearising the Korean peninsula" means the US denuclearising too.
Kim needs to make another statement so that it is absolutely clear on what point the talks are going to fail.
Xi should help him out here by restating their position on defending him if the US strikes first.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #78 on: May 25, 2018, 07:52:48 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZwMVMbmQBug" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ZwMVMbmQBug</a>
This is how a man like Trump GOT elected....
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #79 on: May 25, 2018, 09:10:46 PM »
And now its back on again.  That took a lot of persuasion, didn't it?
They still won't be able to agree on an outcome.

https://www.rt.com/usa/427829-trump-kim-summit-productive-talks/
Trump says he's having 'very productive talks' with N. Korea on reinstating summit
26 May, 2018

US President Donald Trump says "very productive talks" are underway with North Korea on holding the June 12 summit in Singapore. Talks on reinstating the meeting came within 24 hours of Trump's previously abrupt cancellation.

In a tweet, Trump confirmed that if the elusive meetup with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un does happen, it will likely remain at the earlier scheduled date and place: on June 12 in Singapore.

    We are having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date.
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018

The potentially unprecedented meeting, a first-ever between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, has been in the making for months. Trump had been erratic in his statements about the summit during the period, taking his time in narrowing down the time and place, and threatening to cancel or walk out of the meeting if he does not get his way. In the end, he called it off on Thursday, after the North Korean vice-minister of foreign affairs took issue with US Vice President Pence's threats of a "Libyan scenario" for Pyongyang: what started as a description of how the US helped Libya get rid of its nuke research in 2003, ultimately also came to include the 2011 overthrow and murder of Muammar Gaddafi.

With that, Trump's rhetoric was abruptly back to touting the US' military readiness and comparing whose nukes are bigger, like he did back in January with his infamous "bigger nuclear button" tweet. All of that, hours after North Korea publicly destroyed its only nuclear test site in a gesture of goodwill.

Then, on Friday, Trump said the summit was on the cards again, summing it up with the phrase "everybody plays games." If his tweets are to be believed, he was moved by the North's statement in the wake of the cancellation. Pyongyang said it was willing to sit down"at any time, in any way" to resolve its differences with Washington for the sake of "peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and mankind."

Earlier, the North itself had threatened to cancel the summit over joint US-South Korean military drills at its border. The exercises have been a part of Trump's policy of "maximum pressure" on Pyongyang, which also included a slew of crippling economic sanctions and, until recently, regular barrages of belligerent rhetoric.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #80 on: May 26, 2018, 07:08:16 AM »
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-26/kim-jong-un-holds-surprise-meeting-south-korea-president-moon
Kim Jong-Un Holds Surprise Second Summit With South Korea President Moon
Tyler Durden
05/26/2018

North Korea's president Kim Jong Un held a surprise two-hour second summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the truce village of Panmunjom on Saturday afternoon to pave way for a summit between North Korea and the United States.

The South Korean presidential office said the two leaders met at the DPRK side of the border village of Panmunjom from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm local time on Saturday, where they "candidly discussed the potential Trump-Kim summit", and exchanged their opinions on implementing the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in bids fairwell to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as he leaves after their summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, North Korea, May 26, 2018. [Photo: VCG]

Moon will release the result of the summit at 10:00 a.m. local time on Sunday, South Korea's Blue House said, without elaborating further.

The two leaders previously met on the South Korean side of Panmunjom on April 27, reaching a historic agreement on the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the change of the current armistice agreement into a peace treaty.

Their second summit came after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that the United States will possibly reinstate the meeting with Kim. Late on Friday Trump said that "we are having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date."

Trump on Thursday surprised the world when he sent a letter to the DPRK leader, saying that their originally planned meeting in Singapore on June 12 will not happen. DPRK's First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan responded then that his country is ready to sit down with the United States anytime in any manner for talks to solve the problems existing between them.

China also chimed in on China, when it said that it hoped the DPRK and the U.S. would cherish the recent progress and continue to address mutual concerns via dialogue and push for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The South Korean government also said Friday that Seoul planned to continue diplomatic efforts to maintain a dialogue momentum between the DPRK and the United States. According to the Blue House, at a National Security Council (NSC) meeting held on Friday, the NSC members shared a view that efforts to improve inter-Korean relations will contribute to enhance relations between Pyongyang and Washington and complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Surly1

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #81 on: May 26, 2018, 11:32:59 AM »
Kim Jong-Un Holds Surprise Second Summit With South Korea President Moon

North Korea's president Kim Jong Un held a surprise two-hour second summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the truce village of Panmunjom on Saturday afternoon to pave way for a summit between North Korea and the United States.

Saw this new s earlier today, and laughed out loud.

Wonder how Yosemite Sam Bolton is handling the nooze?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/B12eVCBbGsw" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/B12eVCBbGsw</a>
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #82 on: June 01, 2018, 12:46:05 AM »
While NK's deputation is in Washington and is still talking, Kim Jong Un has met Russia's Lavrov and has agreed to meet with Putin in Moscow soon.  Multiple meeting between NK/SK staff.  So everything going well from Kim's point of view. There is a suggestion that the US-NK summit will perhaps last for a week. 

Meanwhile Trump is having a less good time, with his steel and aluminium tariffs causing a retaliatory response from Canada.  The vassals are getting very upitty.

Still no public clarification of US's interpretation of what denuclearisation means for US forces, so the critical matter won't be decided until later.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #83 on: June 03, 2018, 07:51:05 PM »
Kim is NOT going to give up his nukes without the US giving up its troops in SK, and overflights of the Korean peninsula with nuclear bombers, and aircraft carrier groups in the Korean ADIZ which reaches half way to Japan.  After the summit fails, Kim will give a media conference (in perfect English) explaining what he wants and how the US wasn't prepared to give an inch.  When the infuriated US attacks, Kim will launch his ICBMs (at least six) and detonate them over the US for their EMP effect and 90% of Amerikans will be dead within a year as will all NKers. 

The world will say "How appalling!", but think "Good riddance".

https://www.rt.com/news/428582-nkorea-sanctions-relief-mattis/
No sanctions relief for N. Korea until ‘verifiable & irreversible’ denuclearization – Mattis
3 Jun, 2018

Pyongyang will have to demonstrate clear steps towards denuclearization before any sanctions are eased, US Defense Secretary James Mattis has warned, ahead of highly anticipated US-North Korean leaders’ talks.

“We will continue to implement all UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea. North Korea will receive relief only when it demonstrates verifiable and irreversible steps to denuclearization,” Mattis stated in Singapore on Sunday.

The remark was given at a meeting with the South Korean and Japanese defense ministers, Itsunori Onodera and Song Young-moo, on the sidelines of the Asia Security Summit, known as the Shangri-La Dialogue. It was the first time since October that the three top defense officials have met.

“We can anticipate, at best, a bumpy road to the negotiations,” the defense secretary added.

After the trilateral talks, South Korea’s Young-moo said recent developments in North Korea were cause for cautious optimism, but this opinion was apparently not shared by his Japanese counterpart. “Japan, Korea and the US continue to agree that pressure is needed to be applied on North Korea,” Onodera told reporters.

The talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are scheduled for June 12. The meeting has been already cancelled and subsequently rescheduled by Washington.

Trump has said that he wants to see the North fully denuclearized, and Kim appears to support this position. However, Pyongyang first wants security guarantees from Washington, which has yet to step back from drills with its allies on the North Korean doorstep. US maneuvers in the region have always been deemed acts of aggression by Pyongyang.

Some high-ranking US officials recently made controversial statements about thwarting the North’s nuclear program, triggering harsh reaction from Pyongyang. Last month, US Vice-President Mike Pence said that North Korea might end up like Libya if Kim fails to make a deal on nukes. Earlier, US National Security Advisor John Bolton also mentioned the “Libyan model” of surrendering the nuclear arsenal as well.

Less than 10 years after Tripoli gave up its nuclear research materials and sent them to the US in 2003, its government was overthrown with the help of NATO-led intervention.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: The Korea thread - Who's That Ringing the Korean Bell of Friendship?
« Reply #84 on: June 05, 2018, 04:56:57 AM »
Palloy, this ones for you.  :exp-grin:  It has always been my layman's view that there is no North Korea, just China running the country through a puppet regime.  :dontknow:

 

economicprism.com
Who's That Ringing the Korean Bell of Friendship?
Posted on
5-7 minutes

Do citizens of the United States trust their government will do what’s right?  It depends who you ask.

By and large, the esteem the American populace holds its government in is likely a small fraction of what it was roughly 65 years ago.  That was when Lieutenant General William Kelly Harrison Jr. signed the Korean Armistice Agreement.  Certainly, in days gone by representatives of other nations held the U.S. government in higher regard.

Several weeks ago, President Donald Trump decided to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran.  This action, and its implications for various European companies with business interests in Iran, stuck like a chicken bone in the craw of European Council President Donald Tusk.  “With friends like that who needs enemies,” tweeted Tusk.

Indeed, President Trump is an erratic fellow.  He’s a master table pounder.  He goes about his business with passion and the appearance of purpose.  His emotions run hot.  Yet, he has ice in his veins.

Moreover, his strategy for making America great again is unclear.  One day he starts a trade war.  The next day he lends a helping hand to Chinese telecom company ZTE.

If you recall, ZTE’s the company that was busted for illegally exporting U.S. technology to Iran and North Korea in violation of trade sanctions.  Are Trump’s actions all part of his art of the deal?  Or are they the ambiguities of a lunatic?

Whatever they may be, Trump better have his act together.  In less than a fortnight, he’ll begin negotiating what may be the most important deal of his life…sparking up a new bromance with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

What follows is a scratch for clarity…
The Korean Bell of Friendship

Angel’s Gate Park sits high upon the bluffs at the southern tip of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, in the San Pedro district of Los Angeles.  Winds gusts off the Pacific Ocean from three directions, explode up the face of the sea cliffs, and wildly swirl about the park’s crest.

Sweeping views of the mega Port of Los Angeles / Port of Long Beach shipping complex fill the eastern scenic scape.  To the west, sits the posh homes of Rancho Palos Verdes, and Trump National Golf Course.  Periodically, the 18th hole slides into the sea.

Catalina Island rises from the waters like a mountain berg to the south.  Peering over the bluff, past Point Fermin Lighthouse, the vertical expanse of the island appears to be just a short swim away.  Lastly, to the north are the seedy streets of San Pedro; the former stomping grounds of the late poet Charles Bukowski.

At the center of Angel’s Gate Park, just south of the youth hostel, sits the Korean Bell of Friendship.  The massive bronze bell is positioned over a stone pavilion.  The imposing pyramidal roof structure, supported by twelve columns, is etched with ornate Korean zodiac animals and vibrant color patterns.

Immediately, beneath the ground where the bell sits are the old abandoned World War I bunkers of Fort MacArthur, named after Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur – father of World War II General Douglas MacArthur.  Several remnants of massive gun battery emplacements are located immediately adjacent.  This site falls within the area of The Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942, where Los Angeles fell under – real or imagined? – attack from a squadron of Japanese bombers.

Apparently, the Korean Bell of Friendship was given to the U.S. government to celebrate the bicentennial of the U.S. and to symbolize friendship between the two countries.  A big part of that friendship has been the protection the U.S. has afforded South Korea over the decades.  South Korea, in turn, has flourished, while North Korea has flagged.
Who’s That Ringing the Korean Bell of Friendship?

No doubt, ‘Rocket Man’ Kim Jong-un is a madman.  And a madman with nuclear missiles is trouble in the making.  But so is U.S. airmen overseeing ICBMs while on hallucinogenic drugs.  Either one could unleash a paranoid fury of barbarism on the world.

Over the Memorial Day weekend a delightful picture of Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in cascaded across the World Wide Web.  Following a surprise summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, the two partook in what The Telegraph has called, “a triple hug.”

Could it be that Kim Jong-un has come to his senses?  Or is he positioning for his own art of the deal?  His rapid change of heart seems rather improbable.

The once off, June 12 meeting in Singapore between President Trump and Kim Jong-un is currently back on.  Maybe this will be the spark of a new bromance.

Who knows?  Unlike Moon Jae-in, Trump’s not much of a hugger.  But he’s always good for a lengthy grip and grin.

For better or for worse, the world’s a vastly different place than it was when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953.  The U.S. can no longer afford to hold the DMZ line.  Perhaps the time has come for America to close up shop and vacate its military operations on the Korean Peninsula.

Surely, China would like Washington out of its backyard.  Hence, via their pal Kim Jong-un, China rings the Korean Bell of Friendship.  What in the world will Trump do?

Sincerely,

MN Gordon
for Economic Prism

 Note - Pictures added are from another sight that posted the article and embellished it. GO decided to post them here as well but they are not from the original article.

                     
   
The most austere signing ceremony ever: Lieut. Gen. William K. Harrison, Jr. (seated left), and Korean People’s Army and Chinese People’s Volunteers delegate Gen. Nam Il (seated right) sign the Korean War armistice agreement at P’anmunjŏm, Korea, July 27, 1953. No-one seems really happy – presumably, no-one was. [PT]


                             
                                     
Tusk meets the “Trump threat” to search for a lost contact lens in Brussels. [PT]

Photo credit: AP


                               
                                                Korean bell of friendship at Angel’s Gate Park.

Photo credit: J.H.C.

 

                                 
                                         
         Kim and Moon meet at the 38th parallel.

Photo credit: Reuters/Korea Summit Press Pool


 
                           
                                   
               Illegal border crossing in progress.

Photo credit: Reuters/Korea Summit Press Pool


                     

                                     Extensive summit search… [PT]

https://economicprism.com/whos-that-ringing-the-korean-bell-of-friendship/  :icon_study: :icon_study:



Offline Karpatok

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #85 on: June 05, 2018, 09:09:36 AM »
Very good point made once by Eddie. Blood will always be thicker than water. One Korea plus cousin China. Who is kidding whom. The real loudmouth blow hard better get back to minding his own flock of geese progeny, quackers and followers. Lots of feathers to be blown about by that putrid breath plus added storm force from abroad as everyone wakes up to who is the real madman.

Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #86 on: June 06, 2018, 09:13:28 PM »
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/428862-trump-north-korea-summit/
Rambouillet ruse? Why Trump could be setting up his North Korea talks to fail
Dan Glazebrook
Dan Glazebrook is a freelance political writer who has written for RT, Counterpunch, Z magazine, the Morning Star, the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Independent and Middle East Eye, amongst others. His first book “Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis” was published by Liberation Media in October 2013. It featured a collection of articles written from 2009 onwards examining the links between economic collapse, the rise of the BRICS, war on Libya and Syria and 'austerity'. He is currently researching a book on US-British use of sectarian death squads against independent states and movements from Northern Ireland and Central America in the 1970s and 80s to the Middle East and Africa today.
6 Jun, 2018

President Trump has set the bar of success so high for his forthcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un, it is difficult to see how it could possibly be met.

As the New York Times noted last month, “To meet his own definition of success, Mr. Trump will have to persuade Mr. Kim to accept ‘complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization’ of North Korea — something that Mr. Kim has shown no willingness to accept in the past, and few believe he will accede to in the future.”

Such denuclearization would involve “the actual dismantlement of weapons, the removal of stockpiled uranium and plutonium bomb fuel from the country and a verification program that will be one of the most complex in history, given the vastness of North Korea’s mountains.” Furthermore, Trump has suggested that the North Koreans will gain nothing in return for this one-sided destruction of their defenses, until the process is all-but-complete; as one Trump official told the Wall Street Journal, “When the president says that he will not make the mistakes of the past, that means the U.S. will not be making substantial concessions, such as lifting sanctions, until North Korea has substantially dismantled its nuclear programs”.

In other words - give up your leverage first; then we’ll see. What Trump appears to seek is nothing less than a completely disarmed Korea that will pave the way for the “Libya solution” his people have openly suggested is the goal.

Obviously, North Korea will not go for that. The whole point of their nuclear program has been to ensure that their country avoids the fate of Iraq or Libya; which is why the intelligence community is generally united in their view that it will never be given up. According to Ryan Hass of the Brookings Institution, “virtually no North Korea analyst inside or outside of the US government expect Kim Jong-un to relinquish his nuclear weapons”, quoting former CIA analyst Jung Pak that Kim views nuclear weapons as both “vital to the security of his regime and his legitimacy as leader of North Korea”.

Meanwhile, the New York Times comments: “ask the people who have seen past peace initiatives whether they think this one will work out any differently, and they have serious doubts that Mr. Kim will give up his nuclear program for any price”, whilst for Stratfor, the complete denuclearization of North Korea is “a lofty goal that will be nearly impossible to ensure”.

So what is Trump doing? Surely he knows what he is proposing would be completely unacceptable to any North Korean leader, let alone Kim Jong-un?

But maybe this is the point. What if Trump, far from wanting to reach a deal, is actually deliberately pushing a proposal which is supposed to be rejected? After all, so long as he ensures his demands are unacceptable, he can offer the moon in return: recognition, technology, aid, lifting of sanctions, hell - why not? - even the removal of US troops from South Korea. Having such an offer rejected would allow Trump much more readily to be able to paint North Korea as the aggressor - unwilling to compromise, insincere in its desire for peace, etc, etc.

This is, after all, a time-honored tactic.

In February 1999, in the French town of Rambouillet, a series of meetings were convened between representatives of Kosovo’s multiethnic population and the US with the ostensible aim of resolving the conflict between Kosovan separatists and the Yugoslav government. For its part, the Yugoslavs had proposed a ceasefire, peace talks, the return of displaced citizens, and the establishment of a devolved assembly for the province, with a wide degree of autonomy.

This would clearly have gone a long way to addressing the conflict; but that very fact made it completely unacceptable to the US, desperate to justify their coming onslaught against Yugoslavia. Instead, they needed a ‘peace deal’ that would be rejected by the Yugoslavs, who could then be painted as the aggressors, paving the way for war. To this end, the ‘Rambouillet Peace Agreement’ was formulated.  The document demanded complete de facto independence for Kosovo, whilst still allowing the province to influence the rest of Yugoslavia by continuing to send representatives to its federal institutions. Yet, just in case even this one-sided arrangement was accepted by the Yugoslavs, in chapter seven of the agreement, the US inserted a crucial clause: that NATO “personnel shall enjoy . . . with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including associated airspace and territorial waters”, whilst at the same time being "immune from all legal process, whether civil, administrative or criminal, [and] under all circumstances and at all times, immune from [all laws] governing any criminal or disciplinary offences which may be committed by Nato personnel in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia”.

In other words, Yugoslavia would have to not only submit to a full-scale occupation by NATO, but also give the occupiers the absolute and unaccountable right to abuse the population at will. Such a demand could never have been accepted by any sovereign country. But that, of course, was the point: this was an agreement penned precisely to be rejected, in order to paint the Serbs as the unreasoning aggressors. It worked perfectly: the ‘agreement’ was duly rejected, and the planned blitzkrieg of Yugoslavia followed, with 78 days of unrelenting aerial bombardment.

The same ruse was repeated the following year by US President Bill Clinton. At Palestinian-Israeli peace talks at Camp David, he made a proposal for a ‘final settlement’ of the conflict which allowed Israel to keep 80 percent of their illegal settlements along with sovereignty over a patchwork of roads linking them together and thereby cutting the West Bank into unviable bantustans - with refugees permanently denied the right to return to their homes in Israel. As former US president Jimmy Carter commented, “There was no possibility that any Palestinian leader could accept such terms and survive - but official statements from Washington and Jerusalem were successful in placing the entire onus for failure on Yasir Arafat”.

Indeed, through the distortions of Western media, a narrative emerged that Israeli President Ehud Barak himself had made this so-called ‘generous offer’, the spurning of which demonstrated the Palestinians hatred for peace and unwillingness to settle for anything less than driving the Jews into the sea. In fact, the Israeli side themselves had never accepted Clinton’s proposal, and had issued twenty pages of concerns they had with it. On the last of the Clinton-chaired meetings - the one from which Barak’s supposed offer emerged, held in Taba in 2001 - Barak later said that “it was plain to me that there was no chance of reaching a settlement… Therefore I said there would be no negotiations and there would be no delegation and there would be no official discussions and no documentation”. Nevertheless, the official narrative, to this day, recalls that the Palestinians rejected the Israelis’ ‘generous offer’ - and therefore only have themselves to blame for their continued slaughter.

The EU set up Yanukovych in the same way. In 2008, the EU and Ukraine agreed to negotiate what was supposed to be a trade agreement. Five years in the making, the EU Association Agreement was finally unveiled in 2013. But by then, the EU had included a clause on defense cooperation with the EU, effectively turning the country into an unofficial NATO member. Such a measure was guaranteed - and designed - to tear apart a country like Ukraine, a multiethnic polity with deep and historic ties to both Russia and Europe, whose unity rested on strict adherence to a policy of neutrality in terms of East-West rivalries. Furthermore, Yanokovych had an explicit democratic mandate for such neutrality, having been elected on precisely this basis. The Association agreement was duly rejected, as it was presumably intended to be - setting the stage for the Western-backed ‘Maidan coup’ and civil war which followed and continues to this day.

So Western governments certainly have form in crafting proposals designed to be rejected, in order to justify escalation. And the US has every reason for doing so with North Korea today.

Trump’s North Korea policy throughout last year was one of warmongering rhetoric and the ratcheting up of tensions. Whilst this was to some extent successful in bullying China and others into agreeing to harsher sanctions, this ‘consensus’ began to fall apart as Trump’s team stepped up their war talk at the end of the year, with defense secretary Mattis warning of “storm clouds...gathering” and national security advisor McMaster claiming that the odds of war were “increasing every day”.

This ramping up of tension did not go down well in either Korea, and rapid moves to de-escalate were undertaken, with North Korean involvement in the winter Olympics a symbolic, but important, signifier of greater North-South cooperation to come. Then, in his New Year address, Kim Jong-un began a diplomatic charm offensive with the South which gained rapid results. A summit was set up between the leaders of the two Koreas, which eventually took place in April when Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to cross the border into the South since the Korean war. The summit agreed to pursue denuclearization of the peninsula and to secure a formal Peace Treaty, with an outline peace arrangement to be reached by the end of the year.

This emerging detente between the two Koreas has hugely undermined Trump’s warmongering. In an article entitled “As Two Koreas Talk Peace, Trump’s Bargaining Chips Slip Away”, Mark Landler pointed out that “the talk of peace is likely to weaken the two levers that Mr. Trump used to pressure Mr. Kim… A resumption of regular diplomatic exchanges between the two Koreas, analysts said, will inevitably erode the crippling economic sanctions against the North, while Mr. Trump will find it hard to threaten military action against a country that is extending an olive branch”. Landler went on to quote Jeffrey A. Bader, a former Asia advisor to Barack Obama, that, following the North-South rapprochement, said “It becomes awfully hard for Trump to return to the locked-and-loaded, ‘fire and fury’ phase of the relationship”. Worse, “Inside the White House, some worry that Mr. Kim will use promises of peace to peel South Korea away from the United States and blunt efforts to force him to give up his nuclear weapons”.

Trump, therefore, urgently needs to snuff out this rapprochement if he is to return to the bellicosity that marked his Korea policy hitherto. As Landler wrote, “Mr Kim...made a bold bet on diplomacy” - and Trump needs to ensure that it fails. The best way of doing so is by putting himself at the head of it.

If Trump is indeed planning to use the Rambouillet ruse to reignite tensions against the North, it is important that he spin his designed-to-be-rejected offer as somehow incredibly generous. And in recent weeks there have indeed been moves in that direction.

First of all, Trump has appeared to accept that denuclearization might not need to happen in one fell swoop, telling reporters that whilst “It would certainly be better if it were all in one…. I don’t think I want to totally commit myself.” Next, Trump went out of his way to guarantee Mr. Kim’s safety. “He will be safe. He will be happy. His country will be rich,” the president said. You can already imagine Trump’s words when his ‘generous offer’ gets rejected: “we offered him security. We offered him prosperity. We offered him phased elimination. And he rejected all of it”.

Fascinatingly, it turns out that Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton has actually already suggested precisely the Rambouillet ruse. According to the New York Times, “Two weeks before he was recruited as national security adviser, [Bolton] said a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim was useful only because it would inevitably fail, and then the United States could move swiftly on to the next phase — presumably a military confrontation… ‘It could be a long and unproductive meeting, or it could be a short and unproductive meeting," he said on Fox News.

Even among officials who worry about war, there is sympathy for his view that “failing quickly” would be valuable. Meanwhile, Stratfor’s analysis of the likely prospects for the forthcoming summit concluded that “it may also reinforce the idea that if the two leaders can’t negotiate a way out of the conflict, then perhaps a diplomatic solution isn’t possible and talk of a military solution to the United States’ North Korea problem could return...Without some change, we’ll probably find ourselves back on the path to containment, if not on a course toward military action to end the North Korean nuclear and missile program once and for all”.

Whether military action is realistically possible against North Korea, however, remains a serious question. Most analysts agree that the fallout from any retaliation - both against the 28,000 US soldiers stationed in South Korea, and against US allies in Seoul and Kyoto - would be unacceptably high. James Stavridis, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, is typical in his view that there are “no military options which would result in fewer than several hundred thousand casualties and perhaps as many as 2m to 3m”.

So if war is not on the cards, to what end would Trump seek the rejection of his offer?

One answer has already been suggested - to scupper the emerging North-South co-operation that threatens to erode US influence on the peninsula. Summit failure would give Trump a perceived ‘moral right’ to bully the South into ending its outreach and returning to the US position of isolating the North.

But another reason could lie in Trump’s trade war with China, the opening shots of which have only just been fired. Any supposed North Korean intransigence could provide Trump with cover for initiating secondary sanctions against North Korea’s supposed ‘allies’. Congressional law already allows Trump to initiate secondary sanctions against anyone trading with the victim of primary sanctions, but with the current atmosphere of rapprochement, it is difficult for Trump to justify using these against China at present.

A North Korean ‘walk-out’ would provide the perfect excuse for stepping up economic warfare against China under the guise of sanctioning Korea. Indeed, Trump has already been setting up China as a potential scapegoat for any failure to reach a deal, claiming that Kim’s position had hardened following his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “There was a different attitude by the North Korean folks after that meeting,” Trump told reporters recently, “I can’t say that I’m happy about it.”

The entire trajectory of Trump is, after all, not one of conciliation, but of escalation - on all fronts. Escalation against immigrants, against the working class, against Iran, against China, and even against his supposed chums in Moscow. There is absolutely no reason to think that North Korea is some kind of magical exception to this golden rule.

Setting up a deal guaranteed to be rejected, but which can be spun as incredibly generous, is, of course, no mean feat. This is especially true given that Kim has now repeatedly stated that he is willing to give up his nuclear weapons. Indeed, this possibility cannot be entirely ruled out: after all, North Korea’s conventional capacity alone - not to mention its mutual defense treaty with China - arguably provides as much deterrence as is necessary to prevent an invasion, as those casualty figures quoted above bear out. In this case, the devil will be in the detail - and more specifically in the timings of the granting of concessions. Trump is likely, in my view, to offer what appear to be very generous concessions, but make them contingent on unacceptably obtrusive verification measures or unachievable levels of ‘proof’ before any of them kick in. Perhaps they will just copy and paste chapter seven of the Rambouillet Agreement in its entirety. A secret clause demanding NATO occupation of all of North Korea would probably do the trick.
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Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #87 on: June 13, 2018, 12:05:51 AM »
So this is the outcome of all that statecraft, preliminary meetings and that talk - 4 sentences, 2 of which are just frippery, and #3 only commits North Korea to denuclearise.  Why would he agree to that, without anything in return from the US? 

Not in the summit document was Trump's announcement of canceling of "war games" (later clarified as not meaning "drills"), and Kim's announcement of the destruction of a "major missile engine testing site".

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/12/full-text-trump-kim-korea-summit-637541
Full text: The statement signed by Trump and Kim
POLITICO STAFF
06/12/2018

Here is the text, as seen in the photographs of the signed documents:


Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following.


1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Having acknowledged that the U.S-DPRK summit — the first in history — was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S.-DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new U.S.-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.
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Offline Palloy2

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #88 on: June 13, 2018, 12:14:28 AM »
China's take on it is quite upbeat.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1106696.shtml
End of ‘war games’ will be a big step forward for peninsula
2018/6/12

US President Donald Trump held a press conference after his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Tuesday afternoon, in which more information was revealed. Trump expressed his satisfaction with the results of the summit, saying Kim would "be remembered as the leader who ushered in a glorious new era of security and prosperity for his people." He also added that he was confident North Korea would implement the agreement reached by the two sides and disclosed he and Kim have invited each other to visit their own country.

Trump said Kim assured destruction of a "major missile engine testing site" not included in the document signed during their summit. He vowed to "stop the war games," which was widely interpreted as a hint to stop the joint military exercises with South Korea, one of the major demands by Pyongyang. He also said he hoped to bring US soldiers stationed in South Korea back home at some point.

If the US stops joint military exercises with South Korea, it will be a big step forward on the Korean Peninsula. If achieved, China's "suspension for suspension" proposal, which calls for North Korea to suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of US-South Korea military exercises, would come to reality. A new leaf will be turned over.

With a cooling down of military activities, less US military participation, and possibly an eventual US troop withdrawal, the peninsula will completely walk out of the shadow of the Cold War. If political process moves toward this direction on the peninsula, the whole region will benefit. 

These will be natural developments once the North Korea nuclear issue is completely resolved. Since the "North Korea threat" no longer exists, there will be no grounds for the US and South Korea to continue large-scale military drills and for Washington to maintain its military presence in South Korea.   

Public opinion in the US and South Korea were doubtful over whether North Korea would actively implement any agreement reached. But the main obstacle to the peace process of the peninsula in the future may come from Washington and Seoul, or even Tokyo. Right after the summit concluded, Western media criticized that Trump received nothing from this meeting. There are also voices claiming that the cancelation of US-South Korea joint military drills is a victory for China and North Korea.

Public opinion in the US has long harbored hostility against Pyongyang. Lawmakers and opinion leaders can find endless excuses to oppose the Trump administration interacting with North Korea. These forces will bridle Trump and Kim in pushing forward their agreement.

Pro-Washington forces in South Korea see the US troops stationed in their country as a cornerstone of South Korea's security and would like to see joint military drills to continue. They may not wish to see the US cut its military presence in the peninsula.

Japan has particularly mixed feelings toward harmony on the Korean Peninsula. For Tokyo, hawkish US policy will add to allied Japan's weight and boost Japan's strategic value.

After dealing with North Korea for a few rounds, Trump's team has developed a more realistic mindset on the issue. But his domestic foes probably would rather mess everything up, prioritizing embarrassing Trump above protecting the long-term interests of the US.

Trump and Kim have an opportunity to create history. If Trump can realize complete denuclearization of the peninsula, and Kim can bring prosperity to North Korea, it will be great feat for both of them.
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Online Eddie

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Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #89 on: June 13, 2018, 05:26:53 AM »
At least Trump understands that to get something, you have to give something. An understanding that is generally lacking by the neoliberal permanent war party in DC.

I've got a dollar I'd bet that neither side honors the spirit or the letter of this very vague agreement. As someone pointed out, all this has been agreed to before, in previous administrations.

But Trump gets his Nobel and maybe an Oscar for "best fantasy short" for his NK Summit Movie Trailer. A Yuge propaganda victory for Trump and Kim.

Did anyone read the New Yorker article comparing Trump to Kaiser Wilhelm? There have been several journalists who have found the parallels interesting, but this one gets my vote for "best title".

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/what-happens-when-a-bad-tempered-distractible-doofus-runs-an-empire

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

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