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Tag Archives: Kim Jong-Un

Trump Gifts Kim Jong-un a Recording of Elton John’s “Rocket Man”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea bearing a gift from President Trump for Kim Jong-un, a recording to Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” South Korea’s Chosunilbo news agency reports.

According to the story:

Sources in Washington said the gifts reflect Trump’s expectations that Kim will follow through on the pledges in an agreement the two signed at their summit.

One diplomatic source in Washington said, “The ‘Rocket Man’ CD was the subject of discussion during Trump’s lunch with Kim. Kim mentioned that Trump referred to him as ‘rocket man’ when tensions ran high last year” after a series of nuclear tests and missile launches by the North. “Trump then asked Kim if he knew the song and Kim said no.”

Trump remembered the conversation and told Pompeo to take a CD with the song for Kim. He reportedly wrote a message on it and signed it.

I think that, given the unlikelihood Kim is going to follow through on any kind of “deal,” Trump would have been better advised to send him a recording of Elton’s “Don’t go breaking my heart.”

Anyway, now that the song is in your head, here’s a video of Elton John in a superb performance of the single in February 1972, before it was released. A great artist at the height of his powers, long before he became a parody of himself.

More Evidence Kim Jong-un is Playing Trump for a Chump

See, this is what I’m talking about. I keep saying that Kim Jong-un is putting on a big show of wanting a deal because he got scared that President Trump was going to attack him before he could complete his nuclear ICBM program and be able to strike the United States.

But you don’t believe me. You think Trump is a genius and could never get played by this little Rocket Man punk.

Well, I hope you are right. Honestly. But this is very serious stuff. Once North Korea can reliably state that it can hit the U.S. mainland with nukes, all bets are off. The situation changes from prevention to containment.

From the Wall Street Journal:

North Korea is completing a major expansion of a key missile-manufacturing plant, said researchers who have examined new satellite imagery of the site, the latest sign Pyongyang is pushing ahead with weapons programs even as the U.S. pressures it to abandon them.

The facility makes solid-fuel ballistic missiles—which would be able to strike U.S. military installations in Asia with a nuclear weapon with little warning—as well as re-entry vehicles for warheads that Pyongyang might use on longer-range missiles able to hit the continental U.S.

New images analyzed by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Calif., show that North Korea was finishing construction on the exterior of the plant at around the time North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore last month. The U.S. is pushing Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear, chemical, biological and ballistic-missile programs.

Last week, 38 North, another organization that monitors North Korea, published satellite images of the country’s main nuclear-research center in Yongbyon, showing that Pyongyang was rapidly upgrading its facilities there.

It could be that behind the scenes, Trump has extracted unprecedented concessions from Kim Jong-un after dazzling him with his charm and deal-making acumen.

But I have seen nothing to suggest that we’ve gotten anything more than the usual fake promises from North Korea. Only now, with an ongoing “process” in place and Kim having shown the world he’s actually just another cuddly little fat guy, it is all the more difficult to launch a military operation against him.

The North Koreans have been building a nuclear program for three decades. They’re not going to give it up just because Trump asked them. The president had done a masterful job in scaring the shpinkings out of them. But I’m very concerned he has squandered the leverage he had created.

Video || Trump Touts Kim Summit Result as North Korea Closes In on Nuclear ICBM

Trump touts what he says is a deal with North Korea and talks about “peace” always being worth it. Honestly, he sounds like Jimmy Carter.

I’m not seeing much yet beyond promises of the type North Korea has given before, and valuable time given the North to finish developing its ability to strike the United States with North Korea. Once he’s got that, it’s game over. All the flattery directed toward Kim to get him to change can’t erase this central fact.

The time for long-term negotiations has long passed, squandered by previous administrations. Trump needed something immediate now, or maybe a longer process last year.

Maybe there’s something I don’t know about. I sure hope so. The stakes are very high.

From a Reuters piece in February:

North Korea is only months away from obtaining the capability to hit U.S. territory with a nuclear weapon and must be disarmed, a U.S. envoy said on Tuesday, dismissing Pyonyang’s diplomatic thaw with South Korea as a “charm offensive” that fooled no one.

In a diplomatic showdown at a U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament, North Korea responded by blaming Washington for escalating confrontation . . .

“North Korea has accelerated its provocative pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile capabilities, and expressed explicit threats to use nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies in the region,” U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood told the Geneva forum.

“North Korean officials insist that they will not give up nuclear weapons, and North Korea may now be only months away from the capability to strike the United States with nuclear-armed ballistic missiles,” he said.

Maybe it’s already too late. Maybe that’s the something I don’t know.

Trump Undermines the Military Option

President Trump is right to try to pursue diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, and to meet with him personally.

It’s typical that Trump does game-changing stuff and everyone objects that he’s breaking protocol by not having deals in hand first. How well has “protocol” worked before? That’s the point of Trump.

But I hope there is more than meets the eye here. What I’ve seen isn’t very much – more promises from North Koreans. That’s very old school. But hopefully there’s a lot we don’t know about.

Either way, Trump should not be weakening the military option. The perception that he would use force is what brought North Korea to the bargaining table. But weaken it is exactly what he did during his press conference Tuesday when he described how horrific a war could be.

Question: Thank you, Mr. President. Could you talk about the military consequences for North Korea if they don’t follow through on the commitments that you’re talking about? Could there be military action?

Trump: Well, I don’t want to talk. Yeah, I know. That’s a tough thing to talk about because I don’t want to be threatening. I don’t want to be threatening. They understood that. And you’ve seen what was, perhaps, going to happen.

And you know, Seoul has 28 million people. We think we have big cities. Seoul has 28 million people. We think we have big cities. You look at New York, where it has 8 million people. We think it’s a big city. Seoul has 28 million people. Think of that. And it’s right next to the border. It’s right next to the DMZ. It’s right there. I mean, if this would have happened, I think — you know, I’ve heard, oh, a hundred-thousand people. I think you could have lost 20 million people, 30 million people. This is really an honor for me to be doing this because I think, you know, potentially, you could have lost, you know, 30-, 40-, 50 million people. The city of Seoul, one of the biggest cities in the world, is right next to the border.

Mr. President, don’t get carried away by the effect you think you are having on Kim. You have done the right thing by meeting with him. But he is a venomous snake who runs concentration camps and kills his own brother and uncle. His goal is to keep his nuclear weapons and to unite the Koreas under his rule.

I suspect Trump understands that and is doing “art of the deal” stuff by entering a phase where he pretends Kim is his best buddy. But he still has to send the right signals, and horror of war isn’t one of them.

The Smart Video Trump Showed Kim Jong-un to Convince Him to Change

I like this. It’s not just gauzy feel-good stuff. That would be something Obama would show Kim.

It’s also got some very specific warnings that look a lot like threats to blow North Korea to smithereens.

Carrot and stick. That’s been the difference with Trump as opposed to previous presidents. The serious, credible wielding of a threat. It’s the language North Korea understands.

On the Menu: Trump and Kim do Lunch

Kim is a little disappointed because they’re not serving peasants today.

From the White House:

U.S. DELEGATION

President Donald J. Trump
Secretary Mike Pompeo, Department of State
General John Kelly, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff
Ambassador John Bolton, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor
Ms. Sarah Sanders, Assistant to the President and Press Secretary
Ambassador Sung Kin, US Ambassador to the Philippines
Mr. Matthew Pottinger, Deputy Assistant to the President for Asian Affairs

NORTH KOREA DELEGATION

Chairman Kim Jong Un
Mr. Kim Yong Chol, Vice-Chairman, Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea
Mr. Ri Su Yong, Vice-Chairman, Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea
Mr. Ri Yong Ho, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr. No Kwang Chol, Minister of People’s Armed Forces
Ms. Choe Son Hui, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ms. Kim Yo Jong, First Deputy Director, Central Committee of Workers’ Party of Korea
Mr. Han Kwang Sang, Director, Central Committee of Workers’ Party of Korea

###

MENU

Starters

Traditional prawn’s cocktail served with avocado salad

Green mango kerabu with honey lime dressing & fresh octopus

“Oiseon”
Korean stuffed cucumber

Main course

Beef short rib confit, served with potato dauphinois and steam broccolini, red wine sauce on the side

Combination of sweet & sour crispy pork and Yangzhou Fried Rice with homemade XO chili sauce

“Daegu jorim”
Soy Braised cod fish with Radish, Asian Vegetables

Desserts

Dark chocolate tartlet ganache

Haagendazs vanilla iced cream with cherry coulis

Tropezienne

North Korea Trying to Split Trump and Bolton

I’m perpetually amazed at the sophistication of the North Koreans. They understand that National Security Advisor John Bolton is their enemy, one of the few people who will never be taken in by their games and their effort to stall things while they complete their intercontinental missile program. But they also understand that President Trump… Continue Reading