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Tag Archives: North Korea

Trump’s Detente with Kim Fails as North Korea Continues to Develop ICBMs

President Trump’s feeble policy toward North Korea is headed in the same direction as his predecessors’, with attempts to “negotiate” answered by Pyongyang’s successful effort to buy time and continue to develop its nuclear and missile programs.

The Washington Post reports that the North Koreans are working diligently on their ICBM program, hoping to develop nuclear-tipped missiles that could hit the United States. Once that happens, the game completely changes, with Kim Jong-un able to hold America hostage to his policies and the chances of an accidental launch something Americans will forever have to live with.

Once Kim has ICBMs, we cannot attack him and his nuclear program is forever.

According to the Post:

U.S. spy agencies are seeing signs that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, according to officials familiar with the intelligence.

Newly obtained evidence, including satellite photos taken in recent weeks, indicates that work is underway on at least one and possibly two liquid-fueled ICBMs at a large research facility in Sanumdong, on the outskirts of Pyongyang, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe classified intelligence.

The findings are the latest to show ongoing activity inside North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities at a time when the country’s leaders are engaged in arms talks with the United States. The new intelligence does not suggest an expansion of North Korea’s capabilities but shows that work on advanced weapons is continuing weeks after President Trump declared in a Twitter posting that Pyongyang was “no longer a Nuclear Threat.”

The reports about new missile construction come after recent revelations about a suspected uranium-enrichment facility, called Kangson, that North Korea is operating in secret. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged during Senate testimony last week that North Korean factories “continue to produce fissile material” used in making nuclear weapons. He declined to say whether Pyongyang is building new missiles.

Trump began his administration with an admirably tough approach to North Korea. But Kim effectively neutralized him by tempting Trump into a bilateral summit that produced little of substance, at least that we know about, and that appears to have given North Korea more time to develop its capabilities, which is exactly what it needs.

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.

Trump: If Obama Did Like Me North Korea, Media Would Say He’s A Hero

This is absolute, 100 percent, entirely pure, grass-fed, organically grown, TRUTH.

Trump Ends War Games With South Korea

President Trump Tuesday announced that the United States and South Korea will no longer stage war games.

From comments during a press conference in Singapore after his meeting with Kim Jong-un:

We will be stopping the war games, which will save us a tremendous amount of money, unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should. But we’ll be saving a tremendous amount of money. Plus, I think it’s very provocative.

I don’t understand this up-front concession. The war games are not just “games.” They serve a purpose, which is to maintain readiness in order to deter and potentially respond to a North Korean conventional attack. They have nothing to do with the nuclear weapons. The conventional threat, which is significant to say the least, will remain even if North Korea dumped all its nuclear weapons into the Pacific tomorrow.

Also, it costs North Korea money too. And it will cost us a lot more if we have to respond to North Korea and are not prepared.

White House: Talks With North Korea Moving “More Quickly Than Expected”

From the White House:

The discussions between the United States and North Korea are ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected.

President Donald J. Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. Following the initial greeting, President Trump and Chairman Kim will participate in a one-on-one meeting, with translators only, an expanded bilateral meeting, and a working lunch.

The United States delegation at tomorrow’s expanded bilateral meeting will include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and National Security Advisor John Bolton. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, Ambassador Sung Kim, and National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matt Pottinger will join for the working lunch.

At the conclusion of the summit, President Trump will participate in a media availability before departing tomorrow at approximately 8 p.m. for the United States.

I don’t what it means that the talks are moving more quickly than expected.

But I do know two things. North Korea is not going to give up its nuclear weapons. And Kim Jong-un has made it much harder for the United States to attack him as he begins the process of dragging this out over years while perfecting his intercontinental missile capability and building more nukes.

This is the result of decades of feckless U.S. policy toward North Korea. And Trump is now on the cusp  being fooled like his predecessors were by Pyongyang as the North Koreans pursue the same strategy that they have always pursued – meaningless talks in exchange for time. Just this time with a little more fanfare.

Stop All This Nobel Peace Prize Talk; It Only Leads to War!

From a piece I have running in the Washington Examiner. I hope you have a chance to take a look!

Another effort is afoot to get inside a president’s head with a Nobel Peace Prize. It worked out very poorly the last time, when the leftist Norwegians who dole out the award gave it to Barack Obama before he had done a single thing. And the continuing chatter about President Trump winning the prize can only lead to something very, very bad, like a dangerously flawed deal with North Korea. As Trump heads off to Singapore to negotiate with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, it’s time to silence such talk.

Preemptively awarding to Obama the Nobel Prize was not some quirky indulgence. It was a brilliant effort by Norwegian peaceniks to put themselves in charge of U.S. foreign policy. The Nobel Peace Prize committee in Oslo put the medal around Obama’s neck. And then they used it to tie his hands.

Trump on Kim Meeting: “I Don’t Think I Have to Prepare Very Much”

Rut Roh.

“I think I’m very well prepared. I don’t think I have to prepare very much.”

Politico is reporting that President Trump is already sick of National Security Advisor John Bolton, at least about half the time, and that they are not holding the kind of interagency meetings that would normally proceed such a crucial meeting.

From the report:

National security adviser John Bolton has yet to convene a Cabinet-level meeting to discuss President Donald Trump’s upcoming summit with North Korea next week, a striking break from past practice that suggests the Trump White House is largely improvising its approach to the unprecedented nuclear talks.

For decades, top presidential advisers have used a methodical process to hash out national security issues before offering the president a menu of options for key decisions. On an issue like North Korea, that would mean White House Situation Room gatherings of the secretaries of state and defense along with top intelligence officials, the United Nations ambassador, and even the Treasury secretary, who oversees economic sanctions.

But since Trump agreed on a whim to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on March 8, the White House’s summit planning has been unstructured, according to a half-dozen administration officials. Trump himself has driven the preparation almost exclusively on his own, consulting little with his national security team, outside of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump Says He May Un-Cancel Summit with Kim Jong-Un

President Trump said Friday morning that talks are continuing with the North Koreans and that the summit with Kim Jong-Un he canceled Thursday could go back on the schedule. He spoke with reporters just before choppering out to Annapolis to give the commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy. Asked about if the summit with… Continue Reading