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  • Originally posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    It ain't KJU playing Trump. It's Xi. KJU is just Xi's pawn.
    Which only makes Trump look all the more like a complete idiot. A pawn is leading a wannabe "king" around by the nose.

    Speaking of Xi, we're also still waiting for Trump's "great trade deal with China", knowing full well that Xi is making Trump look like a small child begging to sit at the grow-up's table.

    Then there's Vladimir Putin doing the exact same thing on the other side of the world.
    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

    Comment


    • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
      Which only makes Trump look all the more like a complete idiot. A pawn is leading a wannabe "king" around by the nose.
      Not by a long shot. From Asia's perspective, they thought they finally found someone to pay for the mess in North Korea. That someone, Trump, was going to foot the bill to bring North Korea into the 21st Century from the 19th Century. Imagine their dismay when this is not happening yet.

      If anything, Trump is looking rather smart at avoiding that money black hole.

      Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
      Speaking of Xi, we're also still waiting for Trump's "great trade deal with China", knowing full well that Xi is making Trump look like a small child begging to sit at the grow-up's table.
      Again, from Asia's perspective, it is Xi who is begging to Trump. All the concessions being made are Chinese. What the Americans are offerring is a resumption of trade but by no means an acceptance of the old trade relationship. The Chinese will have to pay a much higher price for the resumption of trade. The question is how much Xi is willing to pay, not that Xi will not have to pay.

      Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
      Then there's Vladimir Putin doing the exact same thing on the other side of the world.
      Putin needs to get out of his Vietnam in the UKR
      Chimo

      Comment


      • Originally posted by WABs_OOE View Post
        Not by a long shot. From Asia's perspective, they thought they finally found someone to pay for the mess in North Korea. That someone, Trump, was going to foot the bill to bring North Korea into the 21st Century from the 19th Century. Imagine their dismay when this is not happening yet.
        Then Asia needs to be fired from their job of Predictions. Because any idiot could see that Trump was flaming angry at NATO for not footing their end of the bill. What kind of fool would think that Donald Trump would dump money into the black hole known as the DPRK.

        Originally posted by WABs_OOE View Post
        If anything, Trump is looking rather smart at avoiding that money black hole.
        Again, I don't know anybody who knew even the barest facts about Donald Trump that would assume he would do such a thing. He doesn't even pay his own contractors. Why the f--k would he throw money at the DPRK?

        Originally posted by WABs_OOE View Post
        Again, from Asia's perspective, it is Xi who is begging to Trump. All the concessions being made are Chinese. What the Americans are offerring is a resumption of trade but by no means an acceptance of the old trade relationship. The Chinese will have to pay a much higher price for the resumption of trade. The question is how much Xi is willing to pay, not that Xi will not have to pay.
        The jury is, somewhat, still out of that. I say "somewhat" because the US has had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to US farmers due to Trump's infantile understanding of economics and trade. And we're still waiting for Trump's "beautiful" trade deal with China.

        Originally posted by WABs_OOE View Post
        Putin needs to get out of his Vietnam in the UKR
        Well yeah, but that's irrelevant to him playing Trump like a cheap fiddle.
        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

        Comment


        • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
          Well yeah, but that's irrelevant to him playing Trump like a cheap fiddle.
          Oh and what has Putin got out of Trump. What has this supposed bonhomie won for Russians ?

          Grand bargain with the west on UKR ? NO

          Sanctions relief ? NO

          But when they meet they talk cordially so Russians don't have a lot from Trump
          Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Jan 20,, 00:28.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by WABs_OOE View Post
            It ain't KJU playing Trump. It's Xi. KJU is just Xi's pawn.
            Has Xi managed to get anything out of the US from this affair ?

            It seems like things have reverted back to situation post-ante

            Nobody won, nobody lost and all three gained nothing

            Comment


            • Originally posted by WABs_OOE View Post
              Not by a long shot. From Asia's perspective, they thought they finally found someone to pay for the mess in North Korea. That someone, Trump, was going to foot the bill to bring North Korea into the 21st Century from the 19th Century. Imagine their dismay when this is not happening yet.

              If anything, Trump is looking rather smart at avoiding that money black hole.
              Are you sure Trump was going to foot this bill ? i thought the majority of it would be on SK's tab

              I suppose might help with a little.

              US got good ROI with SK.

              $10bn since the Korean war and see how far SK went

              If only the north was won too back in the 50s..... : (

              Again, from Asia's perspective, it is Xi who is begging to Trump. All the concessions being made are Chinese. What the Americans are offerring is a resumption of trade but by no means an acceptance of the old trade relationship. The Chinese will have to pay a much higher price for the resumption of trade. The question is how much Xi is willing to pay, not that Xi will not have to pay.
              This concurs with what i've heard as well
              Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Jan 20,, 00:31.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                Then Asia needs to be fired from their job of Predictions. Because any idiot could see that Trump was flaming angry at NATO for not footing their end of the bill. What kind of fool would think that Donald Trump would dump money into the black hole known as the DPRK.

                Again, I don't know anybody who knew even the barest facts about Donald Trump that would assume he would do such a thing. He doesn't even pay his own contractors. Why the f--k would he throw money at the DPRK?
                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                Are you sure Trump was going to foot this bill ? i thought the majority of it would be on SK's tab.
                Pompeo made the statements that the US would invest heavily in exchange for NKorean nuclear disarmament. During the period in question, there seemed to be positive movements on both sides as they explore ways to reduce tension. The US cancelled EX KEY RESOLVE while the DPRK initiated a testing moritorium. Do recall that this Asia. Appearance matters more than what's on paper which is why Trump is so perplexing to the Asians. Trump doesn't care about the loss of face; only what's signed on the dotted line ... and even then, he will slimed everyway he can out of it. If KJU tried to do what Trump does, he would have had a full uprising on his hands.

                Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                The jury is, somewhat, still out of that. I say "somewhat" because the US has had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to US farmers due to Trump's infantile understanding of economics and trade. And we're still waiting for Trump's "beautiful" trade deal with China.
                Again, I'm looking at this as a non-American and a non-Chinese. No doubt that both sides are hurting from this trade war. Food prices in China have jumped big time especially soy and pork products. Soy is a cheap protien in China. A soy price jump essentially hurts the poor, the very people the CCP could not afford to piss off.

                That being said. All I see is who is offerring what and it ain't the US who is offerring concessions. You have to ask, if Trump is this idiot? Why ain't the trade war over with Xi laughing his way to the bank? And why isn't the sanctions lifted with KJU keeping his nukes?

                And why NATO has not put Trump in his place and why NAFTA II was so difficult for Canada and Mexico to get. And whether you belive it or not, NAFTA II is a better deal for the US than it is for Canada and Mexico.

                Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                Well yeah, but that's irrelevant to him playing Trump like a cheap fiddle.
                As long as the US, read Trump, keeps pumping money in the UKR, Putin's Vietnam would continue to drain him. At the very least, Putin needs Trump to halt/reduce support to the UKR. That has not happened.
                Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 02 Jan 20,, 05:36.
                Chimo

                Comment


                • North Korea says leaders' relations not enough after Trump sends birthday wishes to Kim

                  SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has received birthday greetings to its leader Kim Jong Un from U.S. President Donald Trump, but their personal relationship is not enough for a return to talks, according to a statement published on Saturday by state news agency KCNA.

                  The comments come against the backdrop of stalled denuclearization talks following a flurry of diplomacy between the United States and North Korea in 2018 and early 2019.

                  While Kim could personally like Trump, he would not lead his country on the basis of personal feelings, Kim Kye Gwan, an adviser to the North Korean foreign ministry, said in the statement.

                  "Although Chairman Kim Jong Un has good personal feelings about President Trump, they are, in the true sense of the word, 'personal'," he said.

                  "We have been deceived by the United States, being caught in the dialogue with it for over one year and a half, and that was the lost time for us."

                  North Korea will not discuss proposals such as those Trump made at his last summit with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi in February 2019, the foreign ministry adviser said.

                  The North will not give up its nuclear facilities for partial sanctions relief, and will only return to talks when the United States makes concessions, he added.

                  "The reopening of dialogue between the DPRK and the U.S. may be possible only under the condition of the latter's absolute agreement on the issues raised by the former, but we know well that the U.S. is neither ready nor able to do so," he said.

                  The abbreviation DPRK refers to the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

                  Saturday's comments show how ties between leaders are sometimes only marginally useful for diplomacy, said Mason Richey, a professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul.

                  "At least one member of the U.S.-North Korea diplomatic 'bromance' is mature enough to admit that personal feelings are just that," Richey added.

                  "Kim Kye Gwan's statement doesn't close the door on diplomacy any more than it already was, but he underlined how the U.S. and North Korea have fundamentally different strategic interests with almost no meaningful overlap."

                  WARNING TO SOUTH KOREA

                  The North Korean adviser also cautioned South Korea to steer clear of ties between the North and the United States, saying it should not seek "to play a mediator role".

                  On Friday, a South Korean official said Trump had asked the South Koreans to pass on birthday greetings to North Korea.

                  For South Korea to meddle in personal relations between Kim and Trump was "presumptuous", the North Korean adviser said, adding that the North had already directly received from Trump a letter with the greetings.

                  "But they seem not to know that there is a special liaison channel between the top leaders of the DPRK and the United States."

                  South Korea's presidential Blue House declined to comment.

                  The North's comments come after South Korean President Moon Jae-in's administration signaled it wanted to renew "independent" economic engagement with the North, Richey added.

                  "This is another slap in the face, which Moon seems determined to accept ad infinitum."
                  _____________
                  Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                  Comment


                  • I'm sure S Korea knows about the "Special Relationship" between Trump and Kim after the latest shakedown attempt

                    https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/14/polit...ike/index.html

                    Washington (CNN)Secretary of Defense Mark Esper landed in South Korea on Thursday to navigate renewed threats from an "enraged" North Korea and newly heightened strain in the alliance with Seoul that congressional aides, lawmakers and Korea experts say has been caused by President Donald Trump.

                    Trump is demanding that South Korea pay roughly 400% more in 2020 to cover the cost of keeping US troops on the peninsula, a congressional aide and an administration official confirmed to CNN.
                    The price hike has frustrated Pentagon officials and deeply concerned Republican and Democratic lawmakers, according to military officials and congressional aides. It has angered and unnerved Seoul, where leaders are questioning US commitment to their alliance and wondering whether Trump will pull US forces if they don't pay up.
                    "Nothing says I love you like a shakedown," said Vipin Narang, an associate professor at MIT who follows the Korean peninsula, summarizing South Korean uncertainty about the US.
                    Hard feelings
                    In the US, congressional aides and Korea experts familiar with the talks say the President's $4.7 billion demand came out of thin air, sending State and Defense Department officials scrambling to justify the number with a slew of new charges that may include Seoul paying some costs for US personnel present on the peninsula and for troops and equipment that rotate through.
                    Negotiations are underway as North Korea threatens to step up its weapons development, deepening Seoul's anxiety. On Thursday, Pyongyang condemned US-South Korean joint military exercises, saying it was "enraged" and threatening to respond with "force in kind."
                    North Korea has already launched 24 missiles this year, each a violation of UN resolutions, to match the country's previous annual record for firing off projectiles that threaten South Korea and Japan, according to Bruce Klingner, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
                    Germany, France and the United Kingdom recently condemned Pyongyang for the launches, saying they undermined regional security and stability. Meanwhile, South Korean leaders are acutely aware that Trump has downplayed the launches, saying he is "not at all" troubled by them.
                    "There are a lot of hard feelings," Klingner said of South Korean views of the US right now, adding that "people are questioning the viability of the US as an ally."
                    That's being driven in part by US acquiescence to North Korea's missile launches, which "is raising angst... about whether the US is a reliable ally," Klingner said. "The exorbitant push to further increase the US demand for the cost of stationing US forces overseas is adding to that."
                    Scott Snyder, director of the US-Korea policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the extreme nature of the price hike is creating "worry that Trump is doing this as a pretext for withdrawal" of US troops.
                    "The main side effect that I see is that it raises questions about the credibility of the United States as a protector, as an alliance partner," Snyder said. "And that's not good for the relationship."
                    The administration official said the argument is that the US does many things to ensure South Korean security that haven't been accurately accounted for, for decades. "It was one thing when Korea was recovering from the war, but now they're one of the world's leading economies," the official said.
                    "The Koreans have said themselves they ultimately want to take over the security of Korea and stand as a peer in the security sphere," the official said. Now, "they need to make some fundamental investments to get where they say they want to be, so this is an opportunity for them."
                    Shared responsibility
                    A spokesperson for the State Department, which has the lead on negotiations, said that "sustaining the costs of our global military presence is not a burden that should fall on the US taxpayer alone, but is a responsibility that should be shared fairly with allies and partners who benefit from our presence."
                    The Korean embassy did not return requests for comment.
                    The US-South Korea cost sharing agreement has been in place for decades and, until Trump, was renegotiated every five years. During the 2016 campaign, candidate Trump declared that he would pull US troops from the peninsula if he didn't get 100% compensation for their presence.
                    Last year, when the Special Measures Agreement came up for negotiation, Trump asked for a 50% increase from Seoul. Ultimately, the two sides agreed South Korea would pay 8% over the prior year's cost, but that the agreement would be renegotiated yearly.
                    This year, Trump raised the asking price from approximately $1 billion to $5 billion before being convinced by officials at the State Department and Pentagon to winnow that down to $4.7 billion, according to a congressional aide and the administration official.
                    Esper, like other administration officials, has refused to confirm that figure publicly, saying Wednesday only that "we have asked for a significant increase in the cost-sharing for our deployed troops."
                    'A backwards process'
                    Klingner is one of several Korea experts who suggest that Trump pulled the figure out of thin air. Officials at the relevant agencies and aides in Congress who follow Asia are similarly perplexed. "I have no idea where the President pulled this number from," said the congressional aide.
                    "It seems pretty clear ... that State and DOD were working to figure out how to justify the $5 billion figure... it's not like, 'We were developing a new concept that includes the following 17 categories and this is what it comes to.' It was a backwards process," said the aide characterized the reaction to be one of shock, " 'the President wants $5 billion and how do we justify that to the Koreans?' They were throwing everything in there that allowed them to argue with a straight face that this covers the burden-sharing costs of the alliance."
                    To justify the price tag, officials at State and the Pentagon expanded the costs Seoul would cover "from basing, sewage, the usual things, to include 'readiness,'" the aide said. Administration officials would not confirm that.
                    But it could mean charging Seoul for joint military exercises, including rotational forces that aren't always present on the peninsula. "So if we had bombers stop by the peninsula as a show of force, I guess like an Uber driver, we would bill them for the trip," the aide said.
                    The US may also ask South Korea to pay for "a whole range of personnel costs for US personnel stationed on Peninsula," the aide said. In response, the aide said, the Koreans are asking, " 'Are you guys mercenaries now? Is this a business arrangement?' "

                    Military officials have told CNN they are distressed about the request and that they have been concerned the President's foreign policy decision making could increasingly be shaped by his concerns about the 2020 election campaign or impeachment pressure.
                    The congressional aide said Pentagon officials are expressing their discomfort on Capitol Hill as well. "The career professionals and career military: they're beside themselves," the aide said, "but [Trump is] the commander in chief, so they're in a box."
                    "The Koreans are outraged," the aide continued, particularly because elections are coming in April and they don't think the cost increase is defensible in their National Assembly.
                    Council on Foreign Relations expert Snyder said that historically, the formula for cost sharing has seen increases of 5% to 10%, but "the gap between 5% and almost 500%... stretches the bounds of political plausibility."
                    A particular hurdle, Snyder said, is any request that Seoul pay for assets "that may be used in the event of a conflict, but that aren't actually based in Korea. That's the most sensitive question if you're talking about the Korean taxpayer."
                    'A lot of concern'
                    Sen. Edward Markey, the leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Asia said that he was "troubled by President Trump's demand. ... If South Korea decides that it is better off without the United States, President Trump will have undermined an over 60-year shared commitment to peace, stability, and rule of law. The region is less safe when countries lose confidence in America's ability to lead."
                    Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Asia, did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Neither did the second ranking Republican on the subcommittee, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, or the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. James Risch of Idaho.
                    Behind closed doors though, the congressional aide echoed another colleague on Capitol Hill, saying that "there's a lot of concern up here with both Democratic and Republican staff. People ... are not happy. They think this is really dangerous."

                    Comment


                    • Trump had to be persuaded by his national security staff to stay in ROK in the first place.

                      so as far as he's concerned, if the ROKs boot us out of the Pen over SMA, then that's heads I win, tails you lose.
                      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                      Comment


                      • N. Korea fires weapons after threatening 'momentous' action
                        SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea fired three short-range projectiles off its east coast on Monday, South Korea’s military said, two days after the North threatened to take “momentous” action to protest outside condemnation over its earlier live-fire exercises.

                        Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the multiple kinds of projectiles fired from the eastern coastal town of Sondok flew as far as 200 kilometers (125 miles) at a maximum altitude of 50 kilometers (30 miles) before landing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

                        A JCS statement said South Korea expressed "strong regret” over the launches that it said violate a past inter-Korean agreement aimed at lowering military animosities. South Korea's national security director, defense minister and spy chief held an emergency video conference and agreed the North Korean action were not helpful to efforts to establish a peace on the Korean Peninsula, according to South Korea's presidential Blue House.

                        Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said North Korea fired suspected ballistic missiles. He said the multiple North Korean projectiles traveled 100 to 200 kilometers (62 to 125 miles) but none landed inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

                        “North Korea’s latest action, on top of its repeated firings of ballistic missiles, is a serious threat to the peace and safety of Japan and ... a grave problem for the entire international society,” Suga said.

                        In the past 10 days, North Korea has said leader Kim Jong Un supervised two rounds of live-fire artillery exercises in its first weapons tests since late November. Kim had entered the new year with a vow to bolster his nuclear deterrent and not to be bound by a major weapons test moratorium amid a deadlock in a U.S.-led diplomacy aimed at convincing Kim to abandon his nuclear program in return for economic and political benefits.

                        South Korea and some European countries protested against the second North Korea drills on March 2, which they believe involved ballistic missile launches in a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

                        North Korea insists it has the right to conduct military drills in the face of U.S. and South Korean forces on its doorstep.

                        The U.N. Security Council didn't issue any statement after discussing North Korea's March 2 drills, but five European members condemned what they called “provocative actions.” Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom said afterward that the tests undermine regional and international peace, security and stability.

                        The North’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday accused the five European countries of “repeating an absurd argument of condemnation and violation resolutions of the U.N. whenever we conducted military drills.”

                        “The reckless behavior of these countries instigated by the U.S. will become a fuse that will trigger our yet another momentous reaction,” a ministry statement said.

                        Last week, Kim Jong Un’s younger sister leveled diatribes and crude insults against South Korea for criticizing its earlier live-fire exercises, but her statement was followed by Kim sending a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressing condolences over its coronavirus outbreak.

                        Some experts say North Korea may intend to catch South Korea off balance before seeking help in reviving its dilapidated economy, since the U.S. has said sanctions on North Korea will stay in place unless it takes significant steps toward denuclearization.

                        “The coronavirus is likely exceeding North Korea’s public health capacity, so Kim Jong Un is playing a two-level game. At the domestic level, his regime claims to protect the people with drastic quarantine measures and military exercises against external threats,” said Leif-Eric Easley, associate professor at Seoul's Ewha Womans University. “Pyongyang may be seeking international assistance, but remains obsessed with not appearing in an inferior position to Seoul.”

                        Nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington remain stalled since the breakdown of a second summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in Vietnam in early 2019.

                        Subsequent talks between the two countries failed to produce much progress amid disputes over how much sanctions relief should be given in return for a limited step to move away from nuclear weapons by North Korea.
                        _________________

                        Good thing Donald "Where's My Nobel Prize" Trump solved the North Korea problem with his masterful dealmaking skills.
                        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                        Comment


                        • Weakness from Washington and Seoul Has Emboldened North Korea
                          After years of “friendship,” “love letters,” and “trust,” the Kim regime is as potent as ever.

                          No matter how many illegal missile tests North Korea conducts, how bellicose the Dear Leader is in his threats, or how many South Korean citizens his administration murders, South Korean President Moon Jae-in will always reach back with open arms begging for Kim Jong-un’s embrace. And Donald Trump has gone along with him.

                          The Moon administration’s weakness and na´vetÚ, combined with Trump’s foreign policy ignorance and sympathies with dictators, presents a threat to Northeast Asian security and to America’s national interest.

                          Throughout Moon’s political career, he has been credulous towards North Korean leadership and their empty words about “peace.” As a “human rights lawyer,” he was a member of Minbyun (Lawyers for a Democratic Society), a progressive law group that has utterly ignored human rights abuses in North Korea and at times harassed North Korean refugees residing in South Korea. As a political strategist, he served as campaign manager for Roh Moo-hyun, the leftist successor to the Sunshine Policy who rode to power in 2003 on a wave of soft anti-American sentiment. Now as president, he has appointed North Korea sympathizers to policy positions and constantly downplays North Korean aggression. Moon and Korean liberals in general have also been more antagonistic towards the democratic Japan and softer towards an increasingly aggressive China than the previous conservative president.

                          Moon’s actions in 2020 are illustrative. In March, North Korea conducted four missile launches in violation of UN resolutions. Yet after the first missile test, Moon’s communications secretary praised Kim Jong-un for sending a letter that “showed his constant friendship and trust toward Moon.”

                          In May, a North Korea soldier fired bullets that hit a South Korean guard post. Moon was still trying to get the Panmunjom Declaration, the agreement Moon and Kim signed agreeing to cooperate on an official end to the Korean War, ratified by Korea’s National Assembly. After North Korea blew up the joint liaison office, Moon appeared to be more disappointed that it stifled his plans for easing sanctions on North Korea than that it was an unprecedented escalation.

                          Now, in the most recent and most brazen example, President Moon called for an official end to the Korean War at the UN one day after a South Korean fisheries official had been executed and had his body burned by North Korea.

                          The South Korean president’s weakness toward the abusive communist regime to its north isn’t concerning just for the 76 million Koreans on the peninsula. It’s also concerning for the United States as it puts regional security in jeopardy.

                          North Korean leadership is emboldened by South Korea’s appeasement. They know they can get away with anything. They have found that by pairing violent actions with personal letters and shallow apologies, the Moon administration has something reassuring to wave in front of the public. North Korea is thus able to continue developing its missile capabilities, which could be aimed at U.S. troops in Korea or Japan, with little resistance.

                          In line with Moon’s present foreign policy, the latest South Korean defense white paper has removed the mention of North Korea as an “enemy.” This is a serious underestimation of the threat posed by the Kim regime.

                          Moon’s administration has pulled the United States along on its failed detente policy. The U.S. made the decision to meet with Kim Jong-un at Moon’s insistence, but the U.S. has nothing to show for two years of unproductive talks but propaganda images legitimizing Kim’s regime and reduced Chinese pressure on the North.

                          To be sure, the United States never should have followed Moon as closely as Trump did. Trump rashly announced he was willing to meet with Kim with no preconditions after being told by Moon’s national security advisor Chung Eui Yong at an impromptu White House meeting in March 2018 that Kim wanted to meet. Chung was representing Moon’s desires, and then-National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster explicitly warned Trump against making such a haphazard decision, one which contradicted the administration’s maximum pressure policy. But nonetheless, Trump directed Chung to make the announcement to the White House press that the U.S. was willing to meet.

                          For Trump to make major foreign policy decisions on the basis of what he is told by foreign officials compromises U.S. security. Chung Eui Yong has been criticizedby The Korea Herald for being soft on North Korea. When North Korea conducted illegal missile tests in violation of UN resolutions, Chung dismissed them, saying, “I don’t see missile capabilities now being developed by North Korea as a grave threat to our national security.”

                          Some of Moon’s other appointees have worrying histories of supporting socialism and sympathizing with North Korea. His first chief of staff and current Special Advisor for Foreign Affairs Im Jong-seok was convicted of organizing a propaganda trip to Pyongyang in 1989 where radical South Korean student activists met Kim Il-sung. Former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, a “Gangnam socialist” (the Korean analogue of a limousine liberal), was a former member of the Socialist Labour League. North Korea’s flagship state-run newspaper defended him against conservative criticism before he resigned last year.

                          Moon hails from a progressive movement tinged with socialism that has been pursuing “decolonization”—by which they mean getting rid of American troops and influence from the peninsula. His instance on an end-of-war declaration and his push for “unification” would move in that direction.

                          Declaring a premature end to the war, however, could undermine the legitimacy of the United Nations Command and U.S. troops remaining on the peninsula . Should Korea be “unified” in a manner that does not displace the illegitimate Kim regime, human rights in South Korea could disappear.

                          Even if Korea were to be unified entirely on ROK terms, it is unclear what that might mean for the future of U.S. troops in Korea. China would certainly demand that U.S. troops withdraw, and without the presence of North Korea staring down the Republic, it is not clear what rationale the U.S. would rely on to maintain its military presence, nor whether broad support for U.S. troops would remain within the Korean public.

                          In the face of an assertive China and a stubborn North Korea, a strong U.S. presence in Northeast Asia is as important as ever—and will remain so after the election. Moon’s and Trump’s weaknesses put American security at risk. President Biden will have to contend with the mess their failed diplomatic groveling to Kim has created.
                          _________


                          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                          Comment


                          • ^ Glad you posted it. The headline was/is exactly my feeling. Authoritarian regimes should not have the tools to murder millions of innocents, even in their thoughts.
                            Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                              Weakness from Washington and Seoul Has Emboldened North Korea
                              After years of “friendship,” “love letters,” and “trust,” the Kim regime is as potent as ever.
                              Potent? COVID-19 has wrecked KJU far more than any American air wing could have ever done.He's looking at survival, not whatever effects "love letters" got him.

                              Chimo

                              Comment


                              • North Korea is showing off more than just massive missiles, but its new military hardware may be less than meets the eye


                                A new North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile on parade, October 10, 2020. Screenshot from KCTV broadcast

                                In October, North Korea unveiled new military hardware in a parade marking the 75th anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea.

                                The biggest attention-getters were, unsurprisingly, the missiles, especially the Pukguksong-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), and the Hwasong-16, which, if real, would be the largest liquid-fueled and road-mobile missile ever made.

                                But before those missiles appeared at the end of the parade, North Korea's impressive modernization of its conventional forces was on full display.

                                North Korea Pukguksong-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile on parade, October 10, 2020. KCNA

                                Soldiers were seen wearing modern uniforms with new camouflage patterns, ballistic helmets, vests, and even touch-screen devices. They were also seen parading in full nuclear, biological, and chemical gear for the first time. New vehicles designed almost entirely from scratch also debuted.

                                Chun In-bum, a former lieutenant general in the South Korean army, described the parade as "literally a 'new look' for the North Korean People's Army (KPA) in almost every way."

                                The parade undoubtedly shows that North Korea's commitment to military modernization is bearing fruit, but it remains unclear just how far that modernization has gone.

                                New armored vehicles


                                North Korean armored combat vehicles mounted with what appears to be a howitzer, during a parade on October 10, 2020. KCNA

                                Aside from the missiles, the new armored vehicles received the most attention.

                                North Korea's armored force has long consisted of old Soviet models or slightly modified domestic copies. But a completely new armored combat vehicle and a new tank show that North Korea's armored force is headed in a new direction.

                                While little is definitively known about these vehicles, observers noted a number of things based on their appearance. The 8 x 8 wheeled armored combat vehicle, for instance, looks almost exactly like the US Army's Stryker ICV.

                                Two variants were shown: One armed with five anti-tank guided missile launchers that are likely copies of the Russian 9M133 Kornet, and another armed with a specially designed turret that appears to house a gun based on the D-30 122 mm howitzer, giving it a similar appearance to the M1128 Mobile Gun System.
                                North Korea main battle tanks on parade, October 10, 2020. KCNA
                                Both vehicles are likely intended to support anti-tank and fire-support operations, and help the KPA become more maneuverable in a similar way to the US Army's brigade combat teams.

                                The new tank is considerably more advanced than previous North Korean models. Its chassis looks similar to that of Russia's T-14 Armata, and the turret is reminiscent of the US's M1 Abrams. It also appears to have a number of new technologies, like composite armor.

                                Tubular launchers reminiscent of Russia's Afghanit active protection system (APS) appear to be mounted on the turret, meaning the tank could intercept incoming projectiles. The lack of infrared sights suggests the tank may have a thermal sight - a major improvement for North Korean tanks.

                                There also appeared to be smoke launchers, laser warning receivers, and crosswind sensors. Two side-mounted anti-tank missile launchers were also present on the turret of the tanks, which were strangely painted in a desert-camouflage scheme.

                                Accelerated modernization


                                North Korean multiple launch rocket systems on parade, October 10, 2020. KCNA

                                There were a number of other new systems in the parade as well.

                                Generals and senior officers were driven around in what looked like mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles. New 155 mm self-propelled guns were rolled out, as were new armored multiple launch rocket systems and a new anti-air defense and radar comparable to Russia's TOR system, which fills a gap in North Korean air defenses.

                                The parade was the latest indication that Kim Jong Un is accelerating North Korea's military modernization efforts, a trend that has been evident with its nuclear weapons and missiles.

                                "Kim Jong Un was able to achieve this," Dr. Sue Mi Terry, a senior fellow and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said of the efforts.

                                "Some people really underestimated him when he came into power," Terry told Insider. "But at the end of the day, all this modernization took place under him."

                                Kim has made strengthening his country's military his top priority and wants to prove that despite international pressure and tight sanctions, North Korea is capable of fielding a strong force.

                                "They want to show that since Singapore they've been making progress," Terry said, referring to Kim's 2018 meeting with President Donald Trump. "That's the main message, that they're not going to stop."
                                'A Potemkin parade'


                                North Korea's new intercontinental ballistic missile. Screenshot from KCTV broadcast

                                As impressive as the new hardware is, there is reason to believe that the parade may have been a display of systems and weapons that North Korea may not actually have, at least not yet.

                                "Every parade is a Potemkin parade in the sense that North Korea always wants to hype up what they have," Terry said.

                                For example, despite the new tank's impressive electronics, none of the boxes containing the optics were open, which means no one can be sure what is inside them.

                                Additionally, many of the systems have not been seen in tests or military exercises, which means they could just be mockups - especially the Pukguksong-4 and Hwasong-16 missiles. This is also the case for North Korea's ballistic-missile submarines, the Gorae-class and Sinpo-C-class.

                                Finally, North Korea simply may not have the resources to build and maintain such a large conventional force.

                                North Korea troops celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea on October 10, 2020. KCNA via REUTERS

                                "I sincerely doubt that much of that stuff is seriously propagated among the North Korean forces," said Dr. Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation.

                                North Korea can't fund its nuclear and conventional ambitions and the economy its elites desire, Bennet told Insider. "The money is just not there."

                                Despite the hype, it's clear that military modernization has "made some kind of progress," Terry said, but it's likely that only certain specialized units have benefited from it.

                                "I think what we saw in the parade was really very selective modernization," Bennett said. "Take those [infantry] soldiers that we saw. I'll bet they're almost all special forces."

                                North Korea's Special Operations Force, one of the KPA's five branches, accounts for only 200,000 of the KPA's nearly 1.3 million active-duty personnel, but it is expected to have a primary role in a conflict.

                                Nuclear leverage


                                The Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile before a test, in an undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency, November 30, 2017. Reuters

                                While the KPA's conventional military modernization is impressive, there is little doubt it remains qualitatively inferior to South Korea's military and no doubt it is inferior to the US military.

                                But North Korea's real power is its nuclear arsenal. Pyongyang has made clear that it has no reservations about its tactical deployment, meaning it'd likely be front and center in any combat scenario.

                                With an arsenal believed to be between 30 and 40 warheads, North Korea can use those weapons to destroy important infrastructure like airfields, military bases, and ports, preventing reinforcement and resupply efforts.

                                "The North Korean approach could impair the South Korean air capability. It could impair our deployment capability," Bennet said. "Then all of the sudden, their conventional capabilities, even if they're only very selectively modernized, might make a big difference. With [North Korea's] special forces out there with that kind of equipment, that gets a little daunting for South Korea."

                                That approach would most likely result in North Korea's destruction, but being able to do it gives Kim "tremendous coercive capability against the South," Bennet said.

                                The KPA's evident modernization, combined with Pyongyang's growing nuclear and missile arsenal, put Kim in a position to assert himself and limit the US's leverage in future negotiations.

                                "Kim Jong-un is a very different kind of leader," Terry said. "I think it's better for us to not underestimate him."
                                _________

                                For the Colonel: Sir, how much of this new hardware would you estimate to consist of fiberglass and thin-gauge sheet metal mockups?
                                Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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