Tag Archives: Kim Jong Un

Here’s a thought: Stress diplomacy over nukes

Donald Trump has offered a word of praise to Hawaii officials.

The president lauds them for taking “full responsibility” for the near-panic caused when someone “pushed the wrong button” and sent out an false alarm that declared there was an incoming missile from … possibly North Korea.

As The Hill reports:

“That was a state thing but we are going to now get involved with them. I love that they took responsibility. They took total responsibility,” Trump told reporters Sunday.

“But we are going to get involved. Their attitude and their — I think it is terrific. They took responsibility. They made a mistake,” he continued.

When asked what he will do to prevent a similar false alert from taking place, Trump didn’t answer directly but said, “we hope it won’t happen again.

He added, again according to The Hill:

“Part of it is people are on edge, but maybe eventually we will solve the problem so they won’t have to be so on edge,” Trump said.

Yes, they are “on edge,” Mr. President. Indeed, Trump’s bellicosity along with the unpredictability of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has put millions of Americans — not just those in Hawaii — on edge.

With that, I’ll offer a modest suggestion for the president: How about stressing diplomacy and setting aside the threats of “fire and fury,” “total annihilation” and using a “big nuclear button”?

The military option we keep hearing about ought to be the option of last resort — not the first, second or third resort. Military confrontation with North Korea is, shall we say, fraught with grievous consequences.

I, too, am glad that Hawaii officials have owned their mistake. Hawaii Gov. David Ige has apologized to his constituents and, by extension, to the rest of the nation.

Yes, the federal government can get involved. The commander in chief can set aside the tough talk and start sending signals to North Korea that it’s time to settle our differences through diplomacy.

This is what can produce panic

You’re sitting at home in Honolulu, or Hilo, or Lihue, Hawaii.

Your smart phone starts buzzing. You look at it. Then you see a message that declares “Ballistic missile inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

Have you ever feared such a thing might occur?

It took 38 minutes for Hawaii’s residents to react to what turned out to be a false alarm.

I don’t know about you, but I might decide to panic at that moment.

It turns out that “human error” caused these minutes of grave concern.

Details remain sketchy. Someone reported today on CNN that a shift change at Hawaii’s emergency response center resulted in someone “pushing the wrong button.” Huh? What the … ?

We live in terribly tense times. The United States and North Korea are engaging in a war of wills. Our nation’s president keeps using his Twitter account to needle North Korean dictator/fruit cake Kim Jong Un about the size the two men’s nuclear “button.”

Hawaii residents hear all this right along with the rest of the country. Then they get a text message on every smart phone in the state that says missiles are incoming?

Hawaii wasn’t hit by a missile. For that the rest of the nation is grateful. But, oh brother, some of our fellow countrymen and women in Hawaii have some serious questions to answer.

Starting with: How in the name of nuclear holocaust does this happen … and how are we going to prevent this type of “human error” from recurring?

‘This is not a game’

Donald John Trump keeps demonstrating something that many of his fellow Americans have believed since the moment he declared his candidacy for the presidency of the United States.

He doesn’t know — or chooses willfully to ignore — what it means to be leader of the world’s most powerful nation.

He now is taunting the leader of another nuclear-armed nation, telling North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that the United States has a bigger nuclear button than the North Koreans have. “My button works,” Trump said in a tweet.

Good, ever-lovin’ grief, dude!

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who knows a thing or two about power and its consequences, said “This is not a game … This is not about, ‘Can I puff my chest out bigger than yours.’ It’s just not presidential.”

Trump has drawn intense criticism not just from Democrats, such as Vice President Biden, but from foreign-policy experts. They say Trump’s public boasting about the American nuclear arsenal dismisses decades of presidential protocol.

As Politico reports: “You don’t brandish these weapons. You allude to them, obliquely,” said Joe Cirincione, a former congressional aide and president of the pro-disarmament Ploughshares Fund.

Trump doesn’t have an “oblique” bone in his body. He doesn’t grasp the nature of nuance. He doesn’t understand the consequences of the rhetoric that flies out of his mouth.

He taunts Kim Jong Un as “little Rocket Man” and now declares what the entire world knows already, that the United States can obliterate the entire planet if it so chooses.

This is a dangerous game the president is playing. His itchy Twitter fingers along with his big and boastful pie hole are potentially placing all of his fellow Americans in grave peril.

But … his base keeps insisting: He’s just “telling it like it is.”

Frightening.

Donald Trump: master of the obvious

I probably shouldn’t concern myself with yet another presidential Twitter tirade from Donald John Trump Sr.

But … here goes anyway.

The president of the United States just had to tell North Korean dictator/goofball Kim Jong Un that the United States has a bigger bomb than the North Koreans have and that his “button works.”

Why in the world does the commander in chief of the world’s greatest military machine have to goad, chide, needle someone who just might do something terribly and tragically foolish? That would be to start a nuclear exchange with the U.S. of A.

The world has known for a long time that Kim was battling to become the world’s nuttiest head of state. I am having trouble grasping that the Donald Trump is now rivaling the North Korean nut job for that dubious distinction.

However, he is doing the seemingly impossible.

Social media, of course, went crazy overnight regarding the president’s goofy tweet. Imagine my non-surprise at that!

I suppose it’s fair to remind everyone who reads this blog that Donald Trump said he’d likely set his Twitter habit aside once he became president.

To think that many of us actually had hope he would deliver on that pledge. Silly us.

So “unpresidented.”

Trump seeks to tighten screws on N. Korea

Donald J. Trump has acted appropriately with regard to North Korea. Instead of blustering about delivering “fire and fury” to the Marxist regime, he has returned North Korea to the list of nations that sponsor terrorism.

The president has made the correct call.

He is seeking to isolate North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in his effort to build a nuclear weapons arsenal. The aim, according to Trump, is to impose the strictest economic sanctions possible on the rogue nation. It’s also meant to pressure China, North Korea’s chief trading partner, into following suit.

I don’t know about you, but I believe this approach holds far greater potential than threats of military strikes.

The designation — which reverses a decision made by President George W. Bush in 2008 — puts North Korea on a short list of state-sponsored-terrorist nations; the others are Sudan, Iran and Syria.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doubts the designation will have much practical effect, given that the United States already has imposed heavy sanctions on North Korea. But he is talking openly about his “hope for diplomacy” in the effort to persuade North Korea to stand down in its effort to build a nuclear arsenal.

The great Winston Churchill once told us it was better to “jaw, jaw, jaw than to war, war, war.”

The late British prime minister’s wisdom ought to apply to the present-day crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

This shouldn’t be funny, but it is

I shouldn’t be giggling when a head of state declares a death sentence on another head of state.

Except that the guy who’s issuing the death sentence is Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator/strongman/fruitcake. The object of his death sentence? None other than Donald John Trump Sr., the current president of the United States of America.

My goodness. I’ll be brief with this one.

Kim didn’t like being called “short and fat” in a tweet flashed around the world by Trump. Except that the president said he “wouldn’t” call Kim “short and fat.” Not ever. Oh, but wait. He did anyway!

Rodong Sinmun, the North Korea government-run newspaper, wrote in an editorial: “The worst crime for which he can never be pardoned is that he dared [to] malignantly hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership.”

As if Kim had any “dignity” that could possibly be “malignantly hurt.”

I don’t know, though, what could be worse. That Kim would issue this bogus “death sentence,” or that the president will be prompted to fire back an idiotic response.

Trump tweet is ‘almost funny’

I now am going to admit something.

I giggled a bit when I read something about what Donald Trump tweeted about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Kim supposedly said something about Trump being “old.” The president took offense. He said he’d never call Kim “short and fat.”

Oops! Didn’t he just do exactly that? Sure he did.

Actually I found the president’s tweet kinda/sorta clever. But I don’t want to encourage him to keep doing it.

You see, the worldwide stakes are pretty damn high. Kim wants to build a nuclear weapon delivery system that reaches the United States of America. He’s said so publicly. Trump keeps yammering about “the military option” being on the table.

It’s a dangerous world out there, Mr. President. Going to war in Korea isn’t an option — and I don’t give a damn what the president threatens to do if Kim keeps “threatening” the United States and South Korea.

He’s dealing with someone no one outside of North Korea seems to know. No one can determine with any certainty how he will respond to these kinds of personal insults.

I just wish the president would stop saying out loud what he’s entitled to think in private.

Now POTUS welcomes talks with North Korea

Donald J. Trump is all over the pea patch regarding North Korea.

The president a few weeks ago tweeted that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was wasting his time seeking a direct meeting with North Koreans regarding that country’s threats to use nuclear weapons against the United States and South Korea.

Oh, but while visiting South Korea this week, the president has let it be known that he would be willing to talk to North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un.

Which is it, Mr. President?

Frankly, I welcome the second overture far more than the first one.

Trump did offer some tough rhetoric during a speech this week to the South Korean parliament, warning the North about “underestimating” the United States. He told Kim that his efforts to bolster his nuclear arsenal put his regime in “grave danger.”

That all might be so much bluster and bravado if negotiation remains somewhere on the large table of options.

I continue to believe, as many others have said publicly, that there is no “good” military option in seeking to “de-nuclearize” the Korean Peninsula. A diplomatic solution is the only sensible path.

My strongest hope is that the president is going to lead the nation down that path, rather than the one that is fraught with grave danger for the entire planet.

‘Only one thing will work’? Really?

Donald J. Trump sounds like a man intent on leading the United States of America to war.

At any cost.

The tweeter in chief blasted out yet another warning to North Korea today, suggesting that 25 years of negotiation with the communist dictatorship has been so futile, so fraught with frustration that there’s no other diplomatic channel left to explore.

He tweeted this: Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid…… …hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!

There you have it. The president of the United States, the commander in chief of the world’s most powerful military machine has all but said that there’s no more talking to be done.

“Only one thing will work!” he said. One thing. What do you suppose that might be?

Let’s presume he means the “military option.” What happens when we strike North Korea’s missile launchers, but don’t get all of them? What happens when we hit their thousands of artillery pieces lined up and aimed straight at Seoul, South Korea — but don’t get them all? Does North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un make good on his threat to strike? Gosh, I would think he would do precisely that.

Then comes the consequence. Many thousands of deaths. Perhaps millions. Many of them will be civilians. And yes, we’ve got those 28,000 American troops sitting right in the middle of it all, along with tens of thousands more American civilians.

We are witnessing first hand the dangers of conducting foreign policy by Twitter. The president of the United States needs to weigh his words carefully, no matter how he delivers his message.

Then again, a president cast from the same mold of others would understand that. Not this guy, Donald Trump. He “tells it like it is.”

I believe Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s widely reported description of the president as a “moron” is looking more accurate with each passing day.

Declaration of war? Not even close, Mr. Foreign Minister

A statement by North Korea’s foreign minister might have gotten muddled in the translation, but I feel the need to set the record straight for this fellow.

Ri Yong Ho has accused Donald J. Trump of “declaring war” on North Korea with his threats of using military force if the North Koreans continue to threaten the United States and our allies.

According to Reuters: “The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country,” Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York.

Let’s step back here.

I believe Ri needs a quickie lesson on U.S. government civics.

The president of the United States cannot “declare war” on anyone. A declaration of war in this country is a multi-step process, Mr. Foreign Minister — which is something that is alien to you and your dictator/despot Kim Jong Un.

The president prepares a declaration document, which he then presents to our Congress. He then requests the legislative branch of government to issue a declaration. The last time we did that was on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after Japan attacked our naval and Army air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Congress voted virtually unanimously to declare war; by the way, U.S. Rep. Jeannette Rankin of Montana voted “no,” just as she had done when Congress declared war against Germany during World War I. Foreign Minister Ri also should know that Rep. Rankin wasn’t jailed — either time — for her principled votes.

Do I agree with Donald Trump’s bluster and bellicosity with regard to North Korea? No. He’s risking — with his taunts and childish name-calling — the potential for provoking Kim into doing something stupid in the extreme.

But he didn’t “declare war.” That’s not how we do it in this country. Our founders established a system that limited the president’s power to issue such a declaration. He’s got to ask for it from the legislative branch of government.

There. Lesson over.