Tag Archives: Kim Jong Un

Yes, we’ve seen ‘fire and fury,’ Mr. President

You no doubt remember when Donald John Trump threatened North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un earlier this year with “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen.”

Kim had issued some threats to the United States. The president was having none of it. Well, the president isn’t exactly a student of history, as we know.

Seventy-three years ago today, one of Trump’s predecessors, President Harry Truman, issued the order to release a new kind of “fire and fury” on a nation with which we were at war.

A U.S. Army Air Force B-29 bomber took off on Aug. 6, 1945, from Tinian Island and headed for Hiroshima, Japan. It dropped a single bomb on Hiroshima. It killed tens of thousands of Japanese citizens in an instant. It was the first time the world saw a nuclear weapon deployed in a hostile act. It wouldn’t be the final time.

Three days later, another bomber flew over Nagasaki, Japan, and repeated the destruction.

The Japanese surrendered five days later, ending the world’s greatest, bloodiest and costliest conflict.

President Truman took office in April 1945 upon the death of President Franklin Roosevelt. The new president knew only a tiny bit of information about the Manhattan Project, where scientists were working on this terrible new weapon way out yonder in Los Alamos, N.M.

President Truman was briefed fully not long after he took office. The military brass told him, in effect, “Mr. President, we have this weapon under development that we believe will bring a quick end to the war.” The president agreed.

He would say many years later that he harbored no regret over using the atomic bomb. I have saluted President Truman many times over the years for the decision he made, based on the evidence he had at the time — and the lives he saved by persuading the enemy to surrender and allowing us to forgo an invasion of Japan by sea, air and land forces.

Fire and fury? There it was.

Trump and Kim: a new ‘bromance’?

Donald J. Trump sent this message out via Twitter …

Thank you to Chairman Kim Jong Un for keeping your word & starting the process of sending home the remains of our great and beloved missing fallen! I am not at all surprised that you took this kind action. Also, thank you for your nice letter – l look forward to seeing you soon!

Nice note, Mr. President.

Any chance you could challenge Kim about reports that he’s accelerating his nuclear weapon development, rather than scaling it down — as he promised?

Remains come home; now comes the task of ID’ing them

Vice President Mike Pence flew to Hawaii and welcomed the delivery of remains that U.S. officials hope — and believe — are those of Korean War veterans who were lost in that bloody conflict nearly 70 years ago.

We all join in the hope that the families of the men who were lost can obtain some closure — finally — to the grievous loss they suffered in the early 1950s.

“Some have called the Korean War the forgotten war but today we prove these heroes were never forgotten. Today, our boys are coming home,” Pence said at the ceremony where officials received the remains.

Read The Hill’s account here.

Yes, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un delivered on at least this one pledge he made when he met with Donald Trump in Singapore in June.

There now lies ahead the painstaking task of conducting forensic testing to determine the identities of the remains that have been delivered. U.S. officials today received 55 caskets. Each of the remains will be identified in due course.

Allow me a moment to put some of this tragic issue into some perspective. U.S. families and officials are rightly concerned about the loss of those who perished in wars abroad. They often pale in comparison to the agony that those on the other side also endure.

In 1989, I had the pleasure of touring Vietnam with other journalists. We traveled from Hanoi to Saigon, meeting with officials, many of whom were in office during the Vietnam War that claimed more than 50,000 American lives. It also has produced a missing in action list of some 2,000 or so Americans whose fate have not yet been determined.

We brought that issue up with a Vietnamese official, who then scolded us — politely, I must add. Vietnam needs no lecture from Americans on accounting for those who are MIA, he told us, adding that Vietnam (in 1989) had about 300,000 men missing from what the Vietnamese call “the American war.” I don’t know how many of those missing Vietnamese fighting men have been recovered and identified.

The point is that no matter how much anxiety we feel on our side of these conflicts, we also ought to extend a bit of empathy to those on the other side who, as fellow human beings, are enduring the same agony.

Only their numbers far exceed ours.

Still, I welcome Vice President’s pledge to ensure the return of these missing warriors. As the vice president noted, “Our work will not be completed until all our fallen heroes are accounted for and home.”

Now he’ll meet with Iranians … after issuing dire threat

This is how Donald J. Trump rolls.

He threatens a world leader with annihilation, then tosses out a suggestion that he might be willing to meet with him.

Trump threatened North Korean dictator Kim “Little Rocket Man” Jong Un with “total destruction,” then met with him in Singapore ostensibly to persuade the North Koreans to get rid of their nukes.

They didn’t agree to it. The meeting hasn’t been nearly as fruitful as Trump describes it.

Now it’s Iran’s turn. Trump fired off an all-cap tweet threatening to blow Iran to bits. Now he wants to talk to them.

Hey, let’s talk.

I happen to support any discussion that pre-empts military conflict with Iran. The president wants to talk about a new nuclear deal that Trump tossed aside, calling it a terrible deal.

Trump’s track record on negotiating anything at any level is quite suspect. Still, if he’s willing to talk directly to the Iranians, then he ought to proceed.

I believe it was Winston Churchill who once said it is better to “jaw, jaw, jaw than to war, war, war.”

Keep jawing, Mr. President.

Social media etiquette gives way to threat of war

Get a load of a tweet that came from the fingers — reportedly — of the president of the United States.

To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!

Isn’t that amazing?

Rouhani made some kind of threat to launch the “mother of all wars” against the United States.

Donald J. Trump answered with this message via Twitter.

I’m a frequent Twitter user myself. Trust me on this: I am not an expert on social media etiquette, not that having good manners is necessarily a requirement at all times. I do know, though, that typing something in all caps denotes an anger that some could construe borders on instability. Is that the message that Donald Trump seeks to convey to the Iranian president?

Yes, he did the same thing with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. He threatened him with total destruction. He spoke of the threat of “fire and fury.” Kim and Trump did meet in Singapore. The jury is out on what was accomplished. This much appears to be certain: The world remains under threat of a nuclear North Korea, no matter what the president has said.

So, what’s the deal with this all-cap Twitter message? If the president intends to convey the message that he is so angry that he’s out of control, well, millions of Americans have harbored those thoughts already.

Which is worse, the Iran deal or the N. Korea non-deal?

Donald J. Trump campaigned for the U.S. presidency vowing to toss aside the Iranian nuclear arms deal brokered by the Obama administration.

He did what he promised to do. We’re now out of the deal, even though our partner nations remain committed to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

So, what does the president do? He goes to Singapore, meets with North Korean despot Kim Jong Un, declares the North Korean nuclear threat to be over after supposedly extracting a pledge to “denuclearize” the Korean Peninsula.

Except that Kim Jong Un didn’t agree to what Trump said he did. Now we hear that Kim is accelerating his nuclear weapon development.

Oh, and the Iran deal actually resulted in the Iranians getting rid of fissile material it could have used to build a nuclear bomb.

All of this comes from the guy who pledged to make the “best deals” in the history of humankind. He promised to end the “disastrous” deals worked out by President Barack Obama’s team in conjunction with our allies.

However, he didn’t get any kind of deal from Kim Jong Un.

Now he’s headed to Helsinki, Finland, where he’ll meet one-on-one — sans national security aides — with Russian strongman/former KGB boss Vladimir Putin.

What in the world can go wrong with that meeting?

Regrettable = productive?

One man’s “regrettable” must be another man’s “productive.”

North Korean despot Kim Jong Un described his talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as “regrettable.”

Oh, but Pompeo had earlier called the talks “productive.”

Pompeo has traveled to Pyongyang to visit with North Korea’s “Dear Liar” after word leaked out that Kim Jong Un was secretly building up his nuclear weapons program after promising to “work toward” getting rid of it.

Are we careening back to Square One with North Korea and its tyrannical leader, the guy Donald J. Trump Sr. described as trustworthy, a “strong leader” and someone who “loves” the people he allows to starve to death while he builds up his military machine?

My only conclusion from afar is that one side’s definition of “productive” is seen as “regrettable” by the other side.

Pathetic.

Will Putin follow Kim’s lead in dealing with POTUS?

Kim Jong Un appears to have deceived the president of the United States. He pledged to “work toward” ending his nuclear weapons program, only to be revealed to have accelerated nuclear development at secret sites in North Korea.

Donald J. Trump is getting set to meet with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. They will meet one on one. Putin has met with four previous U.S. presidents at these high level summits; Trump is a rookie at it.

How are supposed to have faith that the president is going to fare any better with Putin than he did with Kim Jong Un?

I have zero faith. No surprise there, right?

Kim snookered Trump, or so it appears. Pure and simple. The president was waylaid by the young despot, who seemed to tell Trump what he wanted to hear — only to reveal his true character, if you want to call what he exhibits any form of “character.”

The New York Times’s David Sanger has written a fascinating piece on how Trump evolved from “fire and fury” to dismissing the North Korean threats. Read it here.

Kim went from Little Rocket Man to a man of peace, a man to be trusted, a “strong leader,” someone who “loves his people” who love him in return.

Trump hasn’t made such an about-face with Putin. He continues to talk about the Russian president in much the same manner he always has talked about him. Even in light of the Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election!

This is a frightening time, man!

I’m frightened for the United States. I love my country too much to sit still while the president continues to get handed his head by foreign leaders.

What about those nuke sites, Mr. President?

The question of the day for Donald John Trump Sr. is this: Do you still believe Kim Jong Un is to be trusted after he promised to “work toward” ending his nuclear weapons ambitions?

Those darn satellite surveillance pictures generally don’t lie. They are revealing that the North Koreans are accelerating their nuclear weapons development, not scaling them back as Kim supposedly promised when he and Trump met in Singapore.

Trump came out of that meeting singing the praises of the guy he once disparaged as Little Rocket Man. He sounded so trusting of the guy, kind of like the way he sounds when talking about Russian strongman/president Vladimir Putin.

One doesn’t “make America great again” by being made to look like a fool on the world stage, Mr. President.

Kim might be lying about nukes? No-o-o!

News reports of the past day or two tell us that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has been, um, lying about his pledge to work toward getting rid of his nuclear arsenal.

Donald J. Trump had that meeting with Kim this past month and praised the former Little Rocket Man with heaping praise about his honesty, trustworthiness and commitment to peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Now there’s possible word that Kim has been accelerating nuclear testing at secret sites. He isn’t winding ’em down!

Could it be that Little Rocket Man has taken POTUS for a joy ride aboard a nuclear-armed clown car?

Hey, I’m not making light of this. The president’s assurances about Kim’s commitment to peace needed a lot more “extreme vetting” before he offered them to the rest of the world.

Scary.