Tag Archives: North Korea

No Peace Prize for POTUS this year

Well, there goes the Nobel Peace Prize for Donald John Trump.

Some folks had been beating the Peace Prize drum for the president on the basis of a proposed summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Then the North Korean despot began talking negatively about Donald Trump, the United States, South Korea … you name it.

Now the summit is a goner. It won’t happen as planned on June 12 in Singapore. Will it be revived? Who knows?

I was one who had some hope that it could produce a breakthrough in U.S.-North Korea relations. It won’t.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the president’s announcement that the summit had been canceled was his return to the tough-guy rhetoric that mentions the immense power of the U.S. nuclear weaponry. As CNN reported: And he renewed his boasts of America’s nuclear weapons, which he called “so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” 

Then he added this in a statement from the Roosevelt Room in the White House: “Our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world — that has been greatly enhanced recently, as we all know — is ready as necessary.”

It makes me respond: Duh!

The entire world knows this already, Mr. President. Including Kim Jong Un. There was some thought expressed that Trump’s in-your-face rhetoric about the size of his nuclear arsenal brought about the prospects of the summit in the first place.

I hope we’re not headed back to Square One with Kim Jong Un.

Today, though, was a serious setback in the quest for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

‘Libya model’ in play … or not?

That didn’t take long.

Donald Trump brings John Bolton aboard just a few weeks ago to be national security adviser. Bolton, a noted hard-liner, then tell Fox News that the president will follow the “Libya model” in shaping U.S. policy with regard to North Korea’s nuclear program.

What does the president then do? In Bolton’s presence, he tells reporters he isn’t following the Libya model, that he’s going to craft a unique policy as it concerns efforts to persuade North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons.

“The Libyan model isn’t a model that we have at all, when we’re thinking of North Korea (DPRK),” Trump told reporters at the White House before meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

You see, the Libya model didn’t work out well for the late Moammar Gadhafi, the strongman who used to run Libya.

Rebels revolted there, overthrew Gadhafi, then captured him and dragged off to some location — and then killed him! He’s dead, man!

Do you think North Korea’s strongman, Kim Jong Un, wants to hear some comparison to the Libya model? I, um, do not believe so.

Trump is trying to preserve some semblance of hope that he and Kim will actually meet next month in Singapore to discuss a whole range of issues. It’s a big deal, this meeting. U.S. presidents and North Korean dictators have never met face to face.

Trump’s rhetoric about Kim has transformed from threats to “Little Rocket Man” to high praise for him as someone interested in forging an actual peace treaty with South Korea.

Then his national security adviser, Bolton, steps in it by referring to an event that ended badly for another world leader.

Let’s get our nation’s message straight, shall we?

What happened to those sweet nothings?

All that sweet talk Donald J. Trump has been heaping on Kim Jong Un of late seems to have gone into one ear and out the other.

The North Korean dictator seems to be putting the planned Trump-Kim summit in some jeopardy because he’s angry over the planned joint military exercises that will take place with South Korean and American troops.

Kim thinks the military maneuvers are meant to prepare for an invasion of North Korea, or so he says. Thus, the summit might not happen if Kim decides to pull the plug on it.

What is happening here?

U.S. and South Korean troops have been practicing for years since the ceasefire ended shooting during the Korean War. We haven’t invaded the North yet. The exercises are meant to prepare the South for a possible invasion from the North; I mean, the North did invade the South in 1950, which caused the Korean War. Kim Jong Un’s grandfather started the fight.

The president of the United States was yammering about “little Rocket Man,” and bragging about the size of his “nuclear button.” He was taunting Kim to try anything at all to provoke a response that would deliver “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen.”

Donald Trump changed secretaries of state. The new guy at State, Mike Pompeo, went to North Korea in secret and then the nations announced the summit between Trump and Kim.

Suddenly, Kim has become a paragon of virtue in Trump’s mind. He released those three Americans he held captive. Trump hailed Kim Jong Un as a fine man, a wonderful fellow.

Now we have Kim threatening to upset everything all over again.

Don’t tell me the North Korean despot responses positively only to epithets. That cannot possibly be true, can it?

My hope is that Trump holds his fire. If he’s able.

Give credit where it is due

I’ll admit to being a bit slow on the uptake with this word of praise for the president of the United States.

My wife and I are in the midst of executing a relocation from one community another. I’m taking a breather at the moment. So … here goes.

Donald J. Trump managed to secure the release of three Americans held hostage by North Korean dictator/goofball Kim Jong Un. I want to give the president a good word that release on the eve of his June summit with Kim, which will occur in Singapore.

Kim Jong Un is a nasty fellow who runs a nasty regime that adheres to a nasty ideology. That the three Americans — all of Korean descent — have come out of their imprisonment in relatively good shape is nothing short of miraculous.

Trump, though, seemed to stumble on his success when he welcomed the men back home at 3 a.m. While delivering some impromptu remarks, the president seemed to heap some undeserved praise on Kim, calling his behavior “excellent.”

I’m shaking my head a bit. Mr. President, Kim Jong Un held these men against their will, leveling a bogus espionage charge against them. There is nothing “excellent” about that act. Nothing, sir!

The president deserves an “excellent” grade, though, for dispatching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to work out the details of the summit — and for bringing the three American captives home.

As for Kim Jong Un, I feel the need to caution the president to tread very carefully in the weeks leading up to the summit. Kim cannot be trusted to do the right thing any more than some of Trump’s own critics — and that includes yours truly — can trust him to do right.

Still, well done, Mr. President, in securing the release of these three Americans.

Welcome home, American hostages

Three Americans held hostage are on their way home, where they’ll likely get quite a red-carpet welcome led by the president of the United States.

They were held by North Koreans who held them on phony “espionage” charges.

This is a most positive development, although we should take care to avoid overstating it — or understating it, for that matter.

Donald J. Trump’s tough talk directed at North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un well might be part of a remarkable change in tone coming from the reclusive Marxist regime in Pyongyang. If that is the case — and it’s a bit early to make that final determination — then we might be witnessing a new form of “diplomacy” practiced by the leader of the free world.

Trump and Kim and headed for a landmark summit. Trump is demanding an end to the Kim’s nuclear-weapon development aspirations. Kim wants assurances that the United States won’t invade North Korea. Yes, there remains a huge gulf between the sides.

However, that gulf got a bit narrower today with the release of these three Americans — all of Korean descent. Let’s now hope their health is as good as it has been advertised, and that the two leaders can proceed toward a summit that leads to a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Nobel for Trump? Not … just … yet!

They’re chanting “No-bel! No-bel! No-bel!” at a political rally in Michigan, where the president of the United States is staging a campaign rally.

Why the chant? Well, the crowd of Trumpkins thinks Donald Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize because North and South Korea’s leaders shook hands at the DMZ and promised to pledged to sign a peace treaty that ends the Korean War, where the shooting stopped in 1953.

My response? Hold the phone! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

If North Korean President Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in sign that peace treaty, if Kim Jong Un disassembles nuclear weapons, and if there is a demonstrable lessening of tension on the Korean Peninsula, then let’s consider whether the president deserves the Peace Prize.

Nothing of substance has happened. There might be nothing that will happen. The planned Kim meeting with Donald Trump still hasn’t occurred. Trump has said if it is “not fruitful,” he would walk away from the meeting with Kim.

How would that look to the Nobel committee that awards these prizes? Not well, if you ask me.

If North and South Korea strike a peace deal, if the North de-nukes the peninsula and if Kim and Trump strike a long-term agreement that leads to normalization of relations between the U.S. and the reclusive Marxist regime …

By all means, consider the president as a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. But not before.

Oh, and one more thing. If by chance Donald Trump actually is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the entire world will never hear the end of it.

Never!

Wishing for success creates emotional conflict

I have made no secret of my loathing, disgust and anger at Donald J. Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States.

I won’t back down from any of those feelings.

That all said, I am torn at this moment. The president is on the verge of scoring a major success that if it comes through will benefit the entire planet, not just the country he leads.

North and South Korea might be on the verge of forging a peace agreement that ends officially the Korean War. Moreover, they might be willing to “de-nuclearize” the Korean Peninsula, which of course means that North Korea could abandon its plans to build a nuclear arsenal.

The Korean War ended in 1953 with a ceasefire. They never signed a peace treaty, which means the Koreas remain in a state of war.

The president is likely to take credit bigly for whatever good comes from a peace treaty and a possible disarming of North Korea.

He’ll deserve credit. All of it? I’ll wait for that one.

I fear that Trump will boast and brag his way past any good feelings that would result. Believe me, his critics — such as yours truly — will be hard-pressed to speak kindly of the president, which means it will take little for us to walk back the good thoughts and public pronouncements that will come his way.

However, when the president succeeds, the nation succeeds. We all should be bigger than our personal dislike, distaste and disgust that Donald Trump is at the center of it.

I’ll hope for the best on the Korean Peninsula.

Why cast aspersions on predecessors?

International statecraft is a nuanced endeavor, but it’s not an entirely complicated matter.

The best practitioners of it look forward and don’t bother looking back, let alone tossing stones at those who came before them in the high office they occupy.

Thus, Donald Trump’s statements today about the pending peace agreement between South and North Korea lacked a sense of nobility one might expect from the president of the United States.

Trump spoke to the media along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He spoke seriously about the handshake and the historic meeting that occurred overnight between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in. The two men have agreed to strike a peace deal on the Korean Peninsula, ending the official state of war that has existed since the Korean War hostilities ended in 1953.

Then he did that thing that annoys the living daylights out of me. He kept referring to his presidential predecessors’ “mistakes” in dealing with the reclusive North Korean regime.

Holy crap, Mr. President! Enough, already!

I expect fully for Trump take full credit for the deal that awaits the two Koreas. That’s fine. He can take credit if he wishes. But the expected deal came together through a complicated network of international relationships.

I just want the president to look forward from here. Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in have taken a huge step toward a long-sought-after peace agreement. It was forged by the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men — roughly 50,000 of whom were Americans — who fought a war that ended in a stalemate.

There is no need — none at all — for the president to re-litigate how his predecessors sought in vain to achieve the noble goal of peace in Korea.

Peace treaty in Korea? Holy cow!

I awoke this morning to an absolute stunner of an announcement.

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in — the presidents of North and South Korea, respectively — have agreed to actually end the Korean War.

End the war? Yes. The Korean War never officially ended with a peace treaty. They stopped the shooting in 1953 after an armistice was signed, ending three years of bloody conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

The Koreas has been functioning with a cease-fire in place. The Demilitarized Zone separating the countries is nothing of the kind: it is the most militarized piece of real estate on Earth.

So, where do we go from here?

Kim and Moon signed an agreement to end the war. The treaty signing will occur later this year, according to the document the men signed.

But there’s more. There now appears some serious movement toward discussions relating to the denuclearization of the peninsula. That’s right. Kim Jong Un has agreed, apparently, to enter serious talks to take down his country’s nuclear ambitions.

Now for a big question: Who gets the credit for this seemingly monumental event? I have a strong hunch that the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, is going to claim all the credit for himself. He is likely to tell us his tough talk regarding “Little Rocket Man” has brought Kim to his senses.

Well, the president deserves some credit. He needs to share it with the People’s Republic of China, which quite likely also has persuaded Kim to end this ongoing conflict. North Korea has precisely one dependable ally on Earth. It is the PRC. Does anyone believe that Kim would do anything so significant without China signing off?

I am stunned today to hear the news that came out of Korea.

Let us all say a prayer that Kim Jong Un — who is as mercurial and unpredictable as Donald Trump — remains faithful to the signature he has affixed on a document pledging to end the Korean War.

Sixty-five years after the end of the bloodshed, it’s about time!

‘Very honorable’? Kim Jong Un? Huh?

Donald J. Trump is buttering up the guy he used to ridicule as Little Rocket Man.

The president of the United States calls the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, “very honorable” and “very open” in advance of the planned summit between the two leaders set for sometime in May or June.

I wasn’t keen on the Little Rocket Man epithet, given that it sounded unseemly for the president of the United States to use such language to describe another sovereign nation’s leader.

However, I must take issue with Trump’s latest assessment of Kim Jong Un.

A dictator and despot who allows his people to starve while he pours untold amounts of money into building a military infrastructure isn’t “honorable.” A guy who has members of his own family murdered is the farthest thing from “honorable.” A leader who threatens nuclear holocaust against his neighbors and then fires missiles over their heads to intimidate them isn’t “honorable” by any stretch of the imagination.

I get that the president is talking about Kim Jong Un’s conduct in the run-up to the planned summit.

Let’s cool the talk about honor as it regards this guy. He is still a dangerous actor performing on a perilous world stage.