aside N Korea Is Responding To John Bolton’s Hard Line Rhetoric For Libya Style Deal

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JOHN BOLTON

Well the inevitable happened. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un has just put the US on notice that the talks scheduled between the republican Donald Trump and he for June 2018 may not happen. A top level Korean official, Kim Kye-gwan specifically took aim at the president’s new National Security Advisor John Bolton’s advertising this past weekend of May 12, 2018 that the US is anticipating a Libya type deal. In the Libya scenario, its former Leader Gaddafi gave up his nuclear stockpile only to end up brutally murdered as a result of US intervention.

This hiccup was to be expected as it is in line with what had happened in past attempts of US to construct a peace agreement with N Korea, going back decades.  The planned summit will likely go forward but it behooves the president to be a bit more discreet in his tweeting about this upcoming event.

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As per May 15, 2018 LA Times report by Michael McGough, “When South Korea’s news agency reported Tuesday that North Korea abruptly had canceled a high-level meeting with South Korean officials – and might be having second thoughts about a summit meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Trump – a colleague suggested that Kim was playing the part of Lucy in the old “Peanuts” comic strip. Lucy, you’ll remember, held the football for Good Ol’ Charlie Brown to kick, but, in a betrayal repeated again and again, pulled it away before he could connect.”

“Kim hasn’t yet yanked away the prospect of a summit that Trump has described as “highly anticipated” and which he believes both leaders will try to make “a very special moment for World Peace!”    This may be the first of many stutters in a process that still might lead to a meeting next month in Singapore, perhaps even a productive one.”

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KIM JONG UN/ TRUMP

“Still, there is a lesson for Trump in the North’s sudden change of tune, inspired by joint U.S.-South Korean air force exercises. Kim remains an unpredictable figure, and it is way too soon for Trump to boast about his succeeding where his predecessors have failed. And don’t rush to make room in the Oval Office for that Nobel Peace Prize.”

“A State Department spokeswoman said late Tuesday that the department had “received no formal or even informal notification of anything” from North Korean officials and that planning for the summit was proceeding. Presumably U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials will be reaching out to both Koreas in the next few hours to gauge the state of play.”

“Meanwhile, Trump would do well to refrain from taking to Twitter to express either alarm about Tuesday’s developments or confidence that this too shall pass. But hoping for such self-control  from this president may be as unrealistic as expecting Lucy to change.” 

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Here’s the rest of the story…

On May 15, 2018, John Haltiwanger and David Choi of Business Insider penned the following report, “The Trump-Kim Jong Un summit looks like it’s on thin ice as North Korea flips on the US”

Excerpts:

  • “The North Korean government threatened to cancel the impending summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported.”
  • “The threat came amid ongoing joint military drills involving South Korea and the US.”
  • “Kim’s government warned the US will “have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit in light of this provocative military ruckus.”
  • “The Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s propaganda media outlet, later announced that it will reconsider the Trump-Kim summit if the US insists on dismantling the regime’s nuclear program.”
  • “Trump’s summit with Kim, set to focus on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, was planned for June 12 in Singapore.”
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon

“The North Korean government threatened to cancel the impending summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un over ongoing joint military drills involving South Korea and the US, the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported Tuesday (5/15/18).”

“According to the report, North Korea’s state-run news agency claimed the military exercises amounted to a rehearsal for an invasion, which has been a common complaint from the rogue state when such drills have occurred in the past.”

“Kim’s government warned the US will “have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit in light of this provocative military ruckus.”

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“The Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s propaganda media outlet, later announced that it will reconsider holding a summit with Trump if the US insisted on scrapping the country’s nuclear program.”

“North Korea also on Wednesday reportedly canceled a planned summit with South Korea because of the drills, known as Max Thunder.”

“South Korea’s Unification Ministry said the North’s decision to scuttle the planned meeting broke the spirit of their previous agreements: “It is regrettable that North Korea unilaterally postponed the South-North high-level meeting citing the annual joint [US-South Korean] air exercises as it does not correspond to the fundamental spirit and the purpose of the Panmunjom Declaration,” a spokesperson said in a statement.”

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and wife Ri Sol Ju, and Chinese President Xi

“Max Thunder began on May 11 and was set to last for two weeks. The military exercise occurs annually and involves US and South Korean aircraft and roughly 1,500 Air Force personnel.”

“The US Department of Defense hinted it wouldn’t back down on conducting the exercises.”

“While we will not discuss specifics, the defensive nature of these combined exercises has been clear for many decades and has not changed,” said Col. Rob Manning, a DoD spokesman, in a statement.”

“The State Department was seemingly surprised by North Korea’s apparent threat to cancel the summit.”

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“We have no information on that,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We need to verify it.”

“Meanwhile, the White House said it’s “aware” of the reports on North Korea’s alleged threats, adding, “The US will look at what North Korea has said independently, and continue to coordinate closely with our allies.”

“Trump’s summit with Kim, planned to focus on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, is tentatively set for June 12 in Singapore.”

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“In 2017, North Korea conducted a series of long-range missile tests, leading to a war of words between Trump and Kim. The tests also led the international community to issue harsh economic sanctions against Kim’s regime.”

“But North Korea shifted its tone and behavior in 2018, rekindling relations with South Korea and opening up the possibility for dialogue with the US.”

“Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a historic summit in late April in which they pledged to work toward ridding the Korean Peninsula of nukes and the formal cessation of the Korean War.”

20 comments

  1. Perhaps I am a pessimist … I never used to be, but this is, after all, the era of Trump where anything that can go wrong, will … but I think the summit was doomed from the start. Why? Because Trump wants Kim to do all the giving — full de-nuclearization — without giving much, if anything, in return. Trump thinks of himself as the greatest wheeler-dealer in the world and seeks only deals where he comes out the “winner”, not ones of mutual benefit. When the summit was first announced, I felt a chill, for if there is a way to botch it, Trump will find it, and then … add Bolton to the mix and we have a recipe for disaster. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s my take after watching the posturing over the past year. Great post, by the way … thanks!
    Hugs!!!

    • I totally agree with Jill, for this summit to succeed Trump will have to negotiate a win-win deal, something he’s not accustomed to doing. He will also need to reign in his juvenile ego, which is his biggest Achilles heel.

      Now that he’s firmly a NeoCon puppet with Bolton on board, N. Korea knows exactly what his agenda is… to subvert sovereign nations and initiate regime change when that targeted nation cannot defend itself any longer. He’s like a wolf in elephant’s clothing…. way too transparent.

    • Dear Jill and 1EarthUnited,

      My blogging family are so brilliant. Frankly, both the N Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump are loose canons with the first, being more sane.

      The N Korean official who is advising its leader is no fool. They needed to push Mr. Bolton out of the picture because, if he could figure out a way to blow this up, he would. Mr. Bolton has been a long time advocate for a US preemptive strike on N Korea.

      They used the US and S Korean military exercises as a pretext to get this done and it was probably done with the approval of S Korea.

      I am skeptical about the chances for success because if I were in N Korea’s shoes, there is no way that I would be agreeable to total denuclearization in the short time. The one positive note is that the president wants this to work. As nuts as this sounds, this is our one real chance to avoid a war situation.

      The president’s team will have to figure out a win-win agreement before the president steps into the room and says anything.

      Jill, Thanks a million times for all of your support ans for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Thanks Gronda! And just this evening I saw a headline … I haven’t read the story yet … that said Trump says that if Kim Jong-un doesn’t agree to his ‘deal’, he will end up like Gaddafi. Really smart thing to say, eh? Sigh. Hugs, my friend.

  2. I have to agree with Jill. If I were Kim and the US held shows of power even after agreeing to a summit meeting, I would not be impressed. It would tell me that DT was unsure of his negotiating skills and methods, and that he was keeping his fighting forces on high alert. Based on his past USA or nothing negotiations, I wouldn’t even bother trying. I’d probably attack first, IF I WERE KIM. But I’m not Kim, let’s hope he has more sense than I would, if I were him.

    • Dear Rawgod,

      Let’s pray that the N Korean leader Kim Jong Un has more sense. I consider him to be the more sane of the 2 principles in this negotiation.Realistically, the US cannot continue the hard line stance that N Korea has to agree to complete denuclearization in the short term as this is an unrealistic demand.

      As you are saying, the US team has to come up with a win-win proposition which means the deal has to be a fait accomplis, before the president says, word one.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • The US might have to come up with a win-win situation to be a good political entity, but that is not Trump’s “modus operendi.” He prefer “I win, you lose.” And that scares me all the more…

  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Yesterday, the North Korean government announced that the summit scheduled for next month between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump may not come to pass. Frankly, this news did not surprise me one bit, as when the meeting was first announced, I made a bet with myself as to which leader would be the first to find fault and cancel the meeting. Frankly, I lost the bet, for I thought it would be the petulant Trump who would cancel first. Our friend Gronda has done a fine job of bringing us up to date on the situation as it presently stands, and the reasons for North Korea’s stance, and so I am sharing her excellent post, rather than re-invent the wheel. Please take a few minutes to read, for this is a situation that is likely to be volatile for some time to come, and we need to be aware. Thank you, Gronda!

  4. Terrific post. On a lighter topic, just for fun and to show the world what nice fellas they are, Trump and “Lil Kimmy should trade hair styles. Trump gets ‘Lil Kimmy’s and ‘Lil Kimmy gets Trump’s. Ya’ gotta admit, it’d be fun to see.

    • Dear Inspiredbythedivine1,

      Both their hairstyles are a wonder to behold. But the president is lacking a sense of humor when it comes to himself. I like the cartoon where both are showing their rockets.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Very true. Trump, and Republicans in general, I find to be completely lacking a sense of humor, particularly of the self-deprecating kind. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re far too serious.

    • Dear Roger,

      As usual, you hit the nail right on. Mr. Bolton is not the president and this was no slip of the tongue. If he could figure out a way to derail this summit, he would. He has been a long time advocate of a preemptive strike on N Korea.

      The N Korea’s officials’ move to cancel the meeting with S Korea was a brilliant move. N Korea needed to figure out a way to neutralize Mr. Bolton and this slight of hand, worked.

      This does not mean that I hold out much hope for a success with these summit talks, but if there’s a chance, I don’t want it scuttled at the start.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • What else can I say; the man is an idiot!
        No, something else occurred to me this creature who is so keen on war; back in 1970 is opted for National Guard service than go to Vietnam, because he did not want to die in S E Asia in a futile war……
        Really…
        Hypocrisy springs to mind.

  5. Gronda, our adversaries (and allies) pay close attention to what is said and tweeted by people in US leadership positions. We know with the President and should know by Bolton’s history, that they are both missing a filter that would stop someone from saying something provocative or stupid. As an old teacher once said, “just because you think doesn’t mean you have to say it.” Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      N Korea is definitely paying attention which is why those advising the president have to make sure he is mum on the subject of N Korea.

      Mr. Bolton’s reference to Libya was not a slip of the tongue. He knew what he was doing and what he was saying. He would do just about anything to sabotage the summit’s chances for a successful outcome. He has been an advocate for the US preemptively striking N Korea.

      N Korea was smart to call him out and to get him excluded. While I have low expectations for a successful outcome, I do not want this remote chance for a deal to be sabotaged by the likes of Mr. Bolton.

      Hugs, Gronda

  6. Patrick Cockburn in the Independant makes some interesting comments about sanctions.
    ‘ The record of economic sanctions in forcing political change is dismal, but as a way of reducing a country to poverty and misery is difficult to beat.’
    We need to ask ourselves whose cupboards go bare ? Kim Jung- un , Mr Putin , Donald Trump other political leaders and dictators?
    Perhaps Patrick goes a bit too far when he says :
    Saddam Hussein and his senior lieutenants were rightly executed for their crimes, but the foreign politicians and officials responsible for the sanctions regime that killed so many deserved to stand beside them in the dock.’

    • Dear Kersten,

      Sanctions can be a useful tool when it is part of a total plan/ strategy which President Trump is constitutionally incapable of implementing. He is a very short term thinker which is a major handicap when other leaders around the world work within a framework of long term goals.

      The president is apt to use sanctions/ tariffs as a bullying tool which will end up biting him where it hurts.

      Hugs, Gronda

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