Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Peace on Korean Peninsula: When Common Sense Trumps Political Punditry

Kim persuaded Trump to end the US annual joint military exercises with South Korea and even got Trump to call them “war games” and “provocative” Denuclearization or mutual deterrence in the Korean peninsula?
Leonard Rios | 17 June, 2018, 20:51

Among the subjects President Donald Trump apparently didn't discuss with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore - the regime's human rights abuses, its exports of missile technology and its mistreatment of USA prisoners - there's one more: its long record of risky cyberattacks against sensitive targets in the US and allied nations. In September, a Post-ABC poll showed a record high 70 percent said North Korea posed a serious threat, with majorities doubting Kim and Trump would act responsibly.

President Donald Trump told reporters in an impromptu news conference on the White House lawn he had given North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a phone number to allow him to reach him directly. He added: "If you're fair, when I came in, people thought we were probably going to war with North Korea".

Mr Trump also used language often employed by North Korea to describe those exercises, calling them "provocative" and "war games".

Donald Trump said he wishes people would "sit up and pay attention" to him the way they do in North Korea when Kim Jong Un speaks.

"Our definition of denuclearization is they give up all their fissile material, facilities, nuclear material taken out, irrevocably and verifiably", says Jung Pak, top Korea expert at the Brookings Institution and a former senior CIA Korea analyst.

Trump claimed there was "a coordinated effort" among news outlets to insist that Trump gave up "sooo much" in the negotiation process by meeting with Kim, and he said they focus on this point because they have nothing else to criticize.

But Trump recalled that when he came to office a year ago, his predecessor Barack Obama had warned that North Korea's growing missile and nuclear threat was the United States' "most unsafe problem".

North Korea has perpetuated human rights abuses for decades, according to watchdog agencies, human rights groups and the USA government.

Trump accepted North Korea deliberately vague language about “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”, with no specific reference to its nuclear weapons

President Trump, however, wants to have a major foreign policy victory, or at least something that looks like a victory.

"I believe he would be murdering as many enemies as Kim Jong-un does", he stated.

"I have solved that problem", Trump told reporters. -South Korea military exercises that many military leaders consider essential to South Korea's defense, but North Korea has long considered an irritant.

At a rally in February, he said Democrats in Congress were treasonous because they did not clap at his State of the Union speech.

US and South Korean forces have trained together for decades, and routinely rehearse everything from beach landings in the North to pre-emptive "decapitation" strikes targeting the North Korean regime. The two met earlier this week to begin to discuss Pyongyang's nuclear program, a summit marked by what Trump said was friendly chemistry between them.

An Obama-era agreement with China aimed at curbing economic cyberespionage was reaffirmed by the Trump Administration previous year.

Among Trump's most vocal supporters is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who led negotiations with Pyongyang to set up the summit and will hold talks with the North to work out vital details of the deal. In one particularly very bad sound byte, the president said that Kim is a "strong head" and admired the way that the - I repeat - dictator commands "his people".

"Denuclearization is great, but we also have to concern ourselves with what the cyber capabilities are, so we can make sure that doesn't happen to our businesses and other assets in the United States", Lynton said.

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