I don’t know if Kim Jong-Un feels like he “won” (and there’s an FX pun in there) or not, but all things considered, he should probably be feeling pretty damn good about how things are shaping up.
Sanctions aside (and the sanctions aren’t nothing, but crediting this whole “maximum pressure” campaign with “forcing” Kim to the table is a bit disingenuous), Kim seems to have played this pretty well. He became a full-fledged nuclear state, he got away with all manner of provocations last year, including firing missiles over Japanese territory and he survived a war of words with the President of the United States who is just as crazy as he is and then some.
Meanwhile, the situation inside of North Korea has most assuredly not improved and although there’s really no way to know for sure, one certainly imagines the human rights abuses are ongoing.
In short (and fat), it’s not at all clear whether it makes any sense to say that he didn’t get everything he wanted before ultimately coming to the table. I mean at this point, what else could he have possibly achieved by remaining belligerent? There’s only so far he can advance that nuclear program given constraints on financing, etc. and short of actually blowing up Tokyo and invading the South, it isn’t entirely clear how he could have taken the bombast up another notch without getting himself killed. So you know, why not come to the table? Why not put the finishing touches on this absurd saga by snapping pictures with the goddamn CIA Director weeks ahead of a summit with the South which you damn well know is going to be broadcast all over the face of the planet.
So that’s what he did. I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures by now, but here he is with Pompeo (from images released on Thursday):
And then here are some of the visuals from Friday’s historic summit in Panmunjom which ended with Kim and Moon basically calling an end to the war and pledging denuclearization of the peninsula:
— Heisenberg Report (@heisenbergrpt) April 27, 2018
— Heisenberg Report (@heisenbergrpt) April 27, 2018
That’s how the summit started (the opening ceremonies included Kim becoming the first North Korean leader to set foot on the southern side), and here’s how it ended:
So that’s the signing of the joint declaration, dubbed the “Panmunjom Declaration” and here are the bullet points:
- Moon and Kim declare there will be no more war on Korean Peninsula
- Aim to declare end to war and turn armistice into peace treaty this year
- To seek S. Korea-N. Korea-U.S. or S. Korea-N. Korea-U.S.-China meeting
- Moon to visit Pyongyang this fall
- Agree to resume reunions for separate families
- To set up liaison office in Gaeseong, North Korea
- Agree to stop all military hostile activities
- Turn western sea border into peace zone to avoid military clashes
- To seek to connect railroads, roads
- Agree to hold military talks in May
- To strictly abide by non-aggression pact
- Agree to phased disarmament
- Two Koreas agree to hold summits regularly; to talk on phone
Clearly that’s all positive and there’s a sense in which it’s a “no buts about it” deal, but I guess the question here is what exactly did Kim lose from doing this? The answer would appear to be nothing. Let’s just be clear, he is never going to give up that nuclear program. He’ll of course hide it and he might well halt any further development, but this will end up being a constant “he said, she said” type of thing with the international community accusing him of cheating and Pyongyang accusing the international community of being conspiratorial whore dogs (or some other equally ridiculous characterization cooked up by KCNA).
In the meantime, Kim gets international recognition and will by default be seen as the man who brought about reunification. I mean Seoul won’t spin it that way, but this was ultimately his decision and now it looks like he’s all set to hold a similar summit with Trump, thus further bolstering Kim’s credentials as an “honorable” man.
KCNA is already encouraging Trump not to do anything to fuck this up. The state run outlet on Thursday accused the U.S. of “still making wild remarks about sanctions” and advised Trump to “ponder over the destiny and prospect of their country” before “going rude”.
Bad news, Pyongyang: Trump has never been one to “ponder over the prospects” before “going rude.”
On Friday, he was “going” pseudo-polite with this:
Do note that the Korea war tweet came a half hour after that Comey tweet and a full two hours after the mainstream media reported the same news.
In any event, Trump wants you to know that the main takeaway here for Americans is that everyone should be “proud” of this because that’s how you talk about something when you want everyone to think you did it. If Kim understands nuance, he could accurately interpret that as “going rude.”
Anyway, for now, I guess Kim and Moon are like Trump and Kanye: “dragon energy brothers”…
10 thoughts on “After Seven Short Decades, North And South Korea To End War – Trump Hails Great Day For Trump”
If the final result is peace on the Korean peninsula then it really doesn’t matter who wants to spin it – at the end of the day everyone will have to give and take. Negotiations involve lots of getting nearer, getting further apart. Even if it looks like negotiations have broken down they often have not. Just part of a process. This MAY all end in tears but it is churlish to be trapped by the past and not hold out some hope for something different this time. Even if it fails, it is far better for all concerned (and remember this is NOT about politicians but the lives and well-being of millons of Koreans) to have, at least, tried. What seems to be missed is that the more Kim steps out and opens doors the harder it is for him to do a complete about-face. People need to get out on their mental prisons of the past and look for ways that can work now. It is not far-fetched to believe that Kim very much wants to completely open up North Korea – he was schooled in and lived in Switzerland for many years, he knows the West and it just may be that he TOO has found it hard to see a way forward (it’s not only the US and South Korea making demands but Japan and Russia also trying to influence Kim toward their own ends – not everyone wants Kim to find a solution – perhaps a way is starting to be glimpsed now. But, he (as in the N Korean leaders) has legitimate fears about the US and what it does to countries that give up their nuclear weapons. The US has just as much need to escape it’s mental prison and past when it comes to the Korean peninsula and, so far, things are moving in a positive direction. We need, as humans, to be pleased about that.
I can see it now, President Trump clumsily collecting the Noble Peace Prize in cuffs by Mueller. MAGA
N Korea must change the way they treat their citizens! Absolute requirement!
Do not give trump any prize as a reward for his horrible behavior — that would be like fertilizing a stinkweed.
Oh the US military industrial complex and its deep state operatives will vehemently object to this! Time again to launch another chemical attack killing many foreign civilians and blame their government, then launch hundreds of missiles to destroy the evidence before UN inspectors ascertain was US backed rebels again.
I beg your pardon? please restate that comment — are you actually saying US is behind this attack and killing of innocent people?!?
Not directly. Don’t know. And can’t know now. Just a widely believed theory with some similarities to gulf of tonkin. Mainly because it made no sense for the victorious syrian regime to do it, but (sadly) much sense for a losing rebel group or some other interests who stood to benefit from a strike and escalation. Fortunately the escalation hasn’t occurred yet.
So, you don’t know shit but you feel it is perfectly ok for you to make such a reprehensible statement? Fuck you.
Yeah it’s reprehensible but just maybe it’s also how some think.
We know the US has attacked sovereign nations and killed many innocents when it “don’t know shit”, and worse, has even made up shit to launch deadly attacks, like in Iraq and SE Asia. Including killing some of my people previously. That’s “reprehensible”.
We also know that that China and India (and Russia) believe that the Syrian gas attacks (twice in 12 months) were conducted by US and/or Israeli sponsored rebels/agents, per a statement from the Xi-Modi summit at Wuhan this past week as reported in Eyeshenzen (Chinese) for example. They’ve no hard evidence and it’s apparently destroyed now but I favour their credibility over some in the white house & pentagon and the neocon chickenhawks in the defense dept & deep state. Or the military-industrial complex war-profiteers that Eisenhower warned about.
There’s great psychological dissonance where one knows that Trump is a totally dangerous idiotic moron while observing that his most outrageous and reckless actions of demeaning, threatening and sanctioning Kim extremely, “COULD,” end up being more successful than imagined since Trump risked starting WWIII with his narcissistic and idiotic gambit. That dissonance also causes physical and mental discomfort for those who find distaste and difficultly in giving him “credit,” for anything that others deem a favorable outcome, since doing so simultaneously may attribute to him an ounce of brain power when it’s universally understood he is definitely brainless (A mental condition confirmed by my pal, Ronny Jackson, who told me so while sober).
So, my Rx for you is to lean back, take a breath, be patient and just hope that the Koreans make peace on November 13, 2018, Mueller indicts Donald, Donald Jr., Kushner, Nunes, Assange, and the rest on October 31, 2018, the Democrats win by a landslide on November 6, 2018, and the Attorneys General of New York and Virginia indict one, some or all of these men: Manafort, Flynn, Donald, Donald Jr., Ivanka, Kushner, Nunes, Assange and the rest on November 7, 2018.
A man can hope, right?
I am way past hope — I am already on my knees in prayer!
President Moon Jae-in deserves all the credit – he is the one who calmed Kim Jong-un and is hopefully bringing peace to all of Korea. 🙂