South Korean Journalist Says She Is As Worried About President Trump as Kim Jong-un

Here is another example of the equivalency many journalists try to make between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump:

People watch President Trump on TV at a railway station in Seoul on Wednesday.

I think if I really think about it, I’m a little concerned. But it’s also in the sense that I’m concerned about how easily accessible nuclear weapons are increasingly in this world. And it’s not just North Korea. It’s the United States, it’s Russia, it’s all these different countries.

There’s another layer of hypocrisy in the way we report about North Korea. Like, the United States owns nuclear weapons, but why is North Korea in the axis of evil that doesn’t get to because it’s supposed to be the less rational one? I’m just generally afraid of nuclear weapons in general. I’m just as afraid of Trump owning nuclear weapons as Kim Jong Un owning one.  [VOX]

You can read more of the interview at the link, but does this South Korean journalist believe Japan should get nuclear weapons because everyone should have the right to pursue them?  That is the obvious logic being advocated for here.

Plus in my opinion anyone who thinks President Trump is just going to wake up one day and authorize a nuclear weapons strike should not be taken seriously.  The same can be said for anyone who thinks Kim Jong-un is just going to wake up one day and launch a nuclear weapons strike as well.

Group of Foreigners on the Run in South Korea After Stealing $316,000

I wonder if this guy was scammed into making some kind of large cash purchase of real estate by the group with the intent of robbing him?:

Six foreigners are on the run after stealing a bag of cash from Seoul Station earlier this month.

The bandits, from countries including Mexico and Colombia, stole 360 million won ($316,000) from a Korean man at a fast food restaurant at the train station in Jung-gu, on Aug. 2, according to Seoul Namdaemun Police on Monday.

Three men and three women were involved, of whom at least some had left Korea, police said.

They said the gang had waited for the victim at the station and followed him into the restaurant.

The man left his bag on a table and went to place an order with the cashier while a person with him kept an eye on the bag.

But gang members distracted him by dropping money on the floor. The others snatched the bag and fled.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

82nd Airborne Responds to Neo-Nazi Wearing Their Hat

Leave it to an idiot neo-Nazi to wear an 82nd Airborne hat to the recent protest in Charlottesville:

The 82nd Airborne Division fought several campaigns against Nazi Germany during World War II. So after a man in a hat bearing the elite Army paratrooper unit’s insignia was pictured throwing a Ku Klux Klan salute (which resembles and is sometimes mistaken for a Nazi salute) during the weekend’s Charlottesville protests, the division delivered a pointed message.   [Yahoo News]

You can read more at the link, but some people actually thought this idiot was in the 82nd Airborne.  Here is the 82nd’s Twitter response to this guy wearing an 82nd Airborne hat:

Note to all racists out there, if you are going to spew your hatred don’t drag the US military into it by wearing its gear. If anything these racists should dislike the US military considering how it is in my opinion the most merit based organization in the US where someone of any race through performance can rise to the top.

China Once Again Pushing for Freeze to US-ROK Military Exercises

CNN has a long article published advocating for a freeze deal with North Korea by suspending US-ROK military exercises.  As I have long said suspending or degrading the US-ROK alliance is a long term goal of China.  Suspending the upcoming UFG military exercises will only invite more belligerent behavior by North Korea by rewarding bad behavior and further advance China’s strategic goal of ending the US-ROK alliance:

In an editorial Tuesday, nationalistic state-run tabloid Global Times said South Korea should “act as a buffer” between the US and North Korea and urged Seoul to halt the upcoming joint military exercise.
The dual freeze approach put forward by China and Russia often “gets a bad rap” in Washington because of who backs it, said Delury. “But it’s a way for both sides to take a step back, lower the temperature (and) explore a diplomatic option.”
Zhao said such a freeze could “have prevented North Korea from fast advancing their missile programs, especially from acquiring an ICBM capability so quickly.”
However, Pinkston described such a deal as a “completely asymmetric,” pointing out that regular military exercises held by North Korea and China would not be covered by it.  [CNN]
You can read more at the link, but what I think the US should do is say they would sign up for a freeze deal if the punishment for non-compliance by North Korea is the authorization of preemptive strikes to take out their nuclear and missile programs.  The North Koreans would never sign up for such a deal because like past agreements they fully intend to violate it at a time of their choosing.  However, offering this condition shows the US attempted to negotiate and the North Koreans were the ones that would not agree to a deal.

Picture of the Day: Families Remember Those Lost During Korean War

Consoling families of U.S. Korean War MIAs, POWs

An event to console the families of American soldiers missing in action and prisoners of war during the 1950-53 Korean War at a hotel in Washington on Aug. 10, 2017. The U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and South Korea’s veterans affairs ministry co-organized the event. (Photo courtesy of DPAA) (Yonhap)

North Korea Expert Says Conflict with North Korea Will Not Be Like Iraq or Afghanistan

I don’t think anyone with knowledge about North Korea’s capabilities even remotely thinks a conflict with North Korea would look anything like Iraq or Afghanistan:

Sung-Yoon Lee said the North Korean regime was more than capable of fighting back

Sung-Yoon Lee, a professor of Korean studies at The Fletcher School, Tufts University, said the rogue nation was “no Iraq or Syria or Afghanistan” and was more than capable of fighting back.

The comments come amid growing tensions between Kim Jong-un’s regime and Donald Trump, who vowed to meet any attack on the US territory of Guam with “fire and fury”.

Speaking to CNBC, the academic said: “North Korea has a need to test more in the continental ballistic missiles to conduct another nuclear test and I don’t think Kim Jong-un will be deterred by this strong rhetoric – even rhetorical bellicosity coming out of the Trump administration.

“The truth is, since the end of the Korean war more than 60 years ago, despite countless provocations and lethal attacks from the north, neither the US or South Korea has ever responded with military force.

“Why? For fear of escalation because we know North Korea has both the intent and the capability to hit back – they are no Iraq or Syria or Afghanistan, they will strike back and we don’t want to go there.”

Professor Lee also called on the US for the “proper enforcement” of financial sanctions on North Korea.  [Express-UK]

Professor Lee’s comments about not responding with military force is not quite accurate.  For example there has been many DMZ shootouts over the decades and most recently the ROK military fired 80 artillery shells back into North Korea during the 2010 shelling of Yeonpyeong Island by North Korea.

Kim Jong-un Backs Down from Plan to Attack Guam

Long time Korea watchers are probably not surprised by the below statement from Kim Jong-un who has backed down from his supposed plan to fire four missiles towards Guam:

The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday that the army had finalized the blueprint and presented it to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as he inspected his Strategic Force command the day before.

“He examined the plan for a long time and discussed it with the commanding officers in real earnest,” KCNA said, adding that Kim offered praise for the “close and careful plan.”

The leader reportedly said “he would watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees,” as the North calls the Americans, and warned that he may “make an important decision as it already declared” if the conduct persists.
KCNA quoted Kim as saying “that if the planned fire of power demonstration is carried out as the U.S. is going more reckless, it will be the most delightful historic moment when the Hwasong artillerymen will wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks.”

Kim said the U.S. “should stop at once arrogant provocations against [North Korea] and unilateral demands and not provoke it any longer,” the agency said.
Analysts said Kim was trying to tamp down skyrocketing tensions that have generated the most serious crisis on the divided peninsula in years. But they also warned he left the door open to launch a missile if he feels provoked.
“By North Korean signaling it’s a clear de-escalation, and it’s also an ask for the de-escalation from the American side,” said John Delury, an Asia expert at Yonsei University in Seoul.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link, but the whole threat was clearly just rhetoric because the regime is not suicidal.  They know full well attacking Guam would lead to the end of the regime.  This backing down from attacking Guam doesn’t mean they will not launch a provocation.  With the upcoming UFG military exercise they will very likely do something.

As I have said before if there are any deadly provocations planned they will be launched against a ROK target not the US.  North Korea has killed and injured many ROK servicemembers and civilians over the decades to include in recent years with little to no retaliation.  They know killing Americans will lead to retaliation which is why provocations directed towards the US have been missile and nuclear tests.  I don’t see anything right now changing this calculus for the Kim regime.