It is going to be interesting to see how the Kim regime responds to President Trump’s UN speech because he has made it pretty clear what is coming Pyongyang’s way if they don’t stop their provocations:
President Trump made his first address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday morning, telling the gathering of world leaders that if Pyongyang continues its nuclear provocations, the United States “will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” [Yahoo News]
You can read more at the link as well as watch President Trump’s speech where he also said “Rocket Man was on a suicide mission” in reference to Kim Jong-un.
Kim Jong-un may actually like the nickname Donald Trump has come up for him:
The “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-un.
Donald Trump has referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “rocket man” in a tweet about a conversation with the South Korean President.
The US leader tweeted that he had been speaking with Moon Jae-in about the situation with the secretive communist state, which has launched a series of ballistic missiles in recent weeks and conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date.
“I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night,” Mr Trump wrote. “Asked him how Rocket Man is doing.”
He added that long petrol lines has been forming in North Korea, which he said was “too bad”. [The Independent]
You can read more at the link, but I doubt whatever long gas lines there are, are effecting anyone in the regime elite.
The Japanese media is claiming that President Trump has called ROK President Moon Jae-in a beggar due to his repeated calls for dialog with the Kim regime:
US President Donald Trump allegedly disparaged South Korean President Moon Jae-in as acting “like a beggar” with his calls for dialogue with North Korpea. The remarks were supposedly made in a telephone conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Japanese network Fuji TV reported on Sept. 7.According to the network, Trump made the disparaging remarks about Moon to Abe in a telephone conversation on Aug. 29, after North Korea test-launched a missile that passed through Japanese airspace. Trump was also quoted as asking Abe “not to tell anyone” about the need for military pressure on North Korea. [Hankyoreh]
You can read more at the link.
Peace in our time with North Korea is just around the corner,
US ambassador to North Korea former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman is on the case:
With tensions brewing between the leaders of the United States and North Korea, one man believes he can help keep the peace.
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman hopes to “straighten things out” between President Donald Trump and supreme leader Kim Jong Un, two men Rodman calls friends.
He appeared on “Good Morning Britain” via satellite from Los Angeles on Wednesday and was asked about his relationship with Kim and the multiple trips to North Korea.
However, Rodman feels if Trump makes the first move, positive results could come of it. (………)
“I think if the president even tries to reach out for Kim, I think it would be a great possibility things can happen,” he said, adding that Trump and Kim don’t have to be friends, just start a dialogue. [Star-Telegram]
You can read more at the link.
Here is the latest on the follow up actions from the Trump administration after North Korea’s weekend nuclear test:
President Donald Trump left war with North Korea on the table as an option if Pyongyang doesn’t behave after a call with China’s Xi Jinping on Wednesday that the the U.S. leader described as ‘very, very frank.’
Trump told reporters as he was leaving the White House for a tax speech outside Washington, ‘We will not be putting up with what’s happening in North Korea.’
War is ‘certainly not our first choice,’ he said in response to a shouted question, ‘but we will see what happens.’
The administration has repeatedly said it is keeping every option on the table as it grapples with the threat from North Korea. The president’s remark is likely to stir new worries, however, that Trump is actually mulling military action. [Daily Mail]
You can read more at the link, but why shouldn’t the President consider all options available to him? It is pretty clear the Chinese option is the one he is pursuing and giving a chance to work before even contemplating a military response.
As I have said before, despite all the provocations and deadly aggressive behavior over the past few years by Kim Jong-un, some how South Koreans are more fearful of President Trump:
Citizens in Seoul Station watch news showing a North Korean newsreader announcing that Pyongyang successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, Sunday. / Yonhap
“My firm belief is that war will not happen. The general consensus among my friends is that war won’t break out since the U.S. and China are involved,” Choi Yong-kwan, a 20-year-old college student, said as he read an article on his mobile phone.”But I definitely do feel a sense of growing tension and fear ― it’s their sixth nuclear test and they are on their way to refining their nukes.”
“I’ll leave Korea and head for Canada or something” was the initial response from Park, an elementary school teacher. But as she went on, she dismissed the idea of war. “To be honest I don’t put too much thought into this because it’s always been this way. War does not come easily,” she said. “And we shouldn’t be worried. Fear is what leads to war.”
For the public in the South, North Korea’s provocations are not treated as something new. Although most stuck to this instinct, some added U.S. President Donald Trump as a new, unpredictable and perhaps even more frightening variable.
“This is nothing new. Just another provocation by the North as I see it and it’s been worse before but still did not lead to war. I don’t think any South Korean male who has been in the military is scared,” 29-year-old Yoon Tae-jun from Busan said, adding “But then again I’m not sure this time because of Trump.
“I’m not keeping an eye on this ― maybe this is the problem. But this time, maybe Trump will take some sort of action,” Kwon Suk-in, 27, said. “There must be no war.” [Korea Times]
You can read more at the link.
I guess if you discount political executions, mass malnourishment of its people, gulags, military attacks on neighbors, state sponsored criminal activity, and being an international pariah than I guess yes you could make a comparison between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un:
A man watches a television news program showing President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on August 9, 2017. The two nuclear-armed leaders’ public feud has raised concerns around the world as to whether one would actually initiate a war.
Not to be outdone, North Korea’s military revealed a detailed plan to strike the U.S. island territory of Guam, which hosts key Air Force and Navy bases. After further brinkmanship between the two leaders, North Korea’s state-run media showed footage of Kim himself reviewing the plans. But the leader said he would not attack unless the U.S. struck first, effectively ending an imminent missile scare.
While a number of Western media outlets portrayed this as a retreat on Kim’s part, North Korea expert Michael Madden says it actually boosted Kim’s credibility on the international stage.
“This allowed Kim Jong Un to portray himself as the more experienced leader,” Madden, a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute, tells Newsweek, adding that Kim also appeared more likely to defer to his advisers than Trump.
“Who would have thought that when we said ‘let cooler heads prevail,’ it would be the 33-year-old leader of the DPRK?” said Madden, referring to North Korea’s official title: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Trump hailed Kim’s “very wise and well-reasoned decision” in a tweet Wednesday, but Town and Madden agree that Kim has come out stronger from the latest crisis. While Trump fired off a number of statements that were widely challenged at home—including the claim that he had improved the country’s nuclear arsenal and that U.S. missiles were “locked and loaded”—Kim remained largely silent and delegated his words to lower-level outlets of his government’s propaganda, allowing ample room for de-escalation. Even his strategic missile force’s Guam attack plan included language that offered North Korea a way out from actually going through with it.
“Kim has been very careful with his words as not to back himself into a corner by shooting from the hip, like the Trump administration,” Town says. [Newsweek]
You can read the rest at the link.
It looks like there is once again a path towards deescalation with North Korea:
(President Donald Trump speaks at a “Make America Great Again,” rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Phoenix, Arizona.Alex Brandon/AP)
North Korea has made no provocations since its July 28 test-firing of what it claimed was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), though it has more recently threatened to fire missiles toward Guam.
President Trump said Tuesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has begun to “respect” Washington, suggesting his administration is taking a positive view on a possible thaw in U.S.-North Korea relations.
“I respect the fact that I believe he (Kim) is starting to respect us,” Trump said at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, according to Bloomberg. “Maybe, probably not, something positive will come out of it.”
Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said dialogue between the United States and North Korea could be possible in the “near future,” welcoming what he called the “restraint” the Kim regime had shown recently with its nuclear and missile programs.
“I think it is worth noting, we have had no missile launches or provocative acts on the part of, or provocative actions, on the part of North Korea since the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolution,” Tillerson said at the State Department.
“I am pleased to see that the regime in Pyongyang has demonstrated restraint. We hope this is the signal we have been looking for, that they are ready to restrain provocative acts. And perhaps we are seeing a pathway in the near future to having some dialogue.” [Korea Times]
You can read more at the link, but I would be some what surprised if they don’t fire at least a short range test missile into the Sea of Japan in response to the ongoing UFG military exercise.
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.