Friday, January 26, 2018

President Trump Makes a Breakthrough in Negotiation with North Korea

The Winter Olympics and North Korea’s sable rattling have put Korea on the front page again.  The CIA is reportedly briefing the President on scenarios involving a limited attack on North Korea.  This is all part of the elaborate Kabuki theater that has been running for almost 70 years.   The problem of North Korea is the result of the decision in 1945 by the progressives in the U.S. government to divide the peninsula with Joseph Stalin.  What could go wrong?  North Korean dictators have been threatening to resume the conflict for decades and have been rewarded handsomely for their efforts.  Kim Jong Un’s mental status is frequently called into question.  However, he has been following a successful strategy that has worked for his family for three generations.  They have received billions of dollars in aid.  The CIA has made many miscalculations about this conflict, however, its Director Mike Pompeo is correct when he says, ““Kim is a rational man.”  Kim is also not completely independent.

Kim Jong-Un is the Chinese organ grinder’s monkey.  It would not have been possible for North Korea to develop its nuclear program without the assistance of the Chinese.  North Korea is poorer than Ethiopia.  The Chinese are completely satisfied with North Korean threats and see no need to reign the North in as long as they do not need to pay a price.  This may provide a possible solution to Chinese present covert support of the North.  Japan and South Korea undoubtedly would be reluctant to assume the responsibility of being nuclear armed powers.  However, if they could be persuaded to appear to be considering the offer the Chinese would be alarmed.  This might induce them to intervene in North Korea. 

Prior to North Korea’s acquisition of nuclear weapons the cost of a conflict on the peninsula was too great.  The North Korean People’s Army Artillery Command has 12,000 pieces of tube artillery and 2,300 pieces of multiple launch rocket artillery.  Much of this artillery is targeted on Seoul.  While there is some debate about the effectiveness of this force, the number of casualties is unacceptable whether it is measured in the tens of thousands or in millions.  The 28,500 U.S. troops deployed in South Korea are a tripwire that would bring an immediate response in the event of an attack.

Even if North Korea cannot be induced to abandon its nuclear program there should not be a problem.  The effectiveness of this threat is based on the reaction of the United States.  There are countries that have possessed nuclear weapons for quite some time that are potentially a greater threat than North Korea.  U.S. negotiations with North Korea have been in the hands of professional diplomats from the beginning.  These people are experts and have advanced degrees from Ivy League universities.  Now these negotiations are being guided by a man who reportedly is below average intelligence and possibly mentally unbalanced.  Trump tweeted, "North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.  Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"  What are the results of Trump’s apparently adolescent remarks?  Investmentwatch reports, “it appears Trump’s words and actions have resulted in the North and South talking for the first time in many years.”  President Moon Jae-in of South Korea credited President Trump with helping force the North to resume dialogue and strike a broader agreement to improve Korean ties.  “I am giving a lot of credit to President Trump,” Mr. Moon said a day after the two Koreas forged their agreement during border talks. “I am expressing my gratitude.”  Of course the New York Times could not allow President Moon’s praise to go unanswered.  “Mr. Moon’s comments and his conversation with Mr. Trump suggested a tactful maneuver by the South Korean leader to stroke the ego of Mr. Trump.”  Moon did not really believe Trump had facilitated negotiations.  He was merely stroking Trump’s ego.

The threats coming from North Korea can be ignored.  Kim Jong Un knows that any conflict will result in his downfall.  He lives an exceedingly good life as any multibillionaire would.  His only fear should be the collapse of his military and the security forces that keep him in power.  More and more North Koreans are becoming aware of the affluence of the South and the severe poverty of the North.  

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