Tag:Seoul

Kim Jong-Un “Winning,” Testing Missiles Without Fear of U.S.

It took Donald Trump’s love affair with Kim Jong-Un to make the United States look like a loyal lapdog to mighty North Korea. North Korea is back testing short to medium range missiles. Do keep in mind that we have an entire intelligence operation aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons and rocketry. North Korea routinely threatens the United States, and yet Trump dismisses all this as “nothing.” How are we “winning” in this scenario? As North Korea fired off a series of missiles in recent months — at least 18 since May — President Trump has repeatedly dismissed their importance as short-range and “very standard” tests. And although he has conceded “there may be a United Nations violation,” the president says any concerns are overblown. Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, Mr. Trump explained recently, just “likes testing missiles.” Right. So does Iran. And yet somehow we view it as very important that we not allow Iran to have nuclear capability, nor have medium range inter-continental missiles, and they – too, are likely United Nations violations. (Did you like that? How easily Trump dismisses ANY rule? “Yeah, they probably are breaking international law, but he likes testing missiles, so what?”) This is insanity. Although Mr. Trump acknowledged that “there may be a United Nations violation,” he appears unwilling to make statements or take actions that could call into question what he considers his warm relationship with Mr. Kim, which the president believes is crucial to ending decades-long hostilities with the North. Trump believes that the world runs this way, by relationships. He doesn’t care about international law, he cares about being flattered. He doesn’t care about United States’ interests, he “is” the United States. He finds it easier to deal with dictators because if he sees himself as a dictator, and if he just forms a “relationship” with another dictator, he and the dictator’s relationship will cause an agreement on whatever they need, United Nations’ violations or not. Trump doesn’t believe rules and/or laws apply to him, never has. He doesn’t like rules or laws. He likes doing what he wants, with whom he wants, even with respect to international relations. Oh, you were waiting for the dangerous part? An estimate by the Defense Intelligence Agency, circulated to select officials inside the United States government this summer, estimates that the North has also produced enough fuel for roughly a dozen new nuclear weapons since the historic talks in Singapore. Other intelligence agencies have “more conservative numbers,” one former senior official said, but all point to an expanding cache of bombs. An expanding number of nukes, and expanding number of missile tests. Horrific. I originally wrote a witty, ironic and mocking end to this piece, asking whether you believed it possible that Kim Jung-Un might be pulling a fast one on Trump and faking all this “love” stuff because, well, he likes to test missiles. But, I decided it wasn’t appropriate. Seoul South Korea, a city of about 20 million good people, our allies, sits within reach of North Korea’s conventional artillery shells. Downtown Seoul is approximately 30 miles from the DNZ. North Korea could kill thousands upon thousands in South Korea without a single missile fired, without nukes. Just a big artillery blast into densely populated Seoul. This is […]

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