N Korean nuclear strike could cause chaos in US

I know it might be a stretch for some, but just for a moment try to separate policy from the man.

I have long held the opinion that the US found itself with an electoral choice between two highly undesirable and obnoxious individuals running for President.

I also believe that the mechanisms of power in the US are subject to, and adhere to a large degree, to the principles of law, social justice, and democracy. That an existing structure of officials throughout the US government, to a large degree, do confine the President of the moment from perpetrating the more egregious vagaries that absolute dictators can indulge in.

The bluster and verbal confrontation that Kim received from Trump was from Trump, the actual policies and actions that have taken place under his instigation will have however been heavily influenced by a team action led by the Joint Chiefs and a massive staff of specialists in every relevant field of US foreign affairs.

In our present turbulent and uncertain world, aggressive world leaders have in many cases needed an aggressive response, and Trump has, perhaps fortuitously, been the right man at the right place and time. Kim, Erdogan, Putin, Bashir Al Assad, Hassan Rouhani, Xi Jinping, have all been far from shrinking violets and with pretty poor (f****ing awful) regard for human rights who have been freely throwing their weight about. A robust response has been required... and available.
 
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A US spokesman, Gen. Vincent Brooks, said US-North Korean relations have improved to a degree which could not have been conceived of a year ago. However, the US still needs to make sure that North Korea has neither reason to reverse course nor the ability to.
North Korea needs to 'take risk' to move toward peace, says U.S. commander | CBC News
"The amount of progress that has been made in the relationships among countries since this time last year is perhaps not something that could have been conceived of last year and yet it has happened," Brooks said. "But we still have to see earnest action being taken on those matters of great concern like denuclearization. There is still a need for continued pressure so that there's not a reason or even an ability for North Korea to back up."
Brooks said that current diplomatic efforts have a greater chance of success now than in the past because of changes in government in Washington and Seoul, and because the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons is greater.
Nuclear diplomacy with North Korea has been littered with failures in past decades. But Brooks said the chances of success are better this time around because of the change of governments in Washington and Seoul and also because the threat posed by the North's nuclear and long-range missile program is greater than ever.
He added that in order for diplomatic efforts to succeed it will be important for both the US and South Korea on one side, and North Korea on the other side to overcome distrust and misperception of the actions taken by the other side.
For diplomatic efforts to succeed, it would be critical for the allies and North Korea to overcome distrust and misperception, where "actions taken by one party are not understood the way they were intended to be by the actor when the receiver sees it," Brooks said.
Brooks also said that the recent trust building exercises have been an important building block, but that a long road still lies ahead.
He noted that the United States and North Korea have made important trust-building steps in past weeks, such as the North returning 55 sets of remains of what are believed to be U.S. servicemen killed during the 1950-53 Korean War.

"It was a very important step, but it's akin to one plank being put down on a long bridge that crosses a long gap of distrust," Brooks said.
 
Images indicate North Korea halted dismantling of launch site:...
Reuters on a report by 38 North. Satellite imagery (commercial) shows some activity to dismantle the rocket testing site and launch pad in July, little activity since with the parts dismantled still stacked by the pad:
The 38 North project said commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station taken on Aug. 16 indicated “no significant dismantlement activity” at either the site’s engine test stand or launch pad since Aug. 3.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that reports that North Korea had started dismantling facilities at Sohae were consistent with a commitment North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made at a summit with Trump in Singapore on June 12.
Parts still stacked on the ground and work to take down a rail mounted transfer/ processing building, appeared to have stalled:
The 38 North report said significant progress in tearing down the test stand had been made from July to early August, but added: “The components previously removed remain stacked on the ground.”

It said work to take down a rail-mounted transfer/processing building at the launch pad also appeared to have stalled and it was not clear if the work that had taken place on that was associated with dismantling or modification of the structure.
The remainder of the article talks about the previously reported distrust on both sides, reports by Rodong Sinmun, Bolton offering to send Pompeo out again etc.
 
Pompeo to travel to North Korea with new special envoy
Pompeo’s going back to N Korea for his 4th trip. The first two he met Tubby III, the last one he didn’t and he’s not expected to on this occasion. It appears to be an introduction for the new US Special Representative Stephen Biegun who replaced Joe Yun who retired in February:
“Steve will direct U.S. policy toward North Korea and lead our efforts to achieve President Trump’s goal of the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea as agreed to by Kim Jong Un,” Pompeo told reporters, referring to the North Korean leader.

“He and I will be traveling to North Korea next week to make further diplomatic progress toward our objective,” Pompeo said
No expectation to meet Tubby III:
“We don’t have that scheduled; we have no expectations of meeting with Chairman Kim. That is not a part of this trip,” she told a regular news briefing.
Biegun believes it’s time to seize the opportunity for a peaceful future for North Korea:
Biegun said of North Korea: “The issues are tough and will be tough to resolve.” But he added that Trump had created an opening “that we must take by seizing every possible opportunity to realize the vision for a peaceful future for the people of North Korea.”
The two sides are reportedly no further forward on the issues with the US wanting to see positive steps toward ‘de-nuclearisation’ before relaxing sanctions. Obviously the nuke, missile and other WMD issues are against U.N. Resolutions and I’m unsure if this is the US unilateral sanctions or the unanimous UN sanctions:
Pompeo was charged with heading follow-up negotiations, but these appear to have made little progress, with the two sides apparently far apart on the fundamental issue of denuclearization and the U.S. demand for this before North Korea sees any relief from tough international sanctions.
Opinions are divided whether now is the right time to continue negotiations, most appear (according to the article) to agree Biegun going would be good for future negotiations and allow Pompeo to step back:
However, several members of the U.S. negotiating team said they had seen no sign that North Korea was prepared to negotiate seriously until the United States promised relief from sanctions in return.

Some U.S. intelligence and defense officials consider Pompeo’s planned trip to be premature and said the prospects for significant progress appeared dim.
..........
Joshua Pollack, a North Korea missile expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, noted that Biegun’s background was mostly in Russian issues.

But Pollack said that Pompeo could enhance Biegun’s credibility as a negotiator by personally introducing him in Pyongyang. “That would allow Pompeo to step back somewhat until more groundwork has been laid in working-level talks,” he said.
Obviously, opinions differ on who is to blame for the lack of progress. As above the US wants ‘positive steps’ whilst the DPRK want the sanctions to be lifted and not to make baseless references on ‘secret nuclear facilities’:
North Korea state media last week blamed lack of progress on members of the U.S. negotiating team and said breaking the deadlock would demand “a bold decision on the part of President Trump.”

A commentary in its Rodong Sinmun newspaper said those opposed to dialogue were seeking to derail talks with baseless references to “secret nuclear facilities” in North Korea.
 
Trump has cancelled Pompeo's visit.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will not be travelling to North Korea in the immediate future after Donald Trump asked him to call off a planned trip.

The president said in a tweet that insufficient progress was being made on denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

And he suggested China was not doing enough to pressure North Korea - due to trade tensions with the US.
Trump has the opportunity to pull off one of the greatest diplomatic successes in recent times by bringing about an end to the Korean conflict but either he or his advisers appear determined to screw it up.
He appears to think all stick & no carrot is the way to go, which is never going to produce a worthwhile outcome.
 
Traditionally, they're given for incentive.
Says who?

Carrot and stick the use of a combination of reward and punishment to induce a desired behavior. It is not specified when the carrot is actually given. It can be either inducement or reward.

In this case it would appear that your namesake is being withheld for non-complience.
 
Says who?

Carrot and stick the use of a combination of reward and punishment to induce a desired behavior. It is not specified when the carrot is actually given. It can be either inducement or reward.

In this case it would appear that your namesake is being withheld for non-complience.
And if the recipient doesn't believe there's any chance of receiving the incentive regardless if they comply, it's no incentive.

That's why successful uses involve giving a taste of carrot.
 
Your inability to distinguish between the different subtleties and graduations of punishment and reward involved in the term simply confirm your Avatar's signature.

‘Traditionally’ to use your adjective, carrots are a little low in the ‘smart’ scale.
 
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U.S. military hints could resume major exercises on Korean peninsula
Mattis saying they’ve now no plans to suspend any more major military exercises and no plans have yet been made on major exercises for next year. Bit of a double negative, pretty much echoing the headline:
“We took the step to suspend several of the largest exercises as a good-faith measure coming out of the Singapore summit,” Mattis told reporters, referring to the June 12 meeting between Trump and Kim.

“We have no plans at this time to suspend any more exercises,” he said, adding that no decisions had yet been made on major exercises for next year.
 

Grey Fox

*Russian Troll*
South Korea don't want to be "on one side" with Yanks, and still continue to buy Iranian oil. And what Yanks can do?
 
Trump hails Kim, sees no need to resume U.S.-South Korea war games
Looks like Trump has done a u-turn on Mattis’s comments above. He sees no need to restart the ‘expensive’ joint exercises yet, but they can be restarted at any time (luckily the planning is ongoing, so it’s not entirely a bluff) and of course they will be bigger and better than before, if they are restarted.

He says he has a ‘good and warm’ relationship with Tubby III, that China is putting ‘tremendous pressure’ on the DPRK and that they are supplying ‘considerable aid’ including fuel, fertiliser and commodities, denied by China (see below):
The statement said Trump believed North Korea was under “tremendous pressure” from China, but Beijing was also supplying Pyongyang with “considerable aid,” including fuel, fertilizer and commodities.

“This is not helpful!” the statement said.

“Nonetheless, the President believes that his relationship with Kim Jong Un is a very good and warm one, and there is no reason at this time to be spending large amounts of money on joint U.S.-South Korea war games,” it added.

“Besides, the President can instantly start the joint exercises again with South Korea, and Japan, if he so chooses. If he does, they will be far bigger than ever before.”
China’s ForMin spokeswoman says the US ‘irresponsible distortion of facts and logic is world leading’:
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the remarks regarding China’s role on the North Korea issue were “irresponsible”.

“The U.S. side’s irresponsible distortion of facts and logic is world-leading and really not something the ordinary person can understand,” Hua told a regular news briefing on Thursday in Beijing when asked about Trump’s tweet.
The Pentagon says exercise planning is ongoing and RoK DefMinistry say no plans have been made ref Ex Vigilant Ace this year:
A Pentagon spokesman said, “Routine planning continues for major ROK-US exercises on the Peninsula in accordance with the normal exercise program planning cycle,” without elaborating.

South Korea’s defense ministry said that nothing has been decided about whether to hold “Vigilant Ace” this year.
Washington still pushing the DPRK giving up its nukes first:
“We believe that denuclearization has to take place before we get to other parts, and that’s been a part of our policy,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert reiterated on Wednesday.
The bottom line in the letter mentioned above to Pompeo is that the US isn’t doing enough and “if you’re not willing to give something, then don’t come.”
U.S. officials say North Korean officials warned in a letter to Pompeo last week that talks with the United States risked falling apart. They now worry that Pyongyang may concentrate on trying to cut a separate deal with South Korea and in doing so driving a wedge between the U.S.-South Korea alliance.

“They basically don’t think we’re doing enough,” a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday, referring to the North Koreans. He said that the tone of the letter was “if you’re not willing to give something, then don’t come.”
 
North Korean leader Kim said he wants to "denuclearise" during US president Trump's first term in office. This is the first indication of the time line North Korea has in mind for this series of events.
Kim says he wants North Korea to denuclearize in Trump's first term: Seoul | CBC News
North Korea's Kim Jong-un wants to realize denuclearization during U.S. President Donald Trump's first term — giving a timeline for the first time — and has agreed to a third summit with his South Korean counterpart, Seoul officials said.
He has also agreed to a third summit with South Korean president Moon, where they will discuss "practical measures" with regards to "denuclearization".
Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20 and will discuss "practical measures" toward denuclearization, Moon's national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, said on Thursday after meeting Kim a day earlier.
Kim also said that his faith in Trump was unchanged, and he wants an end to hostile relations with the US. Kim particularly emphasized that he has never said anything negative about Trump. I'm not sure if this latter bit was meant to be reassuring.
Kim told South Korean officials his faith in Trump was "unchanged" and he wanted denuclearization and an end to hostile relations with the United States within Trump's first term in office, ending in early 2021, Chung said.

"He particularly emphasized that he has never said anything negative about President Trump," Chung said.
Kim apparently told South Korean representatives that it was his objective to turn the Korean peninsula into "the cradle of peace without nuclear weapons and free from nuclear threat".
North Korea's official KCNA news agency said Kim told Chung and other envoys that it was his "fixed stand" to turn the Korean peninsula into "the cradle of peace without nuclear weapons and free from nuclear threat."
South Korean representatives said that Kim was frustrated over the doubts voiced by some people, and that North Korea was willing to take more steps towards the ultimate goal provided there were reciprocal measures taken in response to North Korea initiatives. This last bit is important as a reminder that North Korea expects reciprocity in this overall process.
Chung said Kim showed "frustration over the doubt raised by some parts of the international community about his willingness to denuclearize, and asked us to convey his message to the United States."

"He said he would appreciate that such good faith is accepted with good faith," Chung said. "He expressed his strong will to carry out more proactive measures toward denuclearization if action is taken in response to the North's preemptive steps."
There are plans to open a liaison office staffed by personnel by both Koreas to improve consultation.
The two Koreas also plan to open an inter-Korean liaison office before the third summit in the North's border city of Kaesong, staffed by officials from both sides to facilitate consultation, Chung said.
 
U.S. Treasury sanctions North Korean hacker, company for cyber attacks
US Treasury has applied sanctions on a N Korean computer programmer and the company he works for (Pak Jin Kyok and the Chosun Expo Joint Venture company) for the 2017 Wannacry ransomware and 2014 Sony hack. Apparently they “engaged in significant activities undermining cybersecurity through the use of computer networks or systems against targets outside of North Korea on behalf of the Government of North Korea or the Workers’ Party of Korea.”:
The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday imposed sanctions against a North Korean computer programmer and the company he worked for, accusing them of the 2017 global WannaCry ransomware attack and the 2014 cyber attack on Sony Corp.

The Treasury Department accused Pak Jin Kyok and the Chosun Expo Joint Venture company of involvement in malign cyber activities and said they were linked to the North Korean government.

It said they “engaged in significant activities undermining cybersecurity through the use of computer networks or systems against targets outside of North Korea on behalf of the Government of North Korea or the Workers’ Party of Korea.”
 
'A cage without walls': Once in South Korea, North Koreans have little chance of getting asylum elsewhere

North Koreans facing loss of refugee status seek leave on humanitarian and compassionate grounds

Jennifer Yoon · CBC News · Posted: Sep 09, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 7 hours ago

"Jo Hye Kyung beat the odds: She made a dangerous escape from North Korea 20 years ago and eventually made her way to Canada and a new life. But because she initially settled in South Korea, her life in Toronto may soon be uprooted."

"Jo, 32, is just one of a number of North Korean defectors in Canada who came to the country by way of South Korea and could now be sent back to a place where, they say, they face systemic discrimination."

"Under the United Nations convention on the status of refugees, North Koreans with South Korean citizenship are excluded from refugee protection. "

'A cage without walls': Once in South Korea, North Koreans have little chance of getting asylum elsewhere | CBC News
 
'A cage without walls': Once in South Korea, North Koreans have little chance of getting asylum elsewhere

North Koreans facing loss of refugee status seek leave on humanitarian and compassionate grounds

Jennifer Yoon · CBC News · Posted: Sep 09, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 7 hours ago

"Jo Hye Kyung beat the odds: She made a dangerous escape from North Korea 20 years ago and eventually made her way to Canada and a new life. But because she initially settled in South Korea, her life in Toronto may soon be uprooted."

"Jo, 32, is just one of a number of North Korean defectors in Canada who came to the country by way of South Korea and could now be sent back to a place where, they say, they face systemic discrimination."

"Under the United Nations convention on the status of refugees, North Koreans with South Korean citizenship are excluded from refugee protection. "

'A cage without walls': Once in South Korea, North Koreans have little chance of getting asylum elsewhere | CBC News
I'm not surprised that South Korean citizens have a hard time getting refugee status in Canada. I've also heard before that North Koreans faced widespread discrimination against them in South Korea. I was surprised though that it was bad enough that so many of them were leaving South Korea and trying to gain refugee status in Canada.

It's also particularly interesting that each North Korean refugee in South Korea is assigned someone from the police to keep an eye on him.

The article as a whole is worth reading in full.
 
Kim and Trump may be having another meeting. White House mulls new Trump-Kim meeting after receiving 'very warm' letter | CBC News
U.S. President Donald Trump received a "very warm, very positive" letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un asking for a second meeting, and the White House is looking at scheduling one, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday.
There is no word yet on when such a meeting may happen, if it does.

Kim proposed this in a personal letter to Trump. The US described it as "very warm, very positive". The US is apparently in the process of arranging the meeting.
Hopes of progress were revived, however, after Trump told reporters on Friday that a personal letter from Kim was on the way.
"It was a very warm, very positive letter," Sanders said at Monday's briefing.
"The primary purpose of the letter was to request and look to schedule another meeting with the president, which we are open to and are already in the process of co-ordinating that," she said.
Sanders told reporters the letter exhibited "a continued commitment to focus on denuclearization of the peninsula."
The US also called the recent military parade in Pyongyang as "a sign of good faith" due to the lack of long range missiles on display.
She said a military parade in Pyongyang on Sunday was "a sign of good faith" because it did not feature any long-range missiles.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Moon and Kim are scheduled to have their third meeting next week.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to have his third summit with Kim next week in Pyongyang, and his government had pushed for a three-way summit involving Trump, with the aim of agreeing a joint declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War.
Moon is expected to present a proposal for phased steps towards the end goal, including "denuclearization" (whatever that turns out to be), US security guarantees, and an official end to the Korean War.
South Korea's president is expected to present some proposal to Kim suggesting phased steps toward denuclearization and U.S. security guarantees, including an official end to the Korean War. Moon could then discuss the idea when he meets Trump during the UN General Assembly meeting in New York later this month, South Korean officials said.
Trump asked Moon to act as the chief negotiator between the US and North Korea. In my opinion this may be a very important development.
Trump asked Moon to act as "chief negotiator" between Washington and Pyongyang during their phone call last week, Moon's spokesperson, Kim Eui-kyeom, told reporters.
Moon said recently that North Korea needs to dismantle their nuclear programs, but that the US also needs to take "corresponding action".
"In order for us to move toward the next level of dismantling North Korea's existing nuclear weapons, the leaders of North Korea and the United States once again must have big ideas and take bold decisions," Moon told a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
"North Korea should abolish its nuclear programs, and the United States foster such conditions with corresponding action."
A US policy analyst was quoted in the news as saying that a second meeting was the right course of action, and there are reasons for optimism.
Harry Kazianis, director of defence studies from the Centre for the National Interest, a think-tank in Washington reckoned Trump was right to pursue a second meeting with the North Korean leader.
"When you combine Kim's pledge to denuclearize by the end of Trump's first term, as well as not displaying any long-range ballistic missiles during the north's recent 70th anniversary celebrations, there are reasons for optimism," he said.
 
President Moon has arrived in Pyongyang for another meeting with Kim.
Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang for first time in more than a decade | CBC News



Moon was accompanied by business leaders looking forward to future economic relations with North Korea.
Travelling with Moon are business tycoons including Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong, underscoring Moon's hopes to expand cross-border business projects. Currently, all major joint projects between the Koreas are stalled because of U.S.-led sanctions.
Moon will hold talks with Kim on Tuesday and Wednesday, announcements will be made on Wednesday, and Moon will return to Seoul on Thursday.
Moon was expected to have talks with Kim on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Moon's chief of staff. Moon and Kim were also expected to jointly announce the results of their talks on Wednesday if things go smoothly. Moon is to return to Seoul on Thursday.
Moon is apparently under pressure from Washington to advance Washington's "denuclearisation" agenda, but Moon appears to have a rather different agenda of his own - "irreversible, permanent peace".
Moon is under intense pressure from Washington to advance the denuclearization process. Before his departure he said he intends to push for "irreversible, permanent peace" and for better dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington.

"This summit would be very meaningful if it yielded a resumption of North Korea-U.S. talks," Moon said Tuesday morning just before his departure.
The South Koreans downplayed notions about having anything to announce about "denuclearization" at this summit.
To keep expectations from getting too high, Moon's chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, said it's "difficult to have any optimistic outlook" for progress on denuclearization during the summit.
Instead, they are focusing on meaningful agreements that "fundamentally remove the danger of armed clashes and ease fears of war".
But he said he still expects the summit to produce meaningful agreements that "fundamentally remove the danger of armed clashes and ease fears of war" between the two Koreas.
There is more at the story, but it is mainly a repeat of previous background.
 
The first results of the Moon-Kim summit are in. Kim Jong-un agrees to dismantle main nuclear site if U.S. takes steps too | CBC News
North Korea has agreed to dismantle their main nuclear site at Nyongbyon if the US reciprocates with corresponding measures.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to permanently dismantle his main nuclear complex at Nyongbyon if the United States takes corresponding measures, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday after the two leaders held summit talks in Pyongyang to try to sustain nuclear diplomacy with Washington, which has been pushing hard for stronger disarmament moves from the North.
North Korea would also dismantle a missile engine test site and launch pad, and the two Koreas would try to jointly host the 2032 Summer Olympics.
The Korean leaders also said the North would dismantle a missile engine test site and launch pad in the presence of outside inspectors, and would seek to host the 2032 Summer Olympics together.
Kim may visit Seoul later this year.
Moon also said Kim would try to visit Seoul sometime this year.
The two read a joint statement where Kim said the following:
"We have agreed to make the Korean Peninsula a land of peace that is free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat," Kim said as he stood by Moon's side at the guesthouse where Moon is staying. "The road to our future will not always be smooth and we may face challenges and trials we can't anticipate. But we aren't afraid of headwinds because our strength will grow as we overcome each trial based on the strength of our nation."
On Tuesday Kim met Moon at the airport in Pyongyang and rode together with him in an open limousine past cheering crowds lining the streets.
Kim gave the South Korean president an exceedingly warm welcome on Tuesday, the first day of the summit, meeting him and his wife at Pyongyang's airport — itself a very unusual gesture — then riding into town with Moon in an open limousine through streets lined with crowds of North Koreans, who cheered and waved the flag of their country and a blue-and-white flag that symbolizes Korean unity.
On Tuesday, Kim thanked Moon for arranging Kim's meeting with Trump.
At the start of their meeting Tuesday, Kim thanked Moon for brokering the June summit with Trump.

"It's not too much to say that it's Moon's efforts that arranged a historic North Korea-U.S. summit. Because of that, the regional political situation has been stabilized and more progress on North Korea-U.S. ties is expected," Kim said, according to South Korean media pool reports and Moon's office.
It appears to be Moon who is driving this whole process forward, including Kim's meeting with Trump. Moon was elected on a platform which included taking strong steps to form a more peaceful relationship with North Korea. He is in my opinion the central figure to keep an eye on, even though he often downplays his own importance.

 

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