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Last week’s Economist Magazine won the day with the best-ever headline about the Trump-Kim Jong-un summit: `Kim Jong Won!’

That said it all. Just out of hospital, I was in no shape to compete with the great Economist or its very witty headline writers. But after watching a week of post Singapore summit between Great White Father Trump and delinquent Kim Jong-un I must totally agree with the Economist.

What was billed as a second-coming extravaganza between the two leaders – who have been trading insults of ‘little rocket man’ and ‘dotard’ (someone who is senile) turned out to be a very expensive photo op for both publicity seekers that made much noise but produced very little – at least so far. It seemed as if two schoolyard bullies had been forced by the principal to shake hands.

Beyond gestures, North Korea’s leader certainly came out ahead. His objective – and those of his family predecessors for the past 60 years – was to normalize relations with the US, start trade, and end US efforts to overthrow the Marxist government in Pyongyang.

Trump’s objectives, at least initially, were to crush North Korea and the threats it could pose to the United States and its regional allies Japan and South Korea. Trump sought to set up Kim as a bogeyman, and himself as America’s savior. Trump knew perfectly well that he could not destroy all of North Korea’s deeply buried nuclear-armed missiles, and, in spite of his huffing and puffing, had no stomach for an invasion of North Korea that could cost the US an estimated 250,000 casualties.

So Trump’s solution was more show-biz. A much ballyhooed flight to Singapore, backslapping a delighted Kim, and a love-fest between the two chunky leaders was sold to Americans as the dawn of peace. America’s media was quick to retail the story and burnish Trump’s credentials among the seriously credulous. No more hiding under your school desks or in dank basements. As Trump grandly proclaimed, Americans no longer have to fear North Korea and can sleep peacefully at night!

Why? Korea still has all of its medium and long-ranged missiles and an estimated 40 or more nuclear warheads. The North is developing submarines that can launch nuclear-armed missiles from underwater off America’s coasts. For Kim, these weapons are purely defensive, designed to prevent a US attack on his nation. But he is now a full-fledged member of the nuclear club.

Equally important, North Korea still has an estimated 14,000 170mm guns and hundreds of 300mm long-ranged rocket launchers emplaced in caves just north of the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas. They threaten almost all of South Korea’s capital Seoul north of the Han River and some US military bases and key airfields, notably Osan.

This is a very real threat – one that is largely immune to attack from the air. I have seen these emplacements from the northern edge of the DMZ. Kim’s big guns hold Seoul’s millions of inhabitants hostage.

ORDER IT NOW

There is no mention of this artillery threat in the final communiqué issued by Trump and Kim in Singapore. But it was agreed to temporarily stop the highly provocative US/South Korean war games simulating an invasion of the North, a key demand by Kim. This column has been calling for their end for a decade. North Korea will seemingly halt its missile tests.

This is not the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea that has been bandied about. There may be a few gestures of disarmament but Kim must know that his nukes are his means of survival. In case Kim didn’t remember the dire fate of Iraq, Libya, and Syria, Trump’s new national security advisor John Bolton, a fanatic’s fanatic, cheerfully recalled the doom of Libya’s murdered Col. Khadaffi.

The Singapore summit was also a huge humiliation for America’s allies Japan and South Korea. In Asia, preserving ‘face’ is essential.

Trump completely ignored America’s two old allies after his meeting with Kim – who routinely blasts Japan and South Korea as ‘America’s stooges.’ Instead, Trump sent his beginner Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to explain what happened in Singapore, inflicting a deep loss of face on Tokyo and Seoul. This was a terrible insult and could spark decisions by at least Japan to proceed ahead with its covert nuclear program. Japan can deploy nuclear weapons in 3-6 months; South Korea is not far behind.

The United States and North Korea are now on a more civilized level of behavior. But nothing basic has been resolved. Maybe Trump has some more concessions up his sleeve, like cutting the number of US troops in the South. But Korea is now on the back burner as Trump wages trade wars around the globe.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, North Korea 
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  1. Some of us have memories. I recall Mr. Margolis blasting Trump a year ago for warmongering. Now he is pushing peace so he, and the rest of the neocon media, are blasting Trump as a fool. Last year he wrote:

    “Seemingly heedless of these hard facts, President Trump – who himself avoided national military service in the 1960’s – keeps beating the war drums over North Korea and needling its thin-skinned regime with naval exercises, over-flights, and intensifying bombast. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has played right along, clearly relishing his game of chicken with tough-talking Donald Trump.

    Trump seemed certain he could somehow cajole China into disarming North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. But the administration’s amateur foreign policymakers failed to understand that the only “deal” that could get China to disarm the North was by agreeing to remove all US military bases from the region – South Korea, Japan and Guam – and also moving the US Seventh Fleet far from China’s coasts.”

    http://www.unz.com/emargolis/end-the-korean-war/

    Mr. Margolis was wrong, but forgot to concede.

    I agree this is a long term deal, but the score should be 5-5. You must give Trump great credit for ignoring his crazed Generals and neocons by meeting with North Korea and ending the mindless provocative war games. I hope someone tells Trump that he can reduce the American military presence is South Korea as part of a deal, save money in the process, AND improve the combat effectiveness of our military in the region. For example:

    http://www.g2mil.com/osan.htm

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    • Replies: @WorkingClass
    Yeah, I won't be reading Margolis any more. This is just a hit piece. And everything he says about the Singapore summit is wrong.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Like a lot of older people Eric Margolis suffers from a bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Generally this is a Boomer problem but Silents aren't immune.

    Margolis also worships Mohammedans which compounds his disdain for Trump.
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  2. Yee says:

    Peace and co-operation in Northeast Asia is surely a lose for the US. That is why it’s not going to happen…. Don’t worry.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Paw
    Yeas, as any imperialist-fascists state can not exists without the war..Funny Dumb Trump will get punished. N.Korea is the DEFENDING nation never attacking...From many centuries before...
    Only US barbarians , made them to arm themselves.
    Propaganda for Kim 10 and any advantage for the USA =O.
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  3. @Carlton Meyer
    Some of us have memories. I recall Mr. Margolis blasting Trump a year ago for warmongering. Now he is pushing peace so he, and the rest of the neocon media, are blasting Trump as a fool. Last year he wrote:

    "Seemingly heedless of these hard facts, President Trump – who himself avoided national military service in the 1960’s – keeps beating the war drums over North Korea and needling its thin-skinned regime with naval exercises, over-flights, and intensifying bombast. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has played right along, clearly relishing his game of chicken with tough-talking Donald Trump.

    Trump seemed certain he could somehow cajole China into disarming North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. But the administration’s amateur foreign policymakers failed to understand that the only “deal” that could get China to disarm the North was by agreeing to remove all US military bases from the region – South Korea, Japan and Guam – and also moving the US Seventh Fleet far from China’s coasts."

    http://www.unz.com/emargolis/end-the-korean-war/

    Mr. Margolis was wrong, but forgot to concede.

    I agree this is a long term deal, but the score should be 5-5. You must give Trump great credit for ignoring his crazed Generals and neocons by meeting with North Korea and ending the mindless provocative war games. I hope someone tells Trump that he can reduce the American military presence is South Korea as part of a deal, save money in the process, AND improve the combat effectiveness of our military in the region. For example:

    http://www.g2mil.com/osan.htm

    Yeah, I won’t be reading Margolis any more. This is just a hit piece. And everything he says about the Singapore summit is wrong.

    Read More
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  4. Dennis says:

    I looked an the article pathetically titled “Kim 10, Trump 0″ half-hoping the author meant it ironically. Why would a negotiation between North Korea and USA be judged point-by-point, when the two countries’ wishes aren’t commensurate? The USA wishes North Korea to no longer be able to bomb the USA. The wish presupposes that North Korea is politically incorrigible, and it is all-or-nothing: they can bomb or they can’t. So the USA gets zero points until it gets its wish.

    The author writes of North Korea’s big guns:
    “They threaten almost all of South Korea’s capital Seoul north of the Han River and some US military bases and key airfields, notably Osan.”

    What is that geography? The Han River splits Seoul into north and south halves. The guns don’t threaten just the north half of Seoul, especially as they threaten the Osan Air Base which is 50 km south of the south half of Seoul.

    The author bellyaches about the summit not addressing the matter of the guns pointed south. Guns pointed at South Korean cities is not a matter for North Korea and USA to negotiate. It’s between the two Koreas. Guns pointed at USA air bases are negotiable together with the US air bases.

    The author mentions:
    “…decisions by at least Japan to proceed ahead with its covert nuclear program.”

    “covert” is incorrect. Japan has signed the NPT, and ships its excess bomb-grade fissile materials out of country. Everyone knows that Japan is capable of building nuclear weapons quickly. “latent” is the correct word.

    A covert Japanese nuclear program would be a great scoop for the Unz Review.

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  5. Trump completely ignored America’s two old allies after his meeting with Kim

    I guess Margolis hasn’t heard of the device known as the telephone.

    Trump also spoke with Abe.

    I guess Margolis would only be happy if a 72-year-old man, after flying 22 hours to Singapore for 3 days of meetings, immediately gets on a plane and flies to S. Korea, then Japan, to personally brief leaders. To not do so mean uh loss of face and uh great shame!

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  6. In Asia, preserving ‘face’ is essential

    I don’t know why Western writers try to pretend that ‘face’ is more important in Squinty-Land than it is in Round-Eye-Land: it takes a more impersonal character (i.e., it applies to the doings of the political class qua class, not just to individuals: it’s been some time since a senior member of the Western political class resigned his post in protest, let alone committed suicide on principle).

    Examples:

    In the first quarter of the 20th century, millions of people were killed, and vast areas of arable land were rendered unfit for over a century, as part of a pissing contest between three cousins… and nobody got up on their hind legs and/or put a bullet into everyone who was braying about ‘national honour’.

    WWII happened because Churchill did not want Germany to become remotely important as a European industrial power: again, ‘face’ and ‘honour’.

    I also recall – but cannot find at the moment – jury instructions given in a trial (for sedition, I think) in which there were three main points (I paraphrase), which have everything to do with ‘face’ for the entire tax-farm concept, writ large -

    ① it is essential that public trust in the political order is maintained; so
    ② anyone who does anything to undermine that trust, even if what they say is correct must be punished; so
    ③ find this guy guilty so we can hang him.

    (On those jury directions: I’ve had a fifteen-minute peruse through my Disqus and IntenseDebate histories (neither of which, sadly, can be downloaded and stored in a proper, grownup, searchable format)… to no avail. I am pretty certain I also made a text note (which, for the life of me, I cannot find), but there you go.)

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  7. I was in no shape to compete with the great Economist or its very witty headline writers …

    It’s fascinating to see leftists openly allying with the very worst forces of economic elitism and oppression, and in this case effectively lobbying for nuclear war. The Economist is run by the Rothschild family, and was identified by Karl Marx as the “European organ” of the “aristocracy of finance”. One of the most important of Trump’s accomplishments is to force out into the open this kind of Deep State/leftist viciousness and corruption. Welcome to the sunlight Mr. Margolis!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Economist

    https://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.com/2018/01/world-socialist-web-economist-next-war.html

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  8. @Carlton Meyer
    Some of us have memories. I recall Mr. Margolis blasting Trump a year ago for warmongering. Now he is pushing peace so he, and the rest of the neocon media, are blasting Trump as a fool. Last year he wrote:

    "Seemingly heedless of these hard facts, President Trump – who himself avoided national military service in the 1960’s – keeps beating the war drums over North Korea and needling its thin-skinned regime with naval exercises, over-flights, and intensifying bombast. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has played right along, clearly relishing his game of chicken with tough-talking Donald Trump.

    Trump seemed certain he could somehow cajole China into disarming North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. But the administration’s amateur foreign policymakers failed to understand that the only “deal” that could get China to disarm the North was by agreeing to remove all US military bases from the region – South Korea, Japan and Guam – and also moving the US Seventh Fleet far from China’s coasts."

    http://www.unz.com/emargolis/end-the-korean-war/

    Mr. Margolis was wrong, but forgot to concede.

    I agree this is a long term deal, but the score should be 5-5. You must give Trump great credit for ignoring his crazed Generals and neocons by meeting with North Korea and ending the mindless provocative war games. I hope someone tells Trump that he can reduce the American military presence is South Korea as part of a deal, save money in the process, AND improve the combat effectiveness of our military in the region. For example:

    http://www.g2mil.com/osan.htm

    Like a lot of older people Eric Margolis suffers from a bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Generally this is a Boomer problem but Silents aren’t immune.

    Margolis also worships Mohammedans which compounds his disdain for Trump.

    Read More
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  9. Precious says:

    That said it all. Just out of hospital, I was in no shape to compete

    And you are in no shape to be writing now.

    Trump’s objectives, at least initially, were to crush North Korea and the threats it could pose to the United States and its regional allies Japan and South Korea. Trump sought to set up Kim as a bogeyman, and himself as America’s savior.

    This statement above is completely contradicted by the very next sentence.

    Trump knew perfectly well that he could not destroy all of North Korea’s deeply buried nuclear-armed missiles, and, in spite of his huffing and puffing, had no stomach for an invasion of North Korea that could cost the US an estimated 250,000 casualties.

    You can’t simultaneously have the objective of “crushing North Korea” while having “no stomach for an invasion of North Korea”. It is either one or the other. Eric, get some rest, finish your medications, make sure you are fully recovered.

    Then come back to writing and admit you were so very wrong about Trump from the start. It will ease your conscience.

    Read More
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  10. Paw says:
    @Yee
    Peace and co-operation in Northeast Asia is surely a lose for the US. That is why it's not going to happen.... Don't worry.

    Yeas, as any imperialist-fascists state can not exists without the war..Funny Dumb Trump will get punished. N.Korea is the DEFENDING nation never attacking…From many centuries before…
    Only US barbarians , made them to arm themselves.
    Propaganda for Kim 10 and any advantage for the USA =O.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
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