Beyond the Cusp

March 9, 2018

Back on the North Korea Merry-Go-Round

 

Once again, we hear out of Pyongyang the idea of giving up its nuclear weapons in return for U.S. security guarantees of nonaggression and which will also soon add the demand for food, energy and monetary aid. Speaking with reporters about these developments, President Donald Trump was quoted by AFP as having stated, “I believe they are sincere.” President Trump further stated, at a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, “I hope they’re sincere,” soon adding an ominous, “We’ll soon find out.” Further commentary from President Trump claimed, “I think they’re sincere also because of the sanctions and what we’re doing with respect to North Korea.” President Trump added, “(China) can do more but I think they’ve done more than they’ve ever done for our country before.”

 

Vice President Mike Pence in Washington added to the President’s message stating, “Whichever direction talks with North Korea go, we will be firm in our resolve. The United States and our allies remain committed to applying maximum pressure on the Kim regime to end their nuclear program. All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization.” Yes, he actually demanded that Washington needs to see North Korea take concrete steps toward denuclearization.

 

The story appears to have gone something like this, starting from the beginning. President Trump took office and North Korea celebrated with additional missile and nuclear tests on an increased rate. President Trump and many Western Leaders became incensed protesting with great words of accusation and threats of embargoes. There were even threats of annihilation from invasions, conquering of South Korea by the North Koreans, North Korea threats to nuke Guam, President Trump threatened to destroy North Korea in return of their attacking anyone and most of all there was the hope that China would exercise some restraint on their “pet attack dog” Kim Jong-un.

 

This series of events lead us to fall into some kind of hazy trance, it was as if we were living something over once again which had been promised to have been settled and done before. When we emerged from the haze, still with thoughts swirling and slowly crystalizing we realized we were no longer in this century, we had magically been sent to the ending decade of the Twentieth Century. We were not in the scene but observing from above looking through some clear, glass aperture. We were at a newsstand with all the major newspapers of the day and an old man watching the news on an old television. They were talking of the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. The date was October 18, 1994, and the headlines pretty much say it all. The New York Times headlined with, “U.S. and North Korea Agree To Build on Nuclear Accord.” Reading further, with haste, as we cannot be sure how long we will remain here, the article stated the following,

 

The Clinton Administration announced tonight that United States and North Korean negotiators in Geneva had reached a broad agreement that would freeze North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and allow the resumption of international inspections.

Administration officials said the agreement included some concessions by Washington, including arranging for American allies to build in North Korea two modern nuclear power plants valued at several billion dollars. The Administration also agreed to a delay in the inspection of two nuclear waste sites that were expected to reveal evidence of North Korea’s production of weapon-grades material.

Administration officials hailed the agreement — worked out over three weeks of tense negotiations — as a breakthrough. But after an 18-month dispute marked by stinging rhetoric, broken promises and failed negotiations, Administration officials remained wary that there could still be problems carrying out the accord.

Administration officials said North Korea committed itself to phasing out its five-megawatt nuclear reactor, freezing construction of two larger reactors and rejoining the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
“Personally, I think it is a very good agreement,” Robert L. Gallucci, the chief United States negotiator in Geneva, said tonight after closing the round of talks that seemed close to collapsing on several occasions. “Broadly, it is an acceptable, and very positive agreement.”

With North Korea isolated and distrustful of the West, Administration officials said they agreed to delay inspections of the waste sites in part to allow for time to build trust with North Korea. The expectation, they said, is that in a few months or perhaps years Pyongyang would allow the inspections of the nuclear waste sites.
Administration officials insisted that they would not back off their insistence on such inspections and that North Korea would never receive technology from the promised new light-water reactors until inspections of the waste sites are carried out.

In another concession, the Clinton Administration backed down on its demand that North Korea quickly send to another country the 8,000 spent fuel rods, from which enough plutonium could have already been obtained to construct four or five bombs.

Under the agreement, those rods will remain in a cooling pond in the North for a considerable time, perhaps more than a year. But Administration officials insisted that those rods will ultimately be shipped to a third country for reprocessing.

Mr. Gallucci said the agreement reached today would now be sent to Washington and Pyongyang for final approval. He said the agreement served the interests of the United States, South Korea and Japan, all of which are concerned about North Korea’s ambitions to become a nuclear power.

He said he planned to fly to Washington on Tuesday to consult with senior Administration officials and leading members of Congress. If the agreement is endorsed, he said he would sign it on Friday in Geneva with North Korea’s chief negotiator, Kang Sok Ju.

 

The haze slowly encompasses our entire group and off we float again feeling all weird and strange. After a brief period, well, we think it was brief but cannot really be sure, as we may have dreamt for some period, we cannot be sure. The haze is parting and, and, and we are looking at the same newsstand and all looks pretty much the same. Wait, the man is somewhat older and has a white and grey streaked beard. We can see a paper, well, we see the date first, just as before, and it is January 29, 2002. The headline starts to come into focus as does the name of the newspaper, the Washington Post with the headline reading, “Text of President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address.” Part of the article appears highlighted and is becoming clear enough to read, and some words are bolded, strange, but helpful. The passage reads,

 

Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.

Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September 11, but we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.

Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror; while an unelected, few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.

Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade.

This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens, leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.

 

Here comes that haze again and really feeling sleepier this time. As we are pulling back there came another headline from the Guardian stating, “North Korea withdraws from nuclear treaty.” Well, too late to read more, it has faded. One can only wonder whether we will arrive back in our own time or are there to be more stops on this strange trip into the past. Waking as the haze thins and we could be back, we are looking at a CNN web page and it is, wait, it is from March 1, 2012 and the headline reads, “North Korea agrees to halt nuclear activities for food.” There is a picture and three or four paragraphs visible. Here is the picture as we were gifted a copy which came along with us by some miracle and below that the story we were permitted to see. Again, there was one part bolded allowing us to fix this as during the time with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama and the unprecedented amount of aid being provided to North Korea.

 

The Picture of Kim Jong-un and Some Generals

The Picture of Kim Jong-un and Some Generals

 

North Korea has agreed to halt nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and enrichment activities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for food aid from the United States, the State Department said Wednesday.
The state-run North Korean news agency, KCNA, announced the agreement separately.

“Today’s announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction. We, of course, will be watching closely and judging North Korea’s new leaders by their actions,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday before the House Appropriations Committee.

In return for the moratorium on nuclear activities at this key site, the United States has agreed to a package of 240,000 metric tons of nutritional assistance to North Korea.

 

The haze returns and this time we are sure we are nodding off. The time seemed to pass faster, though that may be due to our not being fully conscious. The haze lifts and we are back at our computers feeling a little groggy and disoriented, as expected, we guess. We have no idea how long we were gone, though we can tell you there is a different show on the television, which is impressive as the new Smurf movie had just started as we left. We were quoting President Trump and Vice President Pence and how they believe that North Korea will be earnest and will negotiate in good faith. Perhaps they need to go on our little time travel revelation that every President before them going back at least three Presidents as our trip was not all inclusive. If nothing else, we are positive that there were likely headlines on July 27, 1953, celebrating and noting the Armistice between the United Nations forces led mainly by the United States and the Communist forces consisting of North Korea and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army. Below please find President Dwight David Eisenhower announcing the negotiations to establish an armistice pausing the Korean War. This was an armistice which is merely a time-out which has resulted in saber-rattling threatening to resume the conflict periodically ever since.

 

 

There has been a pattern with North Korea. They used to threaten to resume the war which held the threat of many casualties on both sides and potentially the near complete destruction of Seoul, South Korea followed by similar destruction throughout North Korea with the main targets being military assets. Nobody in the West desires such a renewal of this horrific conflagration. We always would like to believe that the same is true for the leaders of North Korea, but apparently one can never be sure, as the result of each episode has proven. Originally, North Korea would only make these threats when their nation was desperately in need of food, oil for electricity and including other necessities as North Korea has a very limited economic energy. Most of their economic production relies on the sale of coal and other minerals mostly to China and some limited subsistence farming. This leads to crises from malnutrition to absolute starvation of large sections of their population. With each passing of the leadership, the frequency of these crises would increase. Kim Jong-un has tested the resolve of every President since taking over after his father, Kim Jong-il, on December 17, 2011. Kim Jong-un immediately started to test Barack Obama continuing the crisis started by his father during the Presidency of George W. Bush by launching missiles anew and advertising the progress being accomplished at the Yongbyon nuclear complex. This eventually led to the partial capitulation as stated above with the food for promises President Obama accepted on March 1, 2012.

 

Now we are hearing of President Trump triumphantly claiming he believes that Kim Jong-un is negotiating in earnest and with respect, as we quoted above of President Trump claiming, “I think they’re sincere also because of the sanctions and what we’re doing with respect to North Korea.” and “(China) can do more but I think they’ve done more than they’ve ever done for our country before.” This shows once again President Trump’s lacking in depth of knowledge of history, recent or otherwise. Somebody, any of the generals, needs to inform him that he is being taken and that there is not an earnest bone in Chubby’s, sorry, we mean Kim Jong-un’s body. Kim Jong-us is playing the President and his belief that everyone thinks and treasures peace and reaching agreements as much as he. The Art of the Deal has to be sometimes not making any deal, as the other side is not dealing honestly. They are simply attempting to play for badly needed sustenance and other vital requirements. This has been the North Korean policy for the past twenty years. The North Korean economy is spent entirely on weapons, the military, nuclear research and keeping Kim Jong-un entertained, wined and dined in the manner in which he has become accustomed, which is quite lavish. Any nourishing provisions will largely be given to those in the military and the remainder of the population will be largely left to fend for themselves the best they are capable. Many people have been reportedly eating grass and bark off of trees, insects and anything else they can find which is at all edible. The one thing that Kim Jong-un has shown a desire to do is unify the entirety of the Peninsula, under his rule, of course. Any negotiation reached with Kim Jong-un today will be worthless by the end of May, as he believes that he is destined to be the leader of humankind.

 

Should President Trump be very fortunate, any agreement he reaches will last through the end of his time in office. The one thing the world can count on is that as soon as there is a new President, Kim Jong-un will be launching missiles, probably threatening San Francisco this time and testing nuclear weapons possibly even above ground in total disdain for all treaties. Kim Jong-un believes that the Western nations are soft and stupid and will fold before his demands every time. He knows that he will eventually get a leader elected to South Korea who will agree to some form of unification possibly with some form of shared leadership. Once the unification has been established, Kim Jong-un will slowly move his military throughout all of South Korea and, once in place, he will likely murder the South Korean leader and take rule of the entire peninsula using the wealth of South Korea to feed and assist the people of the now former North Korea and build as many missiles and nuclear warheads as he is able. Once he has attained the level with which he feels he is sufficiently well armed, then he will threaten and this time possibly force a confrontation. Within a couple of years of any future unification of the peninsula, the people of the former South Korea will be facing the same deprivations the North Koreans face today. The wealth and manufacturing of South Korea will be wasted and falling into disrepair as it is not required for maintaining his military, the only item he actually cares about other than the missiles and warheads. The entirety of the South Korean industrial infrastructure will be used to construct more military equipment, more planes, more tanks, more ships as Kim Jong-un sees himself as a conqueror and the leader of the world should he get half the opportunity. That is the man President Trump is about to trust, a man who only believes there are two kinds of people, those who are strong and meant to rule and those who treasure peace.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — March 21, 2018 @ 8:00 AM | Reply


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