Just seven months ago in August, there was President Donald Trump [in power since 2017] on our screens in a characteristic outburst, ranting with verbal jousting at Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un [in power since 2011] with reciprocal dire threats against North Korea: ”They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before”.
The fact is that when it came to it, Kim simply called Trump’s bluff and bluster and carried-on with his ambitious plan to develop ‘deliverable’ nuclear-armed missiles, didn’t he?
Yes, so later the same month, blatantly undeterred, that hostile nation launched yet another test missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean. Trump’s curt response was “talking is not the answer”
Then just the next month at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump disgraced his high office by resorting to the name-calling of Kim as “rocket man” [Kim responded by describing the American president as a “senior dotard” (i.e. an oldster in his dotage; someone whose age has impaired his intellect)], and Trump threatening North Korea further with ‘annihilation’: “We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea if provoked”.
[Hardly in the UN spirit of fostering peace and global cooperation, do you think? Also, you see, Trump not being much of a African enthusiast, doesn’t ascribe to its ancient maxim “speak softly and carry a big stick”, as was embraced over a hundred years ago in President Roosevelt’s ideology for foreign policy, eh?]
The problem with Trump is that when he says something with unmeasured tone, it’s not quite clear whether he means it or not, eh?
Now, those sceptics of us still with our feet still on the ground, well know that this kind of ‘tough-guy’ talk doesn’t actually work in the real world, and that only decisive action is effective, if the much preferred route of diplomacy eventually fails, don’t we?
Well, indeed the UN Security Council’s unanimous approval of additional sanctions against North Korea last December was a major diplomatic achievement and showed the effectiveness of diplomatic power, because that is likely to have much more direct impact on Kim’s regime than provocative abusive rhetoric – not that he gives a jot about the suffering of the North Korean people, indeed? [Those sanctions further strangle its energy supplies and tighten restrictions on smuggling and the use of North Korean workers overseas].
But don’t underestimate the immediate and impending seriousness of the potential conflict situation facing the World that North Korea [Pyongyang capital & power base] presents, will you?
Well, during 2016, Kim initially seized the opportunity, while the U.S. was comatose with the American presidential election process, to renew its nuclear testing programme by conducting two major nuclear test explosions within 8 months [in January (its 4th such nuclear test, claimed to be of a “miniaturised” hydrogen bomb), and then followed that in September (their 5th test delivering their then ‘biggest-ever’ explosive yield – a blatant show of defiance indeed, immediately following the U.S. and South Korea holding of their annual joint military exercises)]
Last year, as wet-behind-the-ears President Trump assumed control as America’s Commander-in-Chief, what followed was North Korea’s first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (an ICBM has a range of greater than some 3,000 miles) – which it (falsely?) claims could reach “anywhere in the world”, as part of a ramp up and rapid progress by Kim’s missile program, allowing it clearly to perfect the technology with each launch – firing 23 missiles with only a few failures, during 16 tests (the last one flying higher and farther than any other missile of theirs, and which landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Then last September (2017), North Korea followed-up by conducting another major and its 6th ‘nuclear’ test – reportedly a hydrogen bomb, which was noted to be its still most powerful explosion yet, with seismic data analyzed by experts putting it close to a whopping 250 kilotons, or nearly 17 times more powerful than the American bomb that flattened Hiroshima.
Now whether or not North Korea actually ‘currently’ has a military arsenal that can viably target the U.S. mainland is disputable, but nevertheless it is certainly not far off, is it? No, those in the know, have predicted that North Korea will have succeeded in pairing nuclear warhead with ICBM, just THIS year, haven’t they? Yep, and that is why Kim is likely to want to buy some more time and throw the U.S. off the scent by pretending ‘once again’ to halt his nuclear program and its delivery functionality, isn’t it?
Now, what you need to know is that North Korea has form when it comes to hoodwinking the US and the international community over its nuclear and missile ambitions. Well, that reaches as far back as 33 years (1985) when it first signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but carried on regardless to actually develop nuclear weapons (2003). Two years later it agreed to give-up it all in exchange for aid, but just a year after that nevertheless conducted a missile test – as a consequence it was hit with UN sanctions. Predictably, the following year (2007) it ‘agreed’ to close its main nuclear reactor in exchange for aid and then subsequently persuaded the United States to remove it from the list of ‘terrorist states’. Nevertheless, the next year in 2009 it then conducted its 2nd nuclear test – as a consequence it got given UN sanctions.
This pattern of duplicity most certainly continued when Kim Jong-un assumed power, upholding his father’s policy of pursuing a military deterrent and shrugging off international pressure, whence in 2012 North Korea pledged to halt its nuclear programme (including suspending nuclear missile tests and uranium enrichment, and submit to international monitoring) in exchange for U.S. food aid, [Pyongyang was keen to secure a source of food ahead of the celebrations marking the centenary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, Kim’s grandfather].
Instead, in 2013 North Korea simply continued testing and that included its 3rd nuclear test later that year [having earlier boasted about its it plans to carry out such a new nuclear test and more long-range rocket launches, all of which it said were a part of a new phase of confrontation with the United States – threatening an “upcoming all-out action” targeting the United States, “the sworn enemy of the Korean people,”
And so on and so forth – the North Korea reclusive regime has continuously progressed its nuclear and delivery capability, as the ominous events of the past 2 years has clearly shown, don’t you think?
So after the tensions of these past 7 months, what has happened? Well, much to the shock of Kim Jong-un himself as well as the international community, Donald Trump has surprisingly announced that he will accept an invitation [delivered via South Korean officials], to meet-up with the North Korean ruthless, bellicose, infamous despot for nuclear TALKS, which Trump says is for “a deal very much in the making”, no less?
This summit, if it occurs, will come in the wake of Trump last September accusing South Korean President Moon Jae-in of appeasement saying “their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” because of the South’s earlier efforts to launch peace talks.
All knowing analysts will warn that this is another madness by Trump, as Kim’s modus operandi is to be seen at home, in no uncertain terms, to be the supreme force behind his country’s potential international nuclear power standing [encapsulated by his uttering in approving the country’s fourth nuclear test in January 2016 “The entire world will look up to us”], as it will give Kim an easy massive PR victory without the U.S. securing anything in return, won’t it?
You can bet your bottom dollar that we will see zero concrete steps and zilch concrete action, from North Korea on halting its progress towards nuclear weapon status, or dismantling that nation’s rapidly advancing nuclear weapons program, before Kim meets the president of the United States next month – an historic event indeed, since NO sitting U.S. president has met ANY North Korea leader EVER [neither Kim nor his father nor grandfather]. Furthermore, to put that in context, ‘reclusive’ Kim has neither met North Korea’s benefactor, the neighbouring Chinese President Xi Jinping, nor for that matter ANY other foreign leader since coming to power].
Trump’s naivety on this issue is nothing short of breathtaking, isn’t it? He seems to think that his experience as a business wheeler-dealer backed by enforceable laws (but with NONE completed successfully in Congress, let alone on the international stage) will allow him to upstage the leader of a totalitarian state, known as a brutal conniving duplicitous dictator and anti-Yank evil moron, who terminates anyone who gets in his way (and that included his uncle and his own estranged elder step-brother in Malaysia, didn’t it?).
US Presidents just don’t go into such a witches cauldron – they send experienced officials or even their Secretary of State. Not Trump, he has instead just sacked his former top diplomat Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Mind you, that is precisely the man that Trump criticised last October, for his efforts to open a dialogue with North Korea, telling him in a tweet that he was “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man”.
Realistically nothing will be achieved in these proposed talks, because all Kim wants is to buy time, doesn’t he? Even if there is a cast iron agreement in return for further American aid, it will all come to nothing, as we have seen it all before from North Korea and nothing has changed; there can be no trust in them; they broke the agreement the last time, the time before that, and the time before that.
Yes, then Kim will probably conduct another ICBM test to further prove its range and demonstrate that he does have the capability of attacking the American mainland – he may even retest his nuclear weapon to prove North Korea has a reliable, deliverable bomb. Thereafter, he will confidently attack the South with conventional weapons to force the Korean unification that has been his country’s ambition since the 1950s, won’t he? You see, North Korea despite being economically weak has massive military strength, and will easily overrun the South, won’t it?
[America will certainly NOT embark on a second Korean war, so the die is cast, and has been for some time because ‘President Obama’ did zilch on the international front in his time – so ‘democracy’ is now facing extinction for South Korea]