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Kim & Xi out-flank and out-smart President Dumb in America....yet again!!


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Author Topic: Kim & Xi out-flank and out-smart President Dumb in America....yet again!!  (Read 110 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: March 30, 2018, 07:01:56 am »

from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times....


Beijing visit a win-win for Xi and Kim — with summit, Xi sends message

With meeting, China underscored its key role, while North Korea won a chance to shore up support.

By JONATHAN KAIMAN and TRACY WILKINSON | Friday, March 30, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un bids farewell from his armored train as it prepares to leave Beijing. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un bids farewell from his armored train as it prepares to leave Beijing. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency.

BEIJING — It had the trappings of a historic summit — a mysterious train, a motorbike convoy, a military welcome and extraordinary displays of flowers and flags.

When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un came to Beijing this week to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, it marked the first time that Kim is known to have traveled outside his country since becoming its leader in 2011, and his first meeting of any kind with another head of state. But its true significance may become apparent only after two more summits.

The first, in April, will bring together Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The second, should it take place, would pair the North Korean leader with President Trump.

Experts say Kim was probably eager to shore up support from China, Pyongyang's main trading partner and ally, for additional leverage in those discussions. He may also want to drive a wedge between the U.S. and China, which have in the last year joined forces to implement draconian sanctions on Pyongyang.

China, meanwhile, is striving to remain central to discussions — it's anxious that losing a place at the table could carry vast consequences for its national security, experts say. Beijing is about 500 miles from Pyongyang and does not want a war in its backyard.

“I think [the meeting] shows some sense of urgency on both sides,” said Go Myung-Hyun, a research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul. “I think Xi Jinping now understands that China was being sidelined in these discussions that were taking place between North Korea, the U.S. and South Korea.”

China and North Korea enjoy a strong historical bond, with their communist roots and their alliance during the 1950-53 Korean War. Yet their relations have soured, especially throughout last year, as Pyongyang tested more than two dozen missiles and, in September, a nuclear bomb. Beijing fears nothing more than instability and has repeatedly warned Pyongyang over its provocations.

In the Beijing meetings, Kim, who is in his 30s, said his country could potentially denuclearize “if South Korea and the United States respond to our efforts in good faith [and] create a peaceful and stable atmosphere,” according to the official New China News Agency.

The meeting spotlighted a high-wire act for both China and North Korea in advance of Kim's planned meetings with South Korean and U.S. leaders this spring.

“What does Kim Jong Un want? Let's be clear. He wants to break what appears to be a united front between China and the U.S. on the North Korea issue,” said Andrei Lankov, director of the research firm Korea Risk Group and a professor at Kookmin University in Seoul.

“Kim has likely made a lot of promises, not all of which are going to be kept, in order to prove to his Chinese hosts that it's in Chinese interests not to be harsh to North Korea,” he continued. “I can imagine him making promises to behave himself for a while, at least as long as Trump is in the White House. But it's also possible that he'll try to terrify China by the increasingly likely prospect of an American military operation in Korea.”


Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspect an honor guard in Beijing on Monday. The leaders may have used their meeting to strategize about North Korea's upcoming talks. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspect an honor guard in Beijing on Monday. The leaders may have used their meeting
to strategize about North Korea's upcoming talks. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency.


Trump, in a morning tweet, reported he had received a message from Xi describing the visit and saying Kim “looks forward to his meeting with me.”

“In the meantime, and unfortunately,” he added, “maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!”

Trump predicted that Kim may finally be coming around and “will do what is right.” But Kim was clearly using the China appearance to strengthen his own hand before any talks involving the Koreas. Kim wants to include the more sympathetic posture of China, while Xi wants to continue to play the role of regional power broker.

In their meetings, Xi was careful to treat Kim as an equal. Both men were accompanied by their wives, a sight not usually seen.

Kim is likely to similarly parlay any meeting with Trump as proof of his international stature — a gambit that Trump may not be well equipped to counter. Kim will probably declare that it is his nuclear arsenal that has earned him the world's respect.

Xi and Kim may also have used their meeting to strategize in the likely event that little comes of a summit with Trump.

“We are now heading into an extremely complicated stage of diplomacy and negotiations,” Paul Haenle, director of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing, said in an email. “Trump needs to get good and competent people in place to not only do the internal strategic thinking and advise the president, but to ensure that in our external diplomacy there is cohesion. The worst outcome would be for [North Korea] to begin driving wedges between the U.S., China, South Korea, Japan and Russia to try to gain advantages.”

Japan, which has taken an especially hard line against North Korea and was caught off guard by Trump's announcement that he would sit down with Kim, has so far been left out of these machinations. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to meet with Trump next month, and he is likely to warn the president against the many pitfalls that someone as wily as Kim might put in the way of an inexperienced and unsuspecting Trump.

A mild panic seems to be setting in among Japanese leadership as it is left out not only of the Trump-Kim summit but also Kim's trip this week to Beijing. Asked on Tuesday about the trip, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono was reduced to saying he hoped for an explanation from Beijing.

This week's meetings unfolded in absolute secrecy. Speculation had swirled that Kim was in Beijing on Monday night when a mysterious, armored North Korean train arrived in the Chinese capital (it left on Tuesday afternoon). Chinese state media first reported the visit on Wednesday and said that it lasted from Sunday to Wednesday, without explaining the discrepancy.

Chinese and North Korean media made prominent shows of the visit, with the New China News Agency publishing a 2,646-word article and North Korea's Rodong Sinmun running a photo from the meeting on its front page.


Kim, center, with host Xi at a banquet. The China appearance offered Kim a chance to strengthen his own hand before any talks involving the Koreas. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency.
Kim, center, with host Xi at a banquet. The China appearance offered Kim a chance to strengthen his own hand before any talks involving the Koreas.
 — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency.


The agencies showed photos of Kim and Xi shaking hands against a backdrop of North Korean and Chinese flags; posing with their wives, Ri Sol Ju and Peng Liyuan; toasting at a banquet; and speaking with other officials at the Great Hall of the People, a lush-carpeted meeting hall in Beijing.

“The luncheon hall where Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju sat face to face with Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan was overflowing with a harmonious and intimate atmosphere from its beginning to the end,” North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency reported.

Trump and the United Nations have imposed several rounds of sanctions on the already isolated country — and China, breaking with years of precedent, has largely enforced them, sharply limiting exports of North Korean goods to China.

Kim has made several gestures in recent months to defuse long-simmering tension. Last month, North Korea sent a delegation, led by Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong, to the Winter Olympics in South Korea. The charm offensive paved the way for talks with South Korean officials and, later, a historic offer to meet Trump, who quickly accepted.

The New China News Agency reported that Xi, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, said, “China is willing to continue to play a constructive role in the issue of the peninsula and work together with all parties including the DPRK to jointly promote the relaxation of the situation on the peninsula.”

By traveling on a train, Kim followed precedents set by his grandfather and father, North Korea's two previous leaders.

His grandfather Kim Il Sung, who ruled the country from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994, and his father, Kim Jong Il, who ruled from 1994 until his death in 2011, both traveled abroad on heavily armored luxury trains.

Lankov, the professor, said that the three Kims have all proved remarkably adept at getting their way with foreign governments.

“I've been studying North Korea for 35 years, and I've written books looking at their political and social history over the past 70 years,” he said. “I can assure you North Koreans have so far managed to outsmart everybody.

“They were remarkably good at playing Russia and China against each other in the 1950s and '60s. They've outsmarted Americans a number of times, and they've outsmarted South Koreans too,” he said.

“I don't know why we shouldn't expect they won't outsmart them once again.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Jonathan Kaiman reported from Beijing and Tracy Wilkinson from Washington. Kemeng Fan in the L.A. Times' Beijing bureau contributed to this report.

• Jonathan Kaiman is the Los Angeles Times' Beijing bureau chief. He was previously a correspondent for The Guardian, a freelance writer and a Fulbright scholar researching folklore in China's rural southwest. He graduated from Vassar College.

• Tracy Wilkinson has covered wars, crises and daily life on three continents. Her career began with United Press International, where she covered the Contra war in Nicaragua. She moved to the Los Angeles Times in 1987, first as a writer on the Metro staff, then as a foreign correspondent based in San Salvador. In 1995, she moved to Vienna, where she covered the war in the Balkans, winning the George Polk Award in 1999, and then to Jerusalem. From there, she went to Rome, where she covered two popes and did several stints in Iraq. In 2008, she became Mexico bureau chief, where her coverage was part of a team Overseas Press Club Award and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Wilkinson was also the 2014 winner of the Maria Moors Cabot Award for coverage of Latin America. She earned her bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University. Her book “TheVatican's Exorcists: Driving Out the Devil in the 21st Century” has been translated into a dozen languages. She joined the L.A. Times' Washington, D.C., bureau in 2015 to cover foreign affairs.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=f70fb803-688e-46ae-bae3-0256e93062a1
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=627a0d1a-2a8d-4e4f-9126-1b32b2dc0675
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aDjUsToR
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 11:33:55 pm »

Kim at negotiating table. Trump winning again.
😂 Eat it.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 11:57:57 pm »


Kim will simply borrow a leaf out of the Chinese book on how to deal with Trump....

“Put on a huge military parade and flatter Trump's ego and he will go home saying what a great person Kim Jong-un is”, yet give him nothing.

Hilarious how the Chinese manage to do just that.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 12:10:09 am »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Scrambling behind the scenes and lowering
expectations:
Preparing for Trump to meet Kim


By TRACY WILKINSON and NOAH BIERMAN | 3:00AM PST — Friday, April 06, 2018

A TV broadcast in Seoul shows President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — Photograph: Associated Press.
A TV broadcast in Seoul shows President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — Photograph: Associated Press.

THERE'S still no confirmed date, meeting site or even a U.S. ambassador in South Korea to run interference.

But officials at the CIA, Pentagon, State Department and elsewhere are scrambling to prepare a potentially historic summit next month between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — while working to lower expectations that the two will achieve a nuclear breakthrough.

Trump stunned allies and apparently even the North Koreans when he abruptly accepted a surprise invitation, passed by visiting South Korean authorities last month, to meet with Kim after their own sit-down with the enigmatic leader in Pyongyang. The White House says the proposed summit is on track for sometime in May, although Kim has yet to comment publicly one way or the other.

From logistics to content to the details of nuclear weapons, interagency teams across Washington are racing to prepare briefing materials and negotiating plans intended to bolster Trump's ultimate goal of persuading Kim to give up his nuclear arsenal, now estimated to be more than a dozen weapons.

Kim, in turn, made his first known trip out of North Korea since he took office in 2011, visiting Beijing last month to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, sending a clear message that his ties with neighboring China run deep and he won't be pushed around.

To hear some U.S. officials tell it, one possible outcome is a high-profile, much-photographed get-together of two headstrong leaders who only recently were hurling insults at each other, producing little substantive agreement but with both claiming some sort of victory.

Trump will trumpet becoming the first U.S. president to sit down with a North Korean leader, a diplomatic achievement that may or may not prove useful to easing tensions in northeast Asia. Kim will claim the global stature that sitting down with a U.S. president awards him, finally achieving the elusive goal that his father and grandfather — his predecessors in office — both had sought.

Beyond that, U.S. officials say, success may well be declared if the two leaders do not storm angrily from the room and renew threats of nuclear Armageddon. Some experts say a best-hope scenario may be for Trump and Kim to show a willingness to engage — and then step back to let veteran diplomats and subject experts carry out negotiations.

Some of Trump's advisors believe he and Kim can untangle the impasse on the Korean peninsula, and open the way for more talks. Others say such a high-level engagement doubles the risk for failure and even military conflict if the summit goes south.

People familiar with Trump's thinking insist he is approaching the summit with realistic expectations.

“Anybody who thinks Kim Jong Un is going to play ‘Lucy pulling the football’ isn't paying attention,” said Jim Hanson, president of Securities Studies Group, a conservative think tank, who is in frequent contact with administration officials on national security issues.

“I don't think Trump is naive about this, just that he has a very positive view of his deal-making ability, even if it takes a few rounds,” Hanson said.

Planning for a major summit, no less the first one ever with the untested leader of a nuclear-armed adversary, would challenge any administration's diplomatic skills. In this case, the White House has no top diplomat in place: Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last month and the Senate has yet to confirm Mike Pompeo to replace him.

There is only an acting assistant secretary of State for East Asia, and Trump has yet to nominate a U.S. ambassador to South Korea. More importantly, perhaps, the special envoy for North Korea abruptly retired in February, reportedly over policy differences with the White House, and has not been replaced.

The Trump administration thus has no clear point person to coordinate policy toward North Korea. For now, National Security Council officials are taking the lead, with input from the State Department, CIA, the Pentagon and other parts of the national security apparatus.

“We're going ahead in full faith and good faith that the meeting will take place in May,” said Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman.

“There's a lot of movement right now,” said Alex Wong, the deputy assistant secretary of State for East Asian affairs, referring to the preparations. “It's understandable a lot of questions arise about how we're going to manage all this movement and move toward staging a summit.”

Among the questions are where Trump and Kim will meet. Likely possibilities include Panmunjom, the so-called truce village in the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea.

The U.S. team has conferred regularly with South Korean officials, who are keen to see the meeting happen. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will huddle with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on April 17.

The complexities of nuclear diplomacy cannot be overstated, experts say. As president, Trump has shown little interest in policy details, preferring to rely more on his gut than on briefing papers. That worries diplomats and others who have dealt with North Korea in the past.

“I can't see a president who believes preparation is terribly overrated, [and] expertise is not necessary, dealing with these very complicated issues,” said Robert Gallucci, who served as chief U.S. negotiator in talks to end a nuclear crisis with North Korea in 1994, when the country's nuclear program was still in its infancy.

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006. The most recent, in September, was far more powerful than the U.S. bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War II. Pyongyang also has stepped up its missile tests since Trump took office, including the first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the continental United States, although not yet of delivering a nuclear warhead.

Officially, the position of the United States and its allies is to demand a “complete, irreversible and verifiable” denuclearization of North Korea, requiring Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal and allow United Nations nuclear inspectors full access to the country's enrichment facilities and weapons depots to ensure compliance.

Even if North Korea were to agree — which few diplomats think remotely likely — experts question whether that kind of accord could be verified since nuclear warheads, as opposed to missile systems to deliver them, could be hidden. Indeed, Trump and his allies use that argument to denounce the 2015 accord designed to block Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

Within the Trump administration, some officials believe the U.S. ultimately will have to accept a North Korea with nuclear weapons — a tacit recognition of the country as a nuclear power, just as Pyongyang long has sought.

The more realistic U.S. goal, they say, would be to get Kim to agree to freeze production of nuclear fuel and for the U.S. to find a way to ensure his ballistic missiles could not carry out a nuclear attack on the United States — essentially keeping the threat from getting worse.

For his part, Kim is expected revive his demands to remove the 23,400 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, and to ease the sanctions that have helped cripple his country's economy. He also wants a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, which sputtered to a close in 1953 with a cease-fire that has left the two Koreas a global hot spot for seven decades.

Trump has given mixed signals about whether he wants to keep U.S. troops in the region, but the Pentagon almost certainly would resist a full-scale withdrawal given U.S. treaty commitments with Seoul and Tokyo.

Another unknown is the impact of John Bolton, who is expected to take office next week as Trump's national security advisor. Bolton, an avowed hawk, has advocated military attacks on North Korea in the past.

Diplomats say the geopolitical landscape is not radically different from previous U.S. negotiations with North Korea, which all ultimately ended in failure. What is different now is Kim has a stronger hand — he has more nuclear weapons and more sophisticated ballistic missiles, although not yet a capability to launch a nuclear strike on the U.S.

Christopher Hill, a former senior U.S. diplomat who helped lead the last round of nuclear negotiations with North Korea, the so-called six-party talks that ran from 2003 to 2009, said Trump's team should prepare set demands and a timeline to meet them.

“Without a preordained outcome,” Hill said, “the summit could backfire.”

“This is a president who rejects the notion of history, of knowledge, but prefers to rely only on his capacity to feel the moment and use his intuition’” Hill said. “That is not a recipe for success.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Tracy Wilkinson has covered wars, crises and daily life on three continents. Her career began with United Press International, where she covered the Contra war in Nicaragua. She moved to the Los Angeles Times in 1987, first as a writer on the Metro staff, then as a foreign correspondent based in San Salvador. In 1995, she moved to Vienna, where she covered the war in the Balkans, winning the George Polk Award in 1999, and then to Jerusalem. From there, she went to Rome, where she covered two popes and did several stints in Iraq. In 2008, she became Mexico bureau chief, where her coverage was part of a team Overseas Press Club Award and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Wilkinson was also the 2014 winner of the Maria Moors Cabot Award for coverage of Latin America. She earned her bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University. Her book The Vatican's Exorcists: Driving Out the Devil in the 21st Century has been translated into a dozen languages. She joined the L.A. Times' Washington, D.C., bureau in 2015 to cover foreign affairs.

• Noah Bierman covers the White House in Washington, D.C. for the Los Angeles Times. Before joining the newspaper in 2015, he worked for the Boston Globe in both Boston and Washington, covering Congress, politics and transportation in the immediate aftermath of the Big Dig. He has also reported on higher education, crime, politics and local government for the Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post and the Duluth (Minnesota) News-Tribune. Bierman is a native of Miami who attended Duke University.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-fg-trump-norkor-20180405-story.html
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