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Haw Haw Haw … “Played like a Fiddle!”


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Author Topic: Haw Haw Haw … “Played like a Fiddle!”  (Read 113 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: June 17, 2018, 02:04:49 pm »




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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2018, 10:51:27 pm »


ROFLMAO....Kim Jong-un and President Xi Jinping are plotting the next episode in the ongoing saga of “playing Donald J. Trump like a fiddle!”



from The New York Times....

Kim Jong-un Visiting China for Third Time Since March

The North Korean leader's trip, announced on Tuesday by Chinese state media,
comes a week after his landmark summit meeting with President Trump in Singapore.


By JANE PERLEZ | 11:16PM EDT — Monday, June 18, 2018

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, visited China in March and May this year. Chinese state media reported that he would make a two-day visit to China starting on Tuesday. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/via Reuters.
North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, visited China in March and May this year. Chinese state media reported that he would make
a two-day visit to China starting on Tuesday. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/via Reuters.


BEIJING — North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, arrived in China on Tuesday to begin a two-day visit, his third such trip since March.

Mr. Kim's trip comes one week after his landmark summit meeting in Singapore with President Trump.

Xinhua, China's official news agency, announced the visit on Tuesday amid reports that a special flight of Air Koryo, the North Korean state-run airline, was expected to land in Beijing. Mr. Kim's previous trips to China were not announced until after they were over.

Mr. Kim's visit comes as a trade war between the United States and China is intensifying, giving him an opening to play one power against the other — a tactic he appears to be using as the United States presses him to destroy his nuclear arsenal.

“The visit is taking place against the backdrop of the upcoming full-blown trade war,” said Cheng Xiaohe, a Korea expert at Renmin University in Beijing.

On his first visit to China, in March, Mr. Kim arrived to Beijing aboard an armored train, and he spent two days in the capital for talks with President Xi Jinping. In May, Mr. Kim visited the port city of Dalian, also spending time with Mr. Xi.

In recent weeks, Mr. Kim has seemingly reversed years of North Korean foreign policy. Last week he met with President Trump in Singapore, the first time a leader of North Korea and a sitting American president have held talks.

Now, Mr. Kim finds himself in what analysts see as an enviable position, with leverage over the region's two great rivals.

In their joint declaration after meeting in Singapore, Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim pledged to move ahead with the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. But the wording of the agreement has been widely criticized as vague, with no clear timelines.

The Americans insist that sanctions will remain in place until the North completely dismantles its weapons program. But China has suggested that the Singapore meeting alone was a good-will measure than should prompt the easing of sanctions.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jane Perlez is The New York Times bureau chief in Beijing. She writes about China's foreign policy, in particular its relations with the United States and its Asian neighbors. Her first foreign assignment for The N.Y. Times was in East Africa covering civil conflict and famine. She has served as bureau chief in Kenya, Poland, Austria, Indonesia and Pakistan. She was a member of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for reporting in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

• A version of this article appears in The New York Times on June 19, 2018, on Page A9 of the New York print edition with the headline: “Kim in China For 3rd Visit Since March”.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • The Trump-Kim Summit Was Unprecedented, but the Statement Was Vague

 • Trump and Kim See New Chapter for Nations After Summit

 • Kim's Second Surprise Visit to China Heightens Diplomatic Drama

 • Kim Jong-un Met With Xi Jinping in Secret Beijing Visit


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/world/asia/kim-jong-un-china-north-korea.html
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2018, 06:35:12 pm »


Fuck, I'm still pissing myself laughing over how Kim Jong-un “played Donald J. Trump like a fiddle” 'cause Trump is so dumb he doesn't even know when he is being played.







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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2018, 08:48:44 pm »


from The Seattle Times…

Trump asks Pompeo to delay visit to North Korea

By MATTHEW LEE and ZEKE MILLER — Associated Press | 10:53AM PDT — Friday, August 24, 2018

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington D.C. on Friday, August 24, 2018, to board Marine One helicopter for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, en route to Columbus, Ohio. — Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington D.C. on Friday, August 24, 2018,
to board Marine One helicopter for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, en route to Columbus, Ohio.
 — Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press.


WASHINGTON D.C. — President Donald Trump said on Friday he has directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to delay a planned trip to North Korea, citing insufficient progress on denuclearization.

Trump put some blame on Beijing, saying he does not believe China is helping “because of our much tougher Trading stance.”

The surprise announcement appeared to mark a concession by the president to domestic and international concerns that his prior claims of world-altering progress on the peninsula had been strikingly premature.

“I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Trump tweeted on Friday, barely two months after his June meeting with the North's Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Trump's comment followed a report issued on Monday by the International Atomic Energy Agency outlining “grave concern” about the North's nuclear program. It came a day after Pompeo appointed Stephen Biegun, a senior executive with the Ford Motor Company, to be his special envoy for North Korea and said he and Biegun would visit next week.

The State Department never confirmed details of the trip, but it had been expected that Pompeo would be in Pyongyang for at least several hours on Monday, according to several diplomatic sources familiar with the plan.

White House officials declined to specify what prompted Trump to call off Pompeo's trip or what had changed since the president's rose-colored-glasses assessments of the nuclear situation just days ago.

A senior White House official said Trump made the decision to cancel the visit on Friday morning during a meeting with Pompeo, Biegun, chief of staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton, who joined by phone. Intelligence and defense officials were not in the meeting, the official said, seeming to indicate that the breakdown was diplomatic in nature. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations.

The State Department had no immediate comment on the matter and referred questions to the White House.








Trump laid unspecified blame on China, North Korea's leading trade partner, which is widely believed to hold the greatest sway over Kim's government.

The U.S. and China have been locked in a trade dispute for months, with each side ratcheting up tariffs on imports from the other country in what may be the opening salvos of a trade war.

Trump tweeted that “Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved.” He added: “In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”

After more a year of escalating tensions defined by nuclear and missile tests, new sanctions and “fire and fury” rhetoric, Trump made history meeting Kim earlier this year. In the run-up to the summit both nations engaged in hard-nosed negotiation, with Trump publically calling off the meeting in an effort to push Kim to agree to nuclear concessions. During the summit, the pair signed a vague joint statement in which the North agreed to denuclearize, but which left nearly all details undefined.

“There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” Trump declared on Twitter after the meeting.

“Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem,” he added. “No longer — sleep well tonight!”

Pompeo would have been hard pressed to return from Pyongyang with anything resembling progress on the denuclearization front.

Although it has halted nuclear and missile testing and taken some unrelated steps — dismantling portions of a missile engine facility and returning the suspected remains of American servicemen killed during the Korean War — its nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile development remain intact, according the U.N.'s atomic watchdog and intelligence agencies.


President Donald J. Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland on Friday, August 24, 2018, for a trip to Columbus, Ohio to visit the National Children's Hospital, and to speak at the Ohio Republican State Party dinner. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.
President Donald J. Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland on Friday, August 24, 2018, for a trip to
Columbus, Ohio to visit the National Children's Hospital, and to speak at the Ohio Republican State Party dinner. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.


In addition, recent statements from North Korean officials have ruled out any new concessions until it sees a reciprocal gesture from the U.S. beyond suspending military exercises with South Korea. North Korea has been demanding that the U.S. ease or lift crippling sanctions — something Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton have flatly ruled out until the its nuclear program is fully and verifiably dismantled.

Other than sanctions relief, the North, backed by South Korea, has been seeking a declaration of the end of the Korean War. The conflict stopped with the signing of an armistice rather than a peace treaty, meaning the war is not technically over. Both the North and South have vowed to end the open state of hostilities, and Seoul had been hoping to persuade the Trump administration to sign off on a non-binding end-of-war declaration as a goodwill gesture that would give Kim Jong Un domestic cover to proceed with denuclearization moves.

Pompeo and other administration officials have suggested some concessions short of easing or lifting sanctions are possible before verified denuclearization, but have refused to be specific about what they could be. And they have been skeptical about an end-of-war declaration in the absence of any progress on the nuclear matter.

At the same time, lawmakers from both parties, including GOP hawks who generally support Trump, have expressed concerns about such a move, as it could be used by the North to demand the removal of U.S. troops from South Korea and potentially Japan without anything in return.

Trump had kept up the positive tone as recently as Tuesday at a campaign rally in West Virginia. There Trump maintained “we're doing well with North Korea.”

“There's been no missile launches. There's been no rocket launches,” he added.

At the same rally, Trump seemed to take a different tone too on China, saying he had withheld some criticism of China because “I wanted them to help us with North Korea and they have.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

• Matthew Lee is a State Department correspondent at Associated Press.

• Zeke Miller is a White House reporter at Associated Press.

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/trump-asks-pompeo-to-delay-visit-to-north-korea
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2018, 02:19:43 pm »


from The Washington Post…

A ‘massive’ spike in oil smuggling has eased
the economic pressure on North Korea


As sanctions enforcement eases, Kim Jong Un may secure
enough breathing room to avoid moving on denuclearization.


By JOBY WARRICK and SIMON DENYER | 6:40PM EDT — Thursday, September 20, 2018

Farmers work their fields outside the Sungri Chemical Factory, an oil refinery in the Rason Special Economic Zone near North Korea's borders with Russia and China. — Photograph: Eric Talmadge/Associated Press.
Farmers work their fields outside the Sungri Chemical Factory, an oil refinery in the Rason Special Economic Zone near North Korea's borders
with Russia and China. — Photograph: Eric Talmadge/Associated Press.


LAST SPRING, as the Trump administration was preparing for the historic U.S.-North Korea summit, a flotilla of strange-looking tanker ships steamed out of North Korea's Nampo harbor on a series of clandestine missions off the Chinese coast.

Many of the vessels bore crude disguises, from fictitious names painted on their bows to fake hatches built of canvas and wood to give them the look of a cargo ship. Once at sea, they would rendezvous at night with a foreign tanker, toss hoses over the rail and fill their hulls with illicit oil before sailing home again.

Such fuel-smuggling runs are not uncommon in the South China Sea, yet the scale of activity over the spring and summer startled U.S. and East Asian intelligence officials who tracked the ships' movements by satellite. By late August, spy agencies had counted 148 of these secret maritime transfers — for a total of between 800,000 and 1.4 million barrels of oil, gasoline and diesel — with the volume increasing in recent months as diplomacy with North Korea picked up steam.

A confidential U.N. report last month identified 40 vessels and 130 companies, many with Chinese or Russian ties, as contributing to a “massive” spike in smuggling that analysts say has helped stabilize North Korea's economy just as U.S. diplomats are attempting to compel leader Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear arsenal.

The flurry of activity is coinciding with what intelligence officials described as a steady erosion in sanctions enforcement in the region: With tensions on the Korean Peninsula cooling — and with a U.S.-China economic cold war looming — Russia and China have shown little enthusiasm for cracking down on the profiteers who are helping supply crucial fuel for Pyongyang's vehicles and factories, U.S. officials and independent analysts said in interviews.

“Neither China nor Russia are doing what they should to stop this,” said a Trump administration official, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomacy. “The Russians are even trying to block our efforts to do something about” the spike in oil deliveries to North Korea.

To Western diplomats, the tanker convoy partly explains the faltering progress of the Trump administration's disarmament efforts with North Korea. Last fall, as part of a U.S.-led “maximum pressure” campaign against Kim's government, the United Nations imposed new sanctions that slashed the country's imports of oil and gas while also banning it from selling coal, its main source of foreign revenue. The harsh measures are believed to have contributed to Kim's decision to meet with President Trump at the June 12 summit in Singapore, where he promised to seek the “denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula.

Yet, since then, Kim has made no significant moves to destroy his nuclear stockpile or long-range missile fleet. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday that Kim wants to hold a second summit with Trump soon to “speed up the denuclearization process.”

But Kim has also demanded that Washington take “corresponding steps” in exchange for the North dismantling some nuclear sites. Among Kim's goals is a declaration by South Korea and the United States that the Korean War is formally over.


U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks with Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, before a Security Council meeting on North Korea in December 2017. — Photograph: Kena Betancur/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks with Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations,
before a Security Council meeting on North Korea in December 2017. — Photograph: Kena Betancur/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was “prepared to engage immediately” with North Korea to move dialogue ahead.

Whether he intends to disarm or not, Kim appears to have taken advantage of the diplomatic thaw to improves ties with neighbors and blunt the impact of the sanctions, weakening Washington's hand in future negotiations, the diplomats and independent experts said. Any attempt at regaining the lost leverage may prove difficult, analysts said, as long as Kim avoids provoking his neighbors with new missile tests.

“It's hard to see how you can put any steam back into the sanctions discussion, given the dynamics with the Russians and Chinese,” said Andrea Berger, a North Korea expert and senior researcher at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. “Can you have a ‘Maximum Pressure, Version Two?’ I don't think you can, at least not any time soon.”


No visible traces

With more than three decades of experience flouting international sanctions, North Korea has mastered using clever ruses to move illicit goods on the black market. Yet in recent months, Pyongyang has exceeded its own lofty standards.

In the past, the movements of North Korean ships could be tracked through harbor records and electronic signals, specifically data from transponders that automatically broadcast each ship's unique identification code and destination as it navigates the seas. But the oil-smuggling ships that departed Nampo over the spring and summer left few visible traces; most never entered a foreign harbor, and most never turned on their transponders — except to mislead.

Lately there have been scores of such voyages, and nearly as many methods of concealment, a panel of U.N. sanctions experts concluded in a confidential report, based in part on intelligence assessments provided by the United States and other U.N. Security Council members.

“These transfers have increased in scope, scale and sophistication,” the report said. The release of the report, completed last month, has been delayed by a dispute between Moscow and Washington over Russian efforts to insert changes in the text, parts of which were shown to The Washington Post. Foreign Policy and The Wall Street Journal also obtained the report.

One example cited by the panel is the North Korean-flagged An San 1, a tanker with a long history of running petroleum between Chinese, Russian and North Korean ports. When it left Nampo in late June, it transmitted signals falsely identifying itself as a Sierra Leonean ship called Hope Sea — an upbeat moniker that was painted on top of the real name on the ship's hull, the report said. On June 29, the vessel pulled alongside a small, unidentified foreign tanker in the South China Sea to take on a load of petroleum before heading back to its home port.

Similarly, in May, the coal-carrying ship Kal Ma broadcast a series of contradictory signals over several days. It changed its name twice, while also falsifying its identifying code and destination, the U.N. report said.


In a surveillance photo provided to U.N. investigators, the crew of an unidentified North Korean tanker is seen taking on oil from a second vessel in a night-time operation somewhere in the South China Sea. A fake hatch has been constructed on the North Korean ship, giving it the appearance of an ordinary cargo ship. U.N. investigators say such ship-to-ship transfers have occurred scores of times this year, helping shield North Korea from some of the effects of economic sanctions. — Photograph: United Nations.
In a surveillance photo provided to U.N. investigators, the crew of an unidentified North Korean tanker is seen taking on oil from a second
vessel in a night-time operation somewhere in the South China Sea. A fake hatch has been constructed on the North Korean ship, giving it
the appearance of an ordinary cargo ship. U.N. investigators say such ship-to-ship transfers have occurred scores of times this year,
helping shield North Korea from some of the effects of economic sanctions. — Photograph: United Nations.


The document cited multiple attempts to change the physical appearance of ships. A sequence of surveillance photos shows crew members on one tanker removing what appears to be a false cargo hatch on the ship's deck. Hoses can be seen running from the hatch's opening and into the hold of a second tanker, which had anchored itself adjacent to the first.

North Korea “has been disguising tankers as cargo ships through the construction of fake cargo hatches,” the report said.

Many of the foreign vessels that delivered the oil operated with equal stealth, the investigators found. Some were smaller vessels that could pass as fishing boats but were modified to carry oil or gas in their holds. Among the larger ships involved in smuggling, many simply opted to go dark, shutting off their transponders for hours or even days at a time.

In one such instance cited by the U.N. panel, the Russian-flagged vessel Patriot allegedly stopped transmitting a signal on April 10 before linking up with the Wan Heng 11, a North Korea-bound tanker that had been previously blacklisted for sanctions violations. The Russian ship later reported a change in its draft, an indication that it had discharged its cargo, the report said.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Monday specifically cited the Patriot as an example of Russian complicity in the erosion of North Korean sanctions enforcement. Such violations are “not one-offs; they are systematic,” Haley said in a blistering critique delivered at a Security Council session. Russian officials disputed the claim, joining Chinese counterparts in denying any softening of support for sanctions enforcement.

“Russia has not simply looked the other way as its nationals and entities engage in activities explicitly prohibited by U.N. sanctions,” Haley said. “Russia has engaged in a concerted campaign to cover up violations of sanctions.”


The appearance of stability

Despite their complaints about lapsed enforcement, Trump administration officials insist that sanctions continue to work and that the pressure against North Korea is both unprecedented and sustained. And there is independent data suggesting that they are correct.

While it is difficult to obtain accurate measurements, a recent analysis by South Korea's central bank found that North Korea's economy shrank by about 3.5 percent last year, a drop that economists have attributed almost entirely to sanctions. Today, three months after the Kim-Trump summit, North Korea still struggles to find markets for its coal and iron ore, two critical sources of revenue. Increased sanctions-busting efforts have helped only marginally, as the bulk of North Korea's marketable coal remains on the docks, said Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein, associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and co-editor of North Korean Economy Watch.

“There is still a great deal of pressure,” Silberstein said. Bulky items such as coal “don't seem to be getting across,” he said.


A gas pump attendant fills up a taxi with gasoline at a fuel station in Pyongyang. — Photograph: Ed Jones/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A gas pump attendant fills up a taxi with gasoline at a fuel station in Pyongyang. — Photograph: Ed Jones/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

Yet other, smaller items may be getting over the long border with China, where smuggling is a way of life for many traders, analysts say. There are also multiple signs that conditions in North Korea have stabilized, at least for now. Kim Byung-yeon, a Seoul National University economics professor who developed an index for gauging the effectiveness of sanctions, said North Korea's overall economy has been under severe stress since last fall, when the harshest U.N. restrictions went into effect. And yet, surprisingly, he said, conditions for ordinary North Koreans don't seem to be getting any worse.

Indeed, prices for staples such as rice and gasoline have dropped since the spring, returning to close to normal levels after soaring to near-record levels over the fall and winter. Currency exchange rates in North Korea also have remained stable, according to data collected by Kim and other economists. If the last round of sanctions had been properly implemented, conditions should be worse than this, Kim said.

While coal exports are down, North Korea appears to be expanding its economic cooperation with China in other spheres, according to Lucas Kuo, an analyst for C4ADS, a Washington non-profit agency that researches black-market networks.

Some experts suggest that the apparent economic gains are temporary. One theory holds that North Korean officials are burning through foreign currency reserves at an extravagant rate in attempt to stabilize the economy and make up for losses in income from coal. In any case, the improvements in inflation rates roughly coincided with the diplomatic thaw, which began with the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February and gained momentum with the secret summit between the leaders of China and North Korea in March.

Kim, the economist, said the United States could have increased its leverage if it had slowed the pace of diplomacy for a few more months to allow the “maximum pressure” campaign to take full effect. He also argues that Washington made a costly error by launching a trade war against its chief Asian trading partner China instead of seeking to preserve a united front against the North Korean leader and his nuclear weapons.

That moment has clearly passed, he said. Now, whether North Korea continues to feel real pressure to change its behavior could hinge on a far less consequential dispute: bickering between Washington and Beijing over tariffs on soybeans and steel.

“If the trade war is really hot and destroys the relationship between the two countries, China may want to use [its] stick — sanctions — as a negotiating chip,” the professor said. “Then this game becomes rather complex and difficult to solve.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Simon Denyer reported from Seoul. Min Joo Kim in Seoul and Ellen Nakashima in Washington contributed to this report.

Joby Warrick joined The Washington Post's National staff in 1996. He has covered national security, the environment and the Middle East and writes about terrorism. He is the author of two books, including 2015's Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, which was awarded a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. His first book, The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA recounts the 2009 suicide attack by an al-Qaeda informant on a CIA base at Khost, Afghanistan, that killed seven U.S. intelligence operatives. Before joining The Post, Warrick covered the fall of communism in Eastern Europe as a UPI correspondent and worked as a reporter at the Delaware County (Pennsylvania) Daily Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina. While in Raleigh, he co-authored “Boss Hog”, a series of investigative stories that documented the political and environmental fallout caused by factory farming in the Southeast. The series won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for public service.

Simon Denyer is The Washington Post's bureau chief in Beijing. He previously worked as The Post's bureau chief in New Delhi; a Reuters bureau chief in Washington, New Delhi and Islamabad, Pakistan; and a Reuters correspondent in Nairobi, New York and London.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • U.S. military ready to recover war remains in N. Korea but calls requests unreasonable​

 • Kim wants new summit with Trump soon

 • Kim pledges to dismantle nuclear site — but only after the U.S. acts

 • Spy satellites show North Koreans working on new missiles

 • Scattered, hidden nuclear facilities pose a challenge to disarmament talks


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/a-massive-spike-in-oil-smuggling-has-eased-the-economic-pressure-on-north-korea/2018/09/20/1f6b684a-bc35-11e8-8792-78719177250f_story.html
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2018, 08:19:15 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Pompeo returns to North Korea

Two months after a canceled trip, he'll try again to jump-start denuclearization push.

By TRACY WILKINSON | Saturday, October 06, 2018

Senior officials greeted Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on his last visit to North Korea in July, but leader Kim Jong Un refused. The two are expected to meet when Pompeo arrives on Sunday in Pyongyang. — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.
Senior officials greeted Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on his last visit to North Korea in July, but leader Kim Jong Un refused. The two are expected
to meet when Pompeo arrives on Sunday in Pyongyang. — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.


WASHINGTON D.C. — With talks aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear arsenal at an impasse, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo is heading to Pyongyang to meet with Kim Jong Un in hopes of reviving the process — and to set up a potential second summit with President Trump.

Pompeo said he was confident his fourth visit to North Korea this year would “advance the commitment” Kim and Trump made when they met in Singapore on June 12. But at least in public, he did not set high objectives for his trip.

“The mission is to make sure that we understand what each side is truly trying to achieve,” Pompeo said on Friday, according to a reporter aboard his flight to Tokyo, his first stop on a trip that also will take him to Seoul and Beijing. He is scheduled to meet Kim early on Sunday in Pyongyang.

Pompeo said he might be able to set up a tentative date and location for a second summit between Kim and Trump.

Kim had declined to meet Pompeo when he last visited the North Korean capital in July, and state media later denounced what it called Pompeo's “gangster-like” demands. Trump abruptly cancelled another planned visit by his secretary of State in August amid concerns that Pompeo would again fail to achieve progress.

Since then, Kim has sent Trump what the president has called “beautiful letters,” and Pompeo met his North Korean counterpart, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last week. Trump also sought to downplay criticism that his efforts had yet to produce a timetable or any other sign of denuclearization.

“If it takes two years, three years or five months — doesn't matter,” Trump said. Several days later, he offered effusive public praise for Kim, saying at a campaign rally last weekend that he and the North Korean leader “fell in love.”

On Tuesday, apparently emboldened by those comments, state media in Pyongyang signaled that Kim's government was toughening its negotiating position. It said the U.S. must make a declaration to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, replacing the armistice that halted the conflict, for talks to proceed.

U.S. officials long have resisted formally ending the decades-old war amid concerns it would pressure Washington to remove its military forces from South Korea.

The White House has considered a “declaration for declaration” proposal, in which the United States would agree to formally end the war in exchange for Pyongyang producing a detailed inventory of nuclear equipment and arsenal that U.N. inspectors could then verify. But North Korea has resisted that, indicating it was not prepared to disclose those details.

“Without any trust in the U.S., there will be no confidence in our national security, and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first,” Ri said at the U.N. last week.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in then suggested a compromise. In exchange for the U.S. end-of-war declaration, he offered, North Korea would agree to dismantle its vast Yongbyon nuclear facility. Kim had pledged to shut the facility, or at least parts of it, in a summit with Moon last month.

A delegation of South Korean legislators, in Washington this week to lobby Congress and State Department officials, came away with the impression that the Trump administration was still not willing to formally end the war.

Trump has repeatedly cited “tremendous progress” with North Korea, citing the release of three American prisoners in May, the return of about 50 sets of human remains from the Korean War, and the absence this year of new missile or nuclear weapons tests by Pyongyang.

After the Singapore summit, Trump surprised allies — and the Pentagon — by suspending annual joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea, and even using North Korea's rhetoric in calling them “war games.”

But U.N. nuclear monitors and other experts say they have seen no evidence that North Korea has taken significant steps to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure or weapons facilities, and that production of fissile material that can be used as bomb fuel has not ceased.

“They cannot come out of these trips anymore with broad statements of principles,” Victor Cha, an Asia specialist in the George W. Bush White House, said Friday. “There needs to be some actual, tangible movement on the nuclear issue.”

Several U.S. experts said Kim appears increasingly determined to work only with Trump, not his deputies.

“They think they can get [the] best possible deal by directly dealing with President Trump himself,” said Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA analyst specializing in the Korean peninsula who is now a fellow at the non-partisan Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“They truly believe this is a once-in-lifetime opportunity that they have” with Trump, Terry said. She said she believed Pompeo's visit would focus almost exclusively on making arrangements for the next summit.

Trump's praise for one of the world's most ruthless and brutal dictators has jarred even some of the president's supporters.

“I'm worried that we're being played here,” Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) said this week. “So I'm telling President Trump: Enough with ‘I love you’. This is not a guy to love. … From my point of view, this ‘love’ crap needs to stop.”

The administration also has come under pressure to ease economic sanctions, including those that target trade of fuel and minerals.

Russia and China have begun allowing some shipments into North Korea in what critics say are violations of U.N. Security Council sanctions. At the General Assembly, Russia said it would continue to do so, and Pompeo said there would be no sanctions relief until denuclearization occurs.


__________________________________________________________________________

• 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=d7f1dd39-ac1c-47a4-ac08-f3bb7368ad40
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2019, 02:52:01 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Nancy Pelosi ran rings around Trump.
Imagine what Kim Jong Un and the Taliban will do.


Trump has caved before. He'll cave again.

By MAX BOOT | 1:50PM EST — Saturday, January 26, 2019

President Donald J. Trump reaches to shake hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.
President Donald J. Trump reaches to shake hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore on June 12, 2018.
 — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.


ON January 17, President Trump tweeted: “No ‘Cave’ on the issue of Border and National Security.” Eight days later, he caved, agreeing to reopen the government for three weeks without getting a penny for his border wall. His right-wing allies are spluttering in rage, but they shouldn't be surprised. This debacle confirms that Trump is not the “ultimate negotiator” he purports to be. He is, in fact, a lousy negotiator. Now he may be on the verge of concluding the worst deals of the century by pulling U.S. troops out of South Korea and Afghanistan in return for empty promises from Kim Jong Un and the Taliban.

Trump is preparing for a second summit at the end of February with Kim even though the North Korean dictator continues to expand, rather than dismantle, his nuclear and missile programs. In his New Year's address, Kim demanded substantial concessions before he would begin to make good on his vague promises of denuclearization made at the June 12, 2018, Singapore summit. He wants a relaxation of sanctions, an end to U.S.-South Korean military exercises, a peace declaration ending the Korean War and the removal of U.S. nuclear weapons from the region.

National security adviser John Bolton, supposedly a hard-liner, just signaled that the administration may give North Korea what it wants. He told the Washington Times, in an interview published on Friday, that “what we need from North Korea is a significant sign of a strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons, and it is when we get that denuclearization that the president can begin to take the sanctions off.” So much for the administration's previous position that the United States would not relax sanctions until North Korea agreed to “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.” Bolton is signaling that in exchange for some “significant sign,” perhaps such as dismantling the antiquated Yongbyon nuclear reactor, Washington might grant North Korea sanctions relief and a peace declaration, even if the North Korean nuclear and missile arsenal remained intact.

Given that Seoul and Washington are currently deadlocked over the terms of an agreement to retain U.S. troops in South Korea — Trump initially wanted South Korea to nearly double its financial contribution, to $1.6 billion — it's not hard to imagine the president using an empty agreement with North Korea as an excuse to begin pulling the troops out. Combined with a peace declaration and a relaxation of sanctions, this could effectively leave Japan and South Korea to confront the North Korean nuclear threat on their own.

Trump is even more eager to leave Afghanistan, which, unlike South Korea, could not survive on its own. He has reportedly asked for the withdrawal of 7,000 of the 14,000 U.S. troops, and his peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, is hard at work on a peace treaty that could remove all of them before the 2020 election. News reports indicate that Khalilzad's talks with the Taliban in Qatar have made important progress. The Taliban are said to have agreed that they would not allow their country to be used as a base for international terrorism. The Wall Street Journal hails this as a “landmark concession,” but The New York Times is closer to the mark in noting that “the United States seemed to be making concrete concessions in exchange for Taliban commitments that would be hard to enforce once American forces leave the country.”

This has the whiff of Vietnam about it. In 1973, the United States and North Vietnam agreed, in the Paris Peace Accords, to “end” their war. Washington pulled out its troops, and Hanoi agreed to return U.S. prisoners of war. President Richard M. Nixon hailed this as “peace with honor”, but there was no peace and no honor. North Vietnam immediately resumed attacking South Vietnam, and, with no more U.S. military protection, Saigon fell two years later.

The same thing would almost surely happen in Afghanistan if U.S. troops withdrew. Even with U.S. military assistance, the democratically elected government in Kabul is losing ground against the Taliban. The government controls only a little more than half the country's districts, and it is suffering heavy casualties, with President Ashraf Ghani admitting that more than 45,000 security personnel have been killed since 2014.

If U.S. troops pulled out, while Pakistan continued to support the Taliban, the insurgents could march into Kabul. And if the victorious Taliban reneged on their pledge to break with international terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, what would we do about it? Presumably launch more cruise missiles of the kind that proved so ineffectual in 1998. If the pro-Western regime fell, the United States would be devoid of allies on the ground to fight the terrorists — and, in any case, there would be no appetite in the United States for a resumption of our longest war.

The surest way for the Taliban to achieve its objectives would be to agree to whatever conditions the United States demands for a troop withdrawal, knowing that, once the troops are gone, it would not be bound by mere pieces of paper. Likewise, Kim could vastly expand his power if he tricks the United States into withdrawing its forces from South Korea. The Taliban and the North Koreans may have just found the perfect patsy in Trump. Now that he has failed to build his wall, he will be even more desperate for a foreign policy “win.” If I were a South Korean or an Afghan, I would be worried about being abandoned.


__________________________________________________________________________

Max Boot is a historian, best-selling author and foreign-policy analyst who has been called one of the “world's leading authorities on armed conflict” by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a columnist for The Washington Post and a global affairs analyst for CNN. Boot's latest book — The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right — was released in October 2018 by Norton/Liveright. His previous book, The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam, came out in January 2018 and became a New York Times bestseller. It was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month and praised as an “epic and elegant biography” by The Wall Street Journal, “judicious and absorbing” by The New York Times and “a superb scholarly achievement” by Foreign Policy. Boot is also the author of three previous books that were all widely acclaimed: The New York Times bestseller Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present (W.W. Norton & Co./Liveright, 2013), which The Wall Street Journal said “is destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest as well as the hardest form of war”; War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today (Gotham Books, 2006), which was hailed as a “magisterial survey of technology and war” by The New York Times; and The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (Basic Books, 2002), which won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation as the best non-fiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history and has been placed on Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy professional reading lists. Boot has served as an adviser to U.S. commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a senior foreign policy adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2007-08, Mitt Romney's campaign in 2011-12 and Senator Marco Rubio's campaign in 2015-16. Boot is a frequent public speaker and guest on radio and television news programs. He has lectured on behalf of the State Department and at many military institutions, including the Army, Navy and Air War Colleges, the Australian Defense College, the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School, West Point and the Naval Academy. In 2004, Boot was named by the World Affairs Councils of America as one of “the 500 most influential people in the United States in the field of foreign policy.” In 2007, he won the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism, given annually to a writer who exhibits “love of country and its democratic institutions” and “bears witness to the evils of totalitarianism.” In 2018, he was named one of America's “Great Immigrants” by the Carnegie Corporation. Before joining the Council in 2002, Boot spent eight years as a writer and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the last five as op-ed editor. From 1992 to 1994 he was an editor and writer at the Christian Science Monitor. In more recent years, Boot has been a columnist for Foreign Policy, a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times, a member of the USA Today board of contributors, and a regular contributor to many other publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He serves on the boards of Intelligence Squared U.S. and the Renew Democracy Initiative. Max Boot holds a BA in history from University of California at Berkeley; and a MA in history from Yale University.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/26/nancy-pelosi-ran-rings-around-trump-imagine-what-kim-jong-un-taliban-will-do
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2019, 12:19:27 pm »


STOP CLIMATE CHANGE NUKE THE PLANET
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Are you sick of the bullshit from the sewer stream media spewed out from the usual Ken and Barby dickless talking point look a likes.

If you want to know what's going on in the real world...
And the many things that will personally effect you.
Go to
http://www.infowars.com/

AND WAKE THE F_ _K UP
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2019, 02:32:09 pm »


Snigger…


Vietnam deports Kim Jong-un impersonator ahead of summit




…and he's an Australian citizen too! 
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2019, 12:28:14 pm »


Donald J. Trump is in love (snigger)…





…and Kim Jong-un is going to give absolutely nothing away to President Dumb.







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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2019, 10:25:57 pm »


Poor liddle-widdle Trumpy-wumpy stormed out of his meeting with Kim Jong-un because Kim was playing him like a fiddle and wasn't interested in denuclearising.

So the toys got chucked out of the cot and the toddler Trump chucked a huge tantrum.

HILARIOUS!!
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2019, 12:13:06 pm »


The shorter man (on the left) played the taller man (the stupid dumbarse on the right) like a fiddle. Hilarious, eh?



President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in Hanoi. — Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times.
President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in Hanoi. — Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times.







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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2019, 10:22:51 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Trump got played by Kim Jong Un — again

The president's approach has failed, and Pyongyang is happily reaping the rewards.

By JOSH ROGIN | 11:45PM EST — Thursday, February 28, 2019

President Donald J. Trump attends a news conference following his second summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on February 28 in Hanoi. — Photograph: Tuan Mark/Getty Images.
President Donald J. Trump attends a news conference following his second summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on February 28 in Hanoi.
 — Photograph: Tuan Mark/Getty Images.


TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS constantly say the foreign policy establishment's decades-long failure with North Korea meant there was no choice but to give Trump's fresh, personal, top-down method a fair trial. Today the verdict is in. Trump's approach has failed, and Pyongyang is happily reaping the rewards.

Make no mistake, the collapse of this week's U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi is a win for Kim Jong Un. Trump and his officials are already spinning this as a draw, stating that North Korea has promised to continue its testing moratorium, claiming unspecified progress was made inside the talks and promising the negotiations will continue.

But by securing an extension of the process while giving up nothing on denuclearization, Kim can continue improving his country's nuclear and missile capabilities, benefit from an ever-eroding sanctions regime and enjoy his elevated status as a newly respected member of the international community.

The real question is: Did Kim plan it this way? Did he lure Trump to Hanoi only to set demands he knew the United States could never agree to, while holding Trump's hand so he would acquiesce? There's plenty of evidence that's exactly what happened.

We know much of this because Trump laid it out in his news conference before heading home. He said Kim had offered to dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear facility but only in exchange for total sanctions relief.

“They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn't give up all of the sanctions for that,” Trump said. “… We had to walk away from that.”

Trump is correct; that would be a terrible deal. Yongbyon represents a small and antiquated portion of Kim's nuclear infrastructure. But Trump can't claim that he was surprised by that bad offer. CNN reported that Trump's top officials told him for days this was Kim's position and Kim would not budge.

Special envoy Stephen Biegun had been negotiating with his North Korean counterparts for weeks, but he couldn't get the North Koreans to do more, like hand over a declaration of what they have. The notion that Trump, charismatic dealmaker that he is, could bridge that gap in a couple of meetings was never plausible.

Contradicting Trump, North Korea's foreign minister said Kim had asked for only partial sanctions relief for shutting down Yongbyon. But even that would have been a bad deal, at least according to Moon Chung-in, a top adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Speaking in Washington D.C. this week, he said, “It's a good deal for North Korea and a bad deal for the United States.”

No one is pushing harder for a U.S.-North Korea deal than the South Korean government. If it knew the United States could not accept the deal Kim was putting forward, of course Kim knew that as well. He's evil but not stupid.

Most likely, Kim's offer was a poison pill, meant to signal just enough flexibility to get Trump to Hanoi but to ensure that the negotiations would fail. Trump walked directly into the trap and doesn't even seem to realize it.

On top of all that, Trump committed two huge, unforced errors. He refused to say the negotiation's goal was to fully denuclearize North Korea. “I don't want to put myself in that position, from the standpoint of negotiation,” he said. That contradicts everything his officials keep saying and actually weakens his own negotiating position.

Trump also let Kim off the hook for the treatment of Otto Warmbier, the American hostage who died days after being returned from imprisonment in North Korea. By accepting Kim's claim he wasn't aware of Warmbier's treatment, Trump once again believed a dictator over his own officials while undermining any future attempts by Warmbier's family to hold Kim responsible for their son's death.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed repeatedly that progress was made in Hanoi but gave zero information on what he was talking about. Inside the administration, there's already work on a Plan B in the (increasingly likely) event that Pompeo's effort finally fails.

There's another choice besides this negotiation and going to war — a mix of deterrence, containment and a return to maximum pressure, coordinated with our allies. That's likely where we will end up anyway and the longer we wait to pivot, the harder it will be.

As Senator Robert Menendez (Democrat-New Jersey) said, the Hanoi summit showed us “amateur hour with nuclear weapons at stake and the limits of reality-TV diplomacy.”

Trump may see a personal political benefit to dragging out his love affair with Kim and dragging the world along with them on this Sisyphean effort. But the stink of this summit's failure and the danger of the North Korean threat are only increasing over time. No deal is better than a bad deal — but Trump getting played by Kim again and again is even worse.


__________________________________________________________________________

Josh Rogin is a columnist for the Global Opinions section of The Washington Post and a political analyst with CNN. Previously, he has covered foreign policy and national security for Bloomberg View, Newsweek, the Daily Beast, Foreign Policy magazine, Congressional Quarterly, Federal Computer Week magazine and Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper. He was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and the 2011 recipient of the Interaction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. Rogin holds a BA in international affairs from George Washington University and studied at Sophia University in Tokyo. He lives in Washington, DC.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Jennifer Rubin: Trump's utterly unsurprising diplomatic debacle

 • Max Boot: Trump's hubris and inexperience set up the failure in Hanoi

 • The Washington Post's View: The Hanoi summit failure exposes Trump's weak diplomacy

 • Anne Applebaum: So much for Hanoi. Trump has already done irreparable damage to America's international reputation.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trump-got-played-by-kim-jong-un--again/2019/02/28/784a3228-3b8f-11e9-a2cd-307b06d0257b_story.html
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2019, 11:24:07 pm »


from The New York Times…

How the Trump-Kim Summit Failed: Big Threats, Big Egos, Bad Bets

President Donald J. Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea had dramatically
different visions of what “denuclearization” meant, dooming their deal.


By DAVID E. SANGER and EDWARD WONG | Saturday, March 02, 2019

President Donald J. Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in Hanoi. “A proposal to go big’’ fell short. — Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times.
President Donald J. Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in Hanoi. “A proposal to go big’’ fell short. — Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times.

HANOI, VIETNAM — As President Trump settled into the dining room of a French-colonial hotel in Hanoi on Thursday morning, the conversation with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader with whom he had struck up the oddest of friendships, was already turning tense.

In a dinner at the Metropole Hotel the evening before, mere feet from the bomb shelter where guests took cover during the Vietnam War, Mr. Kim had resisted what Mr. Trump presented as a grand bargain: North Korea would trade all its nuclear weapons, material and facilities for an end to the American-led sanctions squeezing its economy.

An American official later described this as “a proposal to go big,” a bet by Mr. Trump that his force of personality, and view of himself as a consummate dealmaker, would succeed where three previous presidents had failed.

But Mr. Trump's offer was essentially the same deal that the United States has pushed — and the North has rejected — for a quarter century. Intelligence agencies had warned him, publicly, Mr. Kim would not be willing to give up the arsenal completely. North Korea itself had said repeatedly that it would only move gradually.

Several of Mr. Trump's own aides, led by national security adviser John R. Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, thought the chances of a grand bargain for total nuclear disarmament were virtually zero. Some questioned whether the summit meeting should go forward.

Mr. Trump disagreed. He had taken to showing what he called Mr. Kim's “beautiful letters” to visitors to the Oval Office, as evidence he had built a rapport with one of the world's most brutal dictators. While some in the White House worried Mr. Trump was being played, the president seemed entranced — even declaring “we fell in love.”

As Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim parted company, nearly a year of optimism and flattery was left poolside at the Metropole, steps from a meeting room with two empty chairs and flags that had been carefully prepared for a “signing ceremony.”

Mr. Trump and senior diplomats say they hope negotiations will continue, though nothing has been scheduled. Mr. Kim has promised not to resume weapons testing, and the Pentagon continues to hold off on large-scale military exercises with South Korea.

In interviews with a half-dozen participants, it is clear Mr. Trump's failed gambit was the culmination of two years of threats, hubris and misjudgment on both sides. Mr. Trump entered office convinced he could intimidate the man he liked to call “Little Rocket Man” with tough talk and sanctions, then abruptly took the opposite tack, overruling his aides and personalizing the diplomacy.

Mr. Kim also miscalculated. He bet Mr. Trump might accept a more modest offer that American negotiators in Hanoi had already dismissed: The North would dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear complex, three square miles of aging facilities at the heart of the nuclear program, for an end to the sanctions most harmful to its economy, those enacted since 2016.


The Yongbyon nuclear complex. Mr. Kim bet the Americans would end the most damaging sanctions in exchange for the North's dismantling of the aging complex. — Illustration: DigitalGlobe/38 North/via Getty Images.
The Yongbyon nuclear complex. Mr. Kim bet the Americans would end the most damaging sanctions in exchange for the North's
dismantling of the aging complex. — Illustration: DigitalGlobe/38 North/via Getty Images.


It is unclear whether Mr. Trump was tempted to take that deal, which could have turned headlines away from the damaging testimony of his former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, in Washington D.C.

But Mr. Pompeo, who knew the details of the North Korean program intimately from his days as C.I.A. director, opposed it. The president was told that if he settled for Yongbyon alone, he might appear to have been duped by the young leader of a country renowned for hiding pieces of its nuclear program in tunnels around the country.

Mr. Pompeo said later that Mr. Kim's offer “still leaves missiles, still leaves warheads and weapons systems” — and a senior State Department official argued that sanctions relief would fund the production of more weapons.

It also would have let the North continue to produce uranium, a key ingredient for nuclear weapons, at a hidden enrichment center near the capital, Pyongyang — one of several suspected nuclear sites beyond Yongbyon that the United States has been monitoring from afar for nearly a decade.

“I think that they were surprised that we knew,” Mr. Trump said.

In the end, the president took a brief walk with Mr. Kim around the hotel's pool, shook his hand and then canceled lunch in a glassed pavilion.

“This kind of opportunity may never come again,” Ri Yong-ho, North Korea's foreign minister, told reporters later that night.

For a president who often complains that his predecessors only let the North Korea problem fester, the 8,000-mile trek from Washington to Hanoi was a crash course in why those past presidents failed.

Many around Mr. Trump believe he will, too.


Early in the administration, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, was intent on signaling that a nuclear North Korea would not be tolerated. — Photograph: Tom Brenner/The New York Times.
Early in the administration, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, was intent on signaling that a nuclear North Korea
would not be tolerated. — Photograph: Tom Brenner/The New York Times.


A Growing Nuclear Crisis

North Korea was the first international crisis of the Trump administration, and discussion about how hard to press the country sometimes got heated. At one point, aides said they heard Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, and Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, shouting at each other behind closed doors.

General McMaster was intent on signaling to both North Korea and allies that Mr. Trump was serious about enforcing sanctions and that he would not tolerate a nuclear North Korea.

In a series of Situation Room meetings, the administration reviewed options to ramp up sanctions and covert operations, including an Obama-era program of cyber sabotage against North Korean missiles. War plans were rewritten, and General McMaster spoke openly about the possibility of a “preventive war” if the threat grew.

The shouting was prompted by General McMaster's insistence that Mr. Mattis intercept North Korean ships on the high seas to determine whether they were engaged in sanctions busting. But Mr. Mattis resisted, worried that the outbreak of a firefight at sea could quickly escalate out of control.

Mr. Kim, for his part, turned up the pressure, launching missile after missile, including new intercontinental ballistic models that appeared capable of hitting the United States. There was also another nuclear test, which some experts believe may have been a hydrogen bomb, as the North claimed.

But for more than a year, Mr. Trump shut down efforts at diplomacy.

When Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state at the time, told reporters during a visit to Beijing that “we have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang,” Mr. Trump lashed out, declaring on Twitter that “only one thing will work” and casting his own secretary of state as naïve. Mr. Tillerson fumed and was later ousted.

Early in 2018, though, Mr. Trump suddenly changed course — along the lines Mr. Tillerson had advocated. To the shock of Mr. Trump's own advisers, he accepted on the spot when envoys sent by South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, passed on an invitation to meet Mr. Kim.


Kim Yo-jong, top right, the sister of the North Korean leader, sitting behind Vice President Mike Pence at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. — Pool photograph by Patrick Semansky.
Kim Yo-jong, top right, the sister of the North Korean leader, sitting behind Vice President Mike Pence at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang.
 — Pool photograph by Patrick Semansky.


After that first summit meeting in Singapore in June, the talk of hostilities ended. Mr. Trump declared Mr. Kim an honorable partner — gliding past the murder of his half brother, his uncle and an American student in North Korea, Otto Warmbier — and promised to improve relations and suspend military exercises around Korea.

“There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” Mr. Trump declared on Twitter, despite the absence of any timetable for denuclearization.

Some of his aides, starting with Mr. Bolton, the new national security adviser, were appalled. But with Mr. Trump repeating that he should be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, no one wanted to argue.

Mr. Bolton told colleagues not to worry. The negotiations, he said, would collapse on their own.


Diplomacy in the Dark

There were signs of trouble from the start.

Mr. Pompeo flew to Pyongyang in early July to turn the Singapore discussion into a timetable for the North to produce an inventory of weapons, the first step toward disarmament, but Mr. Kim declined to see him. Instead, Mr. Pompeo met with Kim Yong-chol, a former spy chief with hard-line views on the United States.

After the visit, the North said the Americans had pushed a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization”. But it also said Kim Jong-un still wanted to build on the “friendly relationship and trust” with Mr. Trump.

The message was clear: A real breakthrough was only possible if the two leaders got together again. The North Koreans seemed to believe Mr. Kim could get a better deal from Mr. Trump than they could from his State Department negotiators.

Then in August, Mr. Trump abruptly canceled a trip by Mr. Pompeo to Pyongyang, saying there had not been enough progress in the talks. This stymied the new special envoy, Stephen E. Biegun, who had planned to accompany Mr. Pompeo.


Documents being exchanged between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ms. Kim at the Singapore summit meeting last year. — Photograph: Kevin Lim/The Straits Times/via Shutterstock.
Documents being exchanged between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ms. Kim at the Singapore summit meeting last year.
 — Photograph: Kevin Lim/The Straits Times/via Shutterstock.


Meanwhile, diplomacy between South Korea and North Korea was progressing quickly. Mr. Moon and Mr. Kim had already met twice before the Singapore summit, and in September, Mr. Moon made a historic visit to Pyongyang.

The result was the Pyongyang Declaration, which outlined a peace process for the peninsula — and dangled a potential concession by North Korea. The North, it said, would agree to dismantle the Yongbyon complex if the United States took “corresponding measures.”

Suddenly, Yongbyon was in play. But what did North Korea want?

Some analysts said they believed then that the North was seeking an end-of-war declaration as a prelude to legally replacing the armistice that halted the Korean War, an idea that Mr. Trump told Mr. Kim in Singapore he supported. And Mr. Moon was pushing for the end-of-war declaration.

American officials were worried it could lead too quickly to a peace treaty and then negotiations to draw down the 28,500 American troops on the peninsula — a long-time goal of the North.

Then, a few days before the mid-term elections in the United States, North Korea released a belligerent statement that said the country would return to a policy of strengthening its nuclear force if the United States did not lift sanctions.

In retrospect, it was an important message that was obscured by the discussion of an end-of-war declaration.

What really mattered to Mr. Kim were the sanctions, which, after three new rounds in 2017, were strangling his nation's already pitiful economy. The United States had even cut off critical humanitarian aid to the country by barring American aid groups from traveling there.


A Grand Bargain

With diplomacy stalled, Mr. Trump decided to weigh in again.

Mr. Bolton announced in December that Mr. Trump wanted another summit meeting in early 2019 because North Korea had “not lived up to the commitments” it made in Singapore. To some diplomats and analysts, that seemed like a reason not to meet again.

The North Koreans appointed a former ambassador to Spain, Kim Hyok-chol, to lay the groundwork with Mr. Biegun, 55, a pragmatic former senior aide to Condoleezza Rice in the Bush administration who had been passed over for the national security adviser position in favor of Mr. Bolton.


A demolition ceremony for North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test facility in an image released by the official Korean Central News Agency. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/via Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A demolition ceremony for North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test facility in an image released by the official Korean Central News Agency.
 — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/via Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


The first meetings in Pyongyang did not go smoothly. And when the two sides met in Hanoi starting six days before the summit meeting, the North Koreans kept demanding that the five most recent rounds of sanctions imposed by the United Nations since March 2016 be lifted.

Mr. Ri, the foreign minister, said later that North Korea chose those sanctions because they affected ordinary citizens.

These sanctions, imposed to punish Pyongyang for new weapons tests, differed from previous restrictions that were focused on weapons and nuclear-related equipment. Instead, they covered entire export sectors, including minerals, metals, coal, agriculture and seafood.

They also banned energy sales to North Korea. Altogether, they held back billions of dollars of trade, a senior State Department official said.

The far-reaching nature of the sanctions — and the suffering they were causing — were exactly why hard-line administration officials wanted to keep them up. After Mr. Trump's surprise decision at Singapore to suspend military exercises with South Korea, these officials worried the United States was losing leverage.

That camp, led by Mr. Bolton, regarded Mr. Pompeo and his diplomats with suspicion. Would they give away too much for too little? Would they give in to the North Korean entreaties to loosen sanctions?

A Stanford speech by Mr. Biegun in January appeared to the hawks to be a red flag: He suggested then that North Korea might not need to immediately hand over a complete declaration of nuclear assets, which American officials had demanded as a first step.

But behind closed doors, Mr. Biegun and his team told the North Koreans that giving up the aging facilities at Yongbyon was not nearly enough for such extensive sanctions relief.

At the same time, the North Korean negotiators were inconsistent about which of the facilities inside Yongbyon they were offering to dismantle — at one point saying that only Kim Jong-un could decide.


Mr. Trump on the South Lawn of the White House after returning from Vietnam. — Photograph: Al Drago/for The New York Times.
Mr. Trump on the South Lawn of the White House after returning from Vietnam. — Photograph: Al Drago/for The New York Times.

The negotiating teams were still deadlocked even as Mr. Kim boarded a train for a two-day journey to Vietnam and Mr. Trump took off on Air Force One.

The American team thought their North Korean counterparts would warn Mr. Kim that the demand to lift the five sanctions was a non-starter, so the two leaders would work on hashing something else out during the summit meeting.

But soon after the two men arrived at the Metropole, the North Korean leader began arguing for relief from the five rounds of sanctions in exchange for Yongbyon.

While North Korea had suspended operations at Yongbyon under agreements in 1994 and again in 2007, and later offered various moratoriums that were never fully executed, Mr. Kim's proposal appeared to go further than ever toward dismantling the entirety of the complex, officials said. But the exact terms were still vague.

Mr. Trump countered with the grand bargain. The divide was underscored by the fact that, at one point, he presented Mr. Kim with a document laying out his definition of denuclearization.

Mr. Kim objected that there was not enough trust between the two countries to give up everything at once.

At a rare news conference shortly after midnight on Thursday, Mr. Ri argued that his country mostly needed “security guarantees” related to American military forces on the peninsula, and portrayed the sanctions-for-Yongbyon trade as a step to build trust.

In the end, Mr. Trump flew back to Washington D.C. with nothing — no agreement on a peace declaration, and no ban on producing more nuclear fuel — meaning the North's arsenal will keep expanding while the two sides argue. There were only promises to keep talking.

On Friday, as Mr. Trump woke up in the White House after his grueling trip, the long wooden table that had been moved into a meeting room of the Metropole Hotel for the signing ceremony still sat there, unused.


__________________________________________________________________________

Peter Baker contributed reporting to this article from Washington D.C., and Choe Sang-Hun from Seoul, South Korea.

David E. Sanger is a national security correspondent and a senior writer. In a 36-year reporting career for The New York Times, he has been on three teams that have won Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 2017 for international reporting. His newest book, The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age,’ examines the emergence of cyberconflict as the primary way large and small states are competing and undercutting each other, changing the nature of global power. He is also the author of two New York Times best sellers on foreign policy and national security: The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power, published in 2009, and Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power, published in 2012. For The N.Y. Times, Mr. Sanger has served as Tokyo bureau chief, Washington economic correspondent, White House correspondent during the Clinton and Bush administrations, and chief Washington correspondent. Mr. Sanger spent six years in Tokyo, writing about the emergence of Japan as a major American competitor, and then the country's humbling recession. He wrote many of the first articles about North Korea's emerging nuclear weapons program. Returning to Washington, Mr. Sanger turned to a wide range of diplomatic and national security issues, especially issues of nuclear proliferation and the rise of cyberconflict among nations. In reporting for The Times and Confront and Conceal, he revealed the story of Olympic Games, the code name for the most sophisticated cyberattack in history, the American-Israeli effort to sabotage Iran's nuclear program with the Stuxnet worm. His journalistic pursuit of the origins of Stuxnet became the subject of the documentary “Zero Days” which made the short list of Academy Award documentaries in 2016. With his Times colleague Bill Broad, he also described, in early 2017, a parallel cybereffort against North Korea. Mr. Sanger was a leading member of the team that investigated the causes of the Challenger disaster in 1986, which was awarded a Pulitzer in national reporting the following year. A second Pulitzer, in 1999, was awarded to a team that investigated the struggles within the Clinton administration over controlling technology exports to China. He has also won the Weintal Prize for diplomatic reporting for his coverage of the Iraq and Korea crises, the Aldo Beckman prize for coverage of the presidency, and, in two separate years, the Merriman Smith Memorial Award, for coverage of national security issues. “Nuclear Jihad” the documentary that Mr. Sanger reported for Discovery/Times Television, won the duPont-Columbia Award for its explanation of the workings of the A. Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network. That coverage was also a finalist for a Pulitzer. A 1982 graduate of Harvard College, Mr. Sanger was the first senior fellow in The Press and National Security at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. With Graham T. Allison Jr., he co-teaches Central Challenges in American National Security, Strategy and the Press at the Kennedy School of Government.

Edward Wong is a diplomatic and international correspondent for The New York Times who reports on foreign policy from Washington. He has spent most of his career abroad, reporting for 13 years from China and Iraq for The N.Y. Times. As Beijing bureau chief, he ran The Times's largest overseas operation. He has filed dispatches from North Korea, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia, among other places. He was on the final flight of the Concorde. Mr. Wong began reporting for The New York Times in 1999 and worked for four years on the metro, sports and business desks before going overseas. His first posting was to Iraq to cover the American invasion and civil war, from 2003 to 2007. He then reported from China for nine years. During that period, he also wrote stories on a trek on foot through the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan and a cruise to North Korea run by a state-owned enterprise based in Pyongyang. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University from 2017 to 2018 and taught international reporting at Princeton University as a Ferris Professor of Journalism in 2017. He is an associate at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Mr. Wong has appeared in documentary films by Laura Poitras and Vanessa Hope and produced his own short film on China. He has spoken on PBS NewsHour, NPR, BBC, CBC and ARTE. He has given talks at American universities on journalism, war and foreign policy. Mr. Wong received a Livingston Award for his coverage of the Iraq War and was on a team from The New York Times's Baghdad Bureau that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting. He has two awards from the Society of Publishers in Asia for coverage of China. He was on The N.Y. Times team that received an award for best documentary project from Pictures of the Year International for a series on global climate change migrants. The project was also nominated for an Emmy Award. He has a prize from the Associated Press Sports Editors. Mr. Wong graduated with honors from the University of Virginia with a bachelor's degree in English literature. He has dual master's degrees in journalism and international studies from the University of California at Berkeley. He has studied Mandarin Chinese at the Beijing Language and Culture University, Taiwan University and Middlebury College. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Alexandria, Virginia.

• A version of this article appears in The New York Times on Sunday, March 3, 2019, on Page A1 of the New York print edition with the headline: “Trump-Kim Talks Undone By Big Egos and Bad Bets”.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/02/world/asia/trump-kim-jong-un-summit.html
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2019, 10:26:01 pm »


from The Washington Post…

North Korea rebuilds rocket launch site, in ominous signal about attitude to talks

Work may have begun even before the breakdown of the Trump-Kim summit.

By SIMON DENYER | 10:18PM EST — Tuesday, March 05, 2019

The Sohae Satellite Launching Station features what researchers describe as the vertical engine stand partially rebuilt with two construction cranes, several vehicles and supplies lying on the ground in a commercial satellite image taken over Tongchang-ri, North Korea, on March 2, 2019, and released on March 5, 2019. — Picture: Reuters/CSIS/Beyond Parallel/DigitalGlobe.
The Sohae Satellite Launching Station features what researchers describe as the vertical engine stand partially rebuilt with two construction cranes, several vehicles
and supplies lying on the ground in a commercial satellite image taken over Tongchang-ri, North Korea, on March 2, 2019, and released on March 5, 2019.
 — Picture: Reuters/CSIS/Beyond Parallel/DigitalGlobe.


TOKYO — North Korea has begun rebuilding work on a satellite rocket launchpad and engine test site, in an ominous sign about its attitude toward negotiations on denuclearization.

The rebuilding work at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station began sometime between February 16 and March 2, according to satellite imagery, meaning it began either just before or immediately after the breakdown of a summit meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi on February 28.

The site, also known as Tongchang-ri, is billed as a space launch center. North Korea had said it was being dismantled and had promised to allow in international inspectors to verify that process, in a move widely cited as a sign of its good faith.

In Hanoi, Trump said Kim had promised not to resume nuclear and missile tests. In that context, any move by North Korea to launch a rocket — and pass it off as a peaceful space-related activity — would probably be seen as provocative.

“Given how much has been done at this site, it looks like more than a couple days' worth of activity,” said Jenny Town, managing editor of 38 North, a website devoted to analysis of North Korea. “It's hard to say if it happened immediately after the summit and they just rushed everything — I guess it's possible — but it's more likely that it started just before.”

Tongchang-ri is North Korea's largest missile engine test site. Work to dismantle it began shortly after denuclearization negotiations with the United States began, but stalled from August of last year. Now it has gone into reverse.

“It's unfortunate because this was one of the unilateral steps that the North Koreans were making at the beginning of the negotiation process as sort of a confidence-building measure, and so certainly this does have implications for how the North Koreans are thinking about the negotiation process,” Town said. “It’s highly unlikely that any of these kinds of unilateral measures will be offered again unless there is an actual agreement in place going forward.”

In another sign that positions may be hardening, White House national security adviser John Bolton warned that the United States may tighten sanctions if North Korea fails to denuclearize.

Bolton's comments, to Fox Business Network, came before the news about the satellite launch station.

“If they're not willing to do it [denuclearization], then I think President Trump has been very clear. They're not going to get relief from the crushing economic sanctions that have been imposed on them and we'll look at ramping those sanctions up, in fact.”

Satellite launches have been contentious. In 2012, North Korea promised a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests in return for food aid. But the agreement with the Obama administration soon broke down after Pyongyang launched a satellite using ballistic missile technology that the United States deemed in breach of United Nations sanctions.

Jeffrey Lewis, a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, said low-resolution imagery had detected some activity at the site between February 18 and February 22, although it was unclear what was happening until the latest satellite images emerged.

‘It's not great news,” he said. “They may have known the summit was not going to go well.”

Lewis said a defector report at the beginning of 2018 had indicated North Korea had been planning a space launch, while satellite imagery also indicated some activity at a factory used to make satellite rockets as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles.

“There was some evidence that they were on their way to doing a space launch,” he said. “So it's not crazy to imagine that that might be one of the things they choose to resume if they don't feel like they're getting what they want in negotiations.”

Lewis said there was “nothing illegal” in doing a space launch, which would not use the same rocket as North Korea uses for ICBMs. But while that argument might satisfy China, Russia and perhaps even South Korea, it might not be seen that way in Washington, he said.

On the launch pad, a rail-mounted transfer building is being reassembled, according to analysis by 38 North, with two support cranes visible. Walls have been erected and appear to be even taller than the previous structure, and a new roof has been added.

At the engine test stand, images appear to show the engine support structure is being reassembled, with two cranes visible and construction materials spread across the stand’s apron, 38 North wrote.


__________________________________________________________________________

Simon Denyer is The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tokyo, covering Japan and the Koreas. He served previously as bureau chief in China, and in India; a Reuters bureau chief in Washington, New Delhi, Islamabad and Kabul; and as a Reuters correspondent in Nairobi, New York and London. He is an author, and the co-editor of Foreign Correspondent: Fifty Years of Reporting South Asia. He has also made frequent TV and radio appearances, including on the BBC, CNN, NPR, PBS, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC and Sky News, as well as India's NDTV, Times Now and CNN-IBN.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: The Hanoi summit between Kim Jong Un and President Trump, in less than 4 minutes

 • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un leaves Vietnam with a grin and a wave, but empty hands

 • After U.S.-North Korea summit fails, all sides scramble to salvage the talks

 • Summit collapse breaks hearts in South Korea, leaves Moon losing face


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/north-korea-rebuilds-rocket-engine-test-site-in-ominous-signal-about-attitude-to-talks/2019/03/05/de9c7e54-3faf-11e9-a44b-42f4df262a4c_story.html
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2019, 03:37:40 pm »

The Washington Pissing Post
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2019, 05:39:20 pm »


Stupid, gullible Donald J. Trump got played like a fiddle ... by Kim Jong-un ... yet again!!

Faaaaaaarking hilarious.

No wonder America is now the laughing stock of the entire world.
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2019, 01:35:33 am »


Kim Jong-un wants to play America's clown president, Donald J. Trump, like a fiddle … yet again. Hilarious!!

Actually, Chairman Kim should simply invite Trump to Pyongyang for a state visit and throw a HUGE military parade for Trump to swoon over. Trump would be so ecstatic he would probably even suck Kim's dick, then fly home while telling the world what a great chap Kim is. So funny, eh?




from The Washington Post…

North Korea's Kim open to third Trump summit
 — but only if U.S. changes its stance


Kim Jong Un said he would wait until the end of the year for the United States to take a “bold” decision.

By SIMON DENYER | 9:38PM EDT — Saturday, April 13, 2019

People watch a TV news program on North Korea at the major railway station in Seoul on Saturday. — Photograph: Lee Jin-Man/Associated Press.
People watch a TV news program on North Korea at the major railway station in Seoul on Saturday. — Photograph: Lee Jin-Man/Associated Press.

TOKYO North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would be prepared to meet President Trump for a third summit, but only if the United States fundamentally changes its approach. He also warned that his patience is running out.

In a speech to the Supreme People's Assembly in Pyongyang, Kim offered no hints of new concessions or ideas from his regime after the failure of February's summit, putting the blame squarely on the United States and throwing the ball into Washington's court.

Experts said the speech kept the window open for diplomacy but didn’t offer much hope for substantive progress. Meanwhile, North Korea continues to expand its nuclear arsenal.

“If the U.S. adopts a correct posture and comes forward for the third DPRK-U.S. summit with a certain methodology that can be shared with us, we can think of holding one more talk,” Kim said, referring to his country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

But Kim said that he did not feel the need to meet Trump just to secure sanctions relief and that the prospect of another summit like February's meeting in Hanoi was “not inviting.”

“Anyway, we will wait for a bold decision from the U.S. with patience till the end of this year, but I think it will definitely be difficult to get such a good opportunity as the previous summit,” he said.

But Kim told the assembly, the regime's equivalent of a parliament, on Friday that the United States was miscalculating if it thinks it can bring his government to its knees through sanctions and “maximum pressure,” adding that Washington was making suggestions that are “absolutely impractical.”

“If it keeps thinking that way, it will never be able to move the DPRK even a knuckle, nor gain any interests no matter how many times it may sit for talks with the DPRK,” Kim said in remarks carried by the state Korean Central News Agency on Saturday.

At the Hanoi summit, North Korea offered to close down a key nuclear site in return for the lifting of almost all of the economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. Trump asked Kim to “go big” by turning over his entire nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal and production capability in return for a “bright future” economically.

Trump appears convinced that North Korea has tremendous economic potential and seems wedded to the notion that Kim might abandon his nuclear program in return for U.S. help in realizing that potential. But experts also see the hand of national security adviser John Bolton in the administration's maximalist demands, advancing what amounts to an unrealistic ultimatum.

In tweets on Saturday, Trump described his relationship with Kim as “excellent” and said he would be open to a third summit to “fully understand where we each stand.” But Trump offered no new proposals.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States had continued to have “conversations” with North Korea even after Hanoi.

“I'm confident that what we did in Hanoi put us in a better place to move forward,” he told reporters on a trip to South America. “Chairman Kim made a commitment, he made the commitment to me personally no fewer than half a dozen times and to President Trump that he wanted to denuclearize.”

In his speech, Kim also complained that the United States had resumed military exercises with South Korea this year, despite what he said was a direct commitment by Trump to suspend them.

“These seriously rattle us,” he said. “As wind is bound to bring waves, the U.S. open hostile policy toward the DPRK will naturally bring our corresponding acts.”

But Kim did not spell out what his response might be, after ominously warning in a New Year's Day speech that he might be forced to seek a “new way” if the United States did not drop its unilateral demands and sanctions pressure.

He also reiterated that his problem was with Trump's administration, not the president.

“But as President Trump keeps saying, the personal ties between me and him are not hostile like the relations between the two countries and we still maintain good relations, as to be able to exchange letters asking about health anytime if we want,” he said.


Kim Jong Un said North Korea should prove its self-reliance and deliver a “telling blow” to the hostile foreign forces. — Photograph: Reuters.
Kim Jong Un said North Korea should prove its self-reliance and deliver a “telling blow” to the hostile foreign forces. — Photograph: Reuters.

Van Jackson, a former Pentagon official who teaches at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, said time is on North Korea's side.

“A Trump-Kim personal relationship benefits Kim and North Korea, not the United States,” he said. “So, it's no surprise that Kim is open to the pomp and pageantry of a third summit.”

But Jackson said there was no sign that Kim was willing to make the nuclear concessions demanded by Trump's “uber-hawks,” implying that the summit-driven process will continue to drag out without bringing nuclear stability to the Korean Peninsula.

Ankit Panda, an adjunct senior fellow in the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists, also saw no signs of a change in Kim's negotiating position — that North Korea expects to see “corresponding” concessions from the United States in return for its moratorium on nuclear and missile testing announced last year.

The only difference now is that Kim has given the United States until the end of the year.

“A lack of U.S.-North Korea progress in the meantime will allow Kim to continue the quantitative expansion of his nuclear forces,” Panda said. “He doesn't need to test nuclear devices or missiles to continue building his forces out.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Trump in Washington D.C. on Thursday in a bid to keep the dialogue alive, and the presidential Blue House said in a statement on Saturday that it would “do what we can in order to maintain the current momentum for dialogue, and help negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea resume at an early date.”

But Kim was sharply critical of the South Korean government, arguing that it should not act as a “mediator” or “booster” for hostile forces, but instead act in the interests of the whole Korean Peninsula.

There will be no improvement in North-South ties unless South Korea ends military exercises with the United States, he said, “and unless a fundamental liquidation is put to the anachronistic arrogance and hostile policy of the U.S., which creates a deliberate hurdle in the improvement of ties while coming forward with unilateral gangsterlike demands.”

Cheon Seong-whun, who served as national security adviser to former conservative South Korean President Park Geun-hye, said he sees a “deadlock.”

“Kim Jong Un says he will stick to his position and is pressuring Washington to make concessions,” he said. “It’s a non-starter.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Min Joo Kim in Seoul, John Hudson in South America and Brian Murphy in Washington D.C. contributed to this report.

Simon Denyer is The Washington Post's bureau chief in Tokyo, covering Japan and the Koreas. He served previously as bureau chief in China, and in India; a Reuters bureau chief in Washington, New Delhi, Islamabad and Kabul; and as a Reuters correspondent in Nairobi, New York and London. He is an author, and the co-editor of Foreign Correspondent: Fifty Years of Reporting South Asia. He has also made frequent TV and radio appearances, including on BBC, CNN, NPR, PBS, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC and Sky News, as well as India's NDTV, Times Now and CNN-IBN.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Kim Jong Un vows North Korea will withstand sanctions pressure, prove its self-reliance

 • In meeting with South Korea's Moon, Trump signals openness to smaller deal with North

 • No meetings, little contact: Trump faces dwindling options over North Korea

 • North Korea denounces scaled-back U.S.-South Korea military exercises

 • Trump's aides struggle to defend and explain his foreign policy statements


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/north-koreas-kim-open-to-third-trump-summit--but-only-if-us-changes-its-stance/2019/04/13/a24b90be-5db6-11e9-b8e3-b03311fbbbfe_story.html
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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2019, 08:26:30 pm »

the only fiddling going on here is you
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« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2019, 12:38:36 am »


ROFLMAO …… now Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin are collaborating on how to jointly “play Trump like a fiddle!”

No doubt they're also comparing notes about what it feels like to have Trump suck their dicks.

Hilarious!!











from The Seattle Times…

North Korea's Kim on way to Russia to meet Putin on Thursday

By NATALIYA VASILYEVA and VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV — Associated Press | 12:24AM PDT — Tuesday, April 23, 2019

This combination file photo, shows Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, in St. Petersburg, Russia, on April 9, 2019; and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 28, 2019. When Kim meets with Putin for their first one-on-one meeting, he will have a long wish list and a strong desire to notch a win after the failure of his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in February 2019. — Photographs: Dmitri Lovetsky & Evan Vucci/Associated Press.
This combination file photo, shows Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, in St. Petersburg, Russia, on April 9, 2019; and North Korean leader
Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 28, 2019. When Kim meets with Putin for their first one-on-one meeting, he will have a long
wish list and a strong desire to notch a win after the failure of his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in February 2019.
 — Photographs: Dmitri Lovetsky & Evan Vucci/Associated Press.


MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a much-anticipated summit Thursday, the Kremlin said, ending weeks of speculation about the meeting's timing and venue.

Preparations for the meeting in Vladivostok, a Russia city on the Pacific, were held in secrecy because of North Korean security concerns, Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov said on Tuesday.

Ushakov said the talks would focus on the standoff over the North's nuclear program, noting that Russia will seek to “consolidate the positive trends” stemming from U.S. President Donald Trump's meetings with Kim.


President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take a walk after their first meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel, in Hanoi. North Korea on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 confirmed that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with Putin in a rare summit. For Russia, a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offers a chance to raise its influence in the region and gain more leverage with Washington. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.
President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take a walk after their first meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel,
in Hanoi. North Korea on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 confirmed that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with Putin in a rare summit.
For Russia, a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offers a chance to raise its influence in the region and gain more leverage
with Washington. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.


Kim left Pyongyang by his special train at dawn on Wednesday as he heads to Russia with top government and military officials, according to the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency. It said officials and residents gathered at Pyongyang's train station to see him off.

Kim will be the first North Korean leader to travel to Russia since his late father, Kim Jong Il, visited in 2011.

Kim Jong Un had two summits with Trump, but the latest in Vietnam in February collapsed because North Korea wanted more relief from sanctions than Washington was willing to give for the amount of nuclear disarmament offered by Pyongyang.

Some experts say Kim could try to bolster his country's ties with Russia and China as he's increasingly expressed frustration at the lack of U.S. steps to match the partial disarmament steps he took last year.


A man passes by a TV screen showing images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. North Korea confirmed on Tuesday that Kim will soon visit Russia to meet with Putin in a summit that comes at a crucial moment for tenuous diplomacy meant to rid the North of its nuclear arsenal. The screen reads: “Kim Jong Un visits Russia soon”. — Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press.
A man passes by a TV screen showing images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right,
during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. North Korea confirmed on
Tuesday that Kim will soon visit Russia to meet with Putin in a summit that comes at a crucial moment for tenuous diplomacy
meant to rid the North of its nuclear arsenal. The screen reads: “Kim Jong Un visits Russia soon”.
 — Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press.


People watch a TV screen showing images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. North Korea confirmed on Tuesday that Kim will soon visit Russia to meet with Putin in a summit that comes at a crucial moment for tenuous diplomacy meant to rid the North of its nuclear arsenal. The Korean letters on the screen read: “Kim Jong Un plans to visit Russia”. — Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press.
People watch a TV screen showing images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, during
a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. North Korea confirmed on Tuesday
that Kim will soon visit Russia to meet with Putin in a summit that comes at a crucial moment for tenuous diplomacy meant to rid
 the North of its nuclear arsenal. The Korean letters on the screen read: “Kim Jong Un plans to visit Russia”.
 — Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/Associated Press.


Oil tankers are parked at the Okeanskaya railway station where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to make his first stop before his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the border at Russia's Far East, as viewed on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. North Korea on Tuesday confirmed that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with Putin in a rare summit. — Photograph: Alexander Khitrov/Associated Press.
Oil tankers are parked at the Okeanskaya railway station where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to make his first stop
before his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the border at Russia's Far East, as viewed on Tuesday, April 23, 2019.
North Korea on Tuesday confirmed that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with Putin in a rare summit.
 — Photograph: Alexander Khitrov/Associated Press.


A woman walks past the Memorial plaque in memory of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's visit to Russia in 2002, at the Okeanskaya railway station where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to make his first stop before his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the border at Russia’s Far East, as viewed on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. North Korea on Tuesday confirmed that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with Putin in a rare summit. — Photograph: Alexander Khitrov/Associated Press.
A woman walks past the Memorial plaque in memory of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's visit to Russia in 2002, at the Okeanskaya railway station
where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to make his first stop before his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the border
at Russia’s Far East, as viewed on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. North Korea on Tuesday confirmed that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia
to meet with Putin in a rare summit. — Photograph: Alexander Khitrov/Associated Press.


It's not clear how big of a role Russia can play in efforts to restart the nuclear diplomacy. But the summit could allow Putin to try to increase his influence in regional politics and the standoff over North Korea's nuclear program.

Putin's adviser added that the Kremlin would try to help “create preconditions and a favorable atmosphere for reaching solid agreements on the problem of the Korean Peninsula,” Ushakov said.

Ushakov pointed at a Russia-China roadmap that offered a step-by-step approach to solving the nuclear standoff and called for sanctions relief and security guarantees to Pyongyang. He noted that the North's moratorium on nuclear tests and scaling down of U.S.-South Korean military drills helped reduce tensions and created conditions for further progress.

Ushakov said that Putin-Kim summit's agenda will also include bilateral cooperation. He added that Russia's trade with North Korea is minuscule at just $34 million last year, mostly because of the international sanctions against Pyongyang.


Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, clinks glasses with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on Saturday, August 4, 2001. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week expands a diplomatic charm offensive that has included meetings with leaders from China, South Korea and the United States. — Photograph: Vladimir Vyatkin/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo/via Associated Press.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, clinks glasses with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia
on Saturday, August 4, 2001. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week expands a diplomatic
charm offensive that has included meetings with leaders from China, South Korea and the United States.
 — Photograph: Vladimir Vyatkin/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo/via Associated Press.


Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, during their meeting in Moscow, Russia on Saturday, August 4, 2001. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week expands a diplomatic charm offensive that has included meetings with leaders from China, South Korea and the United States. — Photograph: Sergei Velichkin/TASS/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo/via Associated Press.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, during their meeting in Moscow, Russia on Saturday,
August 4, 2001. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week expands a diplomatic charm
offensive that has included meetings with leaders from China, South Korea and the United States.
 — Photograph: Sergei Velichkin/TASS/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo/via Associated Press.


Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, during their meeting in Moscow on Saturday, August 4, 2001. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week expands a diplomatic charm offensive that has included meetings with leaders from China, South Korea and the United States. — Photograph: Sergei Velichkin/TASS/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo/via Associated Press.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, during their meeting in Moscow on Saturday,
August 4, 2001. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week expands a diplomatic
charm offensive that has included meetings with leaders from China, South Korea and the United States.
 — Photograph: Sergei Velichkin/TASS/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo/via Associated Press.


In this photo taken on August 15, 2001, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, right, toasts with North Korean and Russian officials inside a train somewhere in Russia. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, like his father Kim Jong Il, is likely to travel by train to Vladivostok in Russia for a much-anticipated summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on this upcoming Thursday, a Kremlin adviser said, putting an end to weeks of speculation about when and where it would take place. — Photograph: Georgy Toloraya/via Associated Press.
In this photo taken on August 15, 2001, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, right, toasts with North Korean and Russian officials inside a train
somewhere in Russia. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, like his father Kim Jong Il, is likely to travel by train to Vladivostok in Russia for a
much-anticipated summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on this upcoming Thursday, a Kremlin adviser said, putting an end to weeks
of speculation about when and where it would take place. — Photograph: Georgy Toloraya/via Associated Press.


Russia would like to gain broader access to North Korea's mineral resources, including rare metals. Pyongyang, for its part, covets Russia's electricity supplies and wants to attract Russian investment to modernize its dilapidated Soviet-built industrial plants, railways and other infrastructure.

In the meantime, Vladivostok has been seeing a number of unusually strict security measures. Maritime authorities said on Tuesday that the waters around Russky Island, off the southern tip of Vladivostok, would be closed to all maritime traffic between Wednesday morning and Friday morning.

The island, which is home to a university with a conference hall, is seen as a likely summit venue.

Separately, local media reported that some platforms at Vladivostok's main train station would be closed for several days, and that buses will be rerouted from the train station Wednesday.

News website Vl.ru reported that municipal authorities undertook road works to make the entryway in and out of the train station less steep — presumably to allow Kim's limousine to drive straight out from the platform.


A worker adjusts the flag of Russia and North Korea along the road in Russky Island, off the southern tip of Vladivostok, on Tuesday, April. 23, 2019. Preparations are underway for a summit between the leader of North Korea and Russia's president, Russian officials and media reported on Tuesday. Russian media have widely reported that the leaders will meet in the port city of Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean. — Photograph: Naoya Osato/Kyodo News/via Associated Press.
A worker adjusts the flag of Russia and North Korea along the road in Russky Island, off the southern tip of Vladivostok, on Tuesday, April. 23, 2019.
Preparations are underway for a summit between the leader of North Korea and Russia's president, Russian officials and media reported on Tuesday.
Russian media have widely reported that the leaders will meet in the port city of Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean.
 — Photograph: Naoya Osato/Kyodo News/via Associated Press.


A worker adjusts the flag of Russia and North Korea along the road in Russky Island, off the southern tip of Vladivostok, on Tuesday, April. 23, 2019. Preparations are underway for a summit between the leader of North Korea and Russia’s president, Russian officials and media reported on Tuesday. Russian media have widely reported that the leaders will meet in the port city of Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean. — Photograph: Naoya Osato/Kyodo News/via Associated Press.
A worker adjusts the flag of Russia and North Korea along the road in Russky Island, off the southern tip of Vladivostok, on Tuesday, April. 23, 2019.
Preparations are underway for a summit between the leader of North Korea and Russia’s president, Russian officials and media reported on Tuesday.
Russian media have widely reported that the leaders will meet in the port city of Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean.
 — Photograph: Naoya Osato/Kyodo News/via Associated Press.


On Thursday, May 31, 2018, Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shake hands during a meeting in Pyongyang. North Korea on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, confirmed that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with Putin in a rare summit. For Russia, a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offers a chance to raise its influence in the region and gain more leverage with Washington. — Photograph: Valery Sharifulin/TASS News Agency/Kremlin Pool Photo/via Associated Press.
On Thursday, May 31, 2018, Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shake hands during a meeting
in Pyongyang. North Korea on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, confirmed that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with Putin in
a rare summit. For Russia, a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offers a chance to raise its influence in the region and
gain more leverage with Washington. — Photograph: Valery Sharifulin/TASS News Agency/Kremlin Pool Photo/via Associated Press.


North Korea has so far not gotten what it wants most from the recent flurry of high-level summitry between Kim and various world leaders — namely, relief from crushing international sanctions. There are fears that a recent North Korean weapon test and a series of jibes at Washington over deadlocked nuclear negotiations mean that Pyongyang may again return to the nuclear and long-range missile tests that had many in Asia fearing war in 2017.

North Korea announced last week that it had tested what it called a new type of “tactical guided weapon”. While unlikely to be a prohibited test of a medium- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle the negotiations, the announcement signaled the North's growing disappointment with the diplomatic breakdown.


__________________________________________________________________________

Story updated at 6:11PM PDT — Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

Associated Press writer Hyung-jin Kim contributed to this report from Seoul, South Korea.

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation/preparations-underway-for-kim-putin-summit-in-russia
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« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2019, 06:19:33 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Putin arrives in Russian Far East ahead
of first-ever summit with Kim Jong Un


No major agreements are expected, but Putin and Kim will send a message to Washington D.C.

By AMIE FERRIS-ROTMAN | 11:13AM EDT — Wednesday, April 24, 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, receives a bouquet of flowers upon his arrival on Wednesday at the Khasan train station in Russia. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/Associated Press.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, receives a bouquet of flowers upon his arrival on Wednesday at the Khasan train station in Russia.
 — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/Associated Press.


MOSCOW — Vladimir Putin arrived in the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok on Thursday for his first-ever talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in what promises to be more ceremony than result but nevertheless a stark signal to the United States that the Kremlin can wield influence over North Korea's nuclear program.

The two leaders are due to sit down at 1 p.m. for a summit that Moscow has said will produce neither statements nor agreements, coming two months after Kim's second face-to-face summit with President Trump broke down in Hanoi.

For the Kremlin, eager to play a role in high-stakes nuclear talks, the flashy summit will show Russia's increasing political dominance around the globe. For Kim, meeting a world leader like Putin is an opportunity to save face after the failed U.S. talks.

After their meeting, Putin and Kim have no more planned joint activities together.

Kim, who arrived in style by armored train on Wednesday morning, will later tour the port city on the Pacific Coast, visiting its aquarium and being treated to a culinary feast of traditional Russian fare, from caviar to beetroot soup.

Looking very much the statesman in a black trilby hat and peacoat, Kim expressed joy at finally being on Russian soil, a land visited by his father and grandfather, both former leaders of North Korea, but not Kim himself until this trip.

At the Far Eastern Federal University hosting the talks, the main halls have been decorated with Russian and North Korean flags and rehearsals were underway for a concert on a stage. North Korea already has links with the university, where there is an exchange program in place for several dozen students in partnership with major colleges in Pyongyang.

Washington will be closely watching from the sidelines for any potential cracks in economic sanctions and other pressures on Kim's regime. Wary of a possible Russian turnaround, the State Department sent its envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, to Moscow last week to push for the country's full denuclearization.

In the days leading up to Thursday's meeting, some Russian lawmakers suggested sanctions on North Korea should be lifted.

Like Beijing, Moscow has been cautious with North Korea, with which it shares a border, and does not want to see regime change that could usher in U.S. influence. But it is also eager to foment ties with North Korea, a former client of the Soviet Union.

In Kim's last sit-down with Trump in Hanoi, the U.S. president asked him to give up North Korea's entire nuclear arsenal in exchange for sanctions relief. Kim refused, and later said he no longer wanted to work with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.


__________________________________________________________________________

Amie Ferris-Rotman is the Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post. She was previously a Moscow correspondent for Reuters from 2007 to 2011, and returned to Russia in 2016 for a second tour, first as a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and then for Foreign Policy. In between, she covered covered Afghanistan for Reuters; was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University; and covered the Ukraine conflict for The Atlantic, Politico and Die Zeit. Amie has received grants from the International Reporting Project and the International Women's Media Foundation. Amie was born in London, England, where she grew up, along with living in Memphis, Tennessee, and New Mexico. She holds a bachelor and Masters degree in Russian Studies from University College London.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • ‘I have long dreamed of visiting’: Kim Jong Un arrives in Russia for talks with Putin

 • In Russia’s Far East, both Putin and Kim want to send messages to the U.S.

 • North Korea rejects Pompeo's role in North Korea talks, wants more ‘mature’ envoy

 • North Korea open to third U.S. summit, but only if Washington changes its stance


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/putin-arrives-in-russian-far-east-ahead-of-first-ever-summit-with-kim-jong-un/2019/04/24/a2d941f8-65c6-11e9-a698-2a8f808c9cfb_story.html
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« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2019, 12:07:45 pm »

Putin Plays Kim Like A Fiddle
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« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2019, 02:38:40 pm »


Now why would Vladimir Putin need to play Kim Jong-un when they both have Donald J. Trump as their shared bitch?
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