Will There Be An “Asian Century”?

I have seen this question asked on several occasions…..first it was the rise of Japan and their buying up America….and now the same question only more about China…..

From time to time I get to see some amazing research completed by grad students from around the world…..

this one is especially interesting especially to anyone that is worried about the “World Order”…..

Asia has been increasing its influence in the world, largely, because of China’s exceptional economic growth. A creative study of the global economy’s center of gravity, which indicates the average location of economic activity across geographies, showcases that though, in 1980, that center of gravity was the mid-Atlantic, by 2008, it had moved to the east of Helsinki, and, by 2050, it is predicted to be located between India and China (Quah, 2011). This favorable economic prediction, combined with the arguable decline of the West, is propelling quite a few international relations scholars into advancing the argument that we are entering an “Asian Century”. Some of them go so far as to contend that China will rule the world. However, a strong economy is just one of the requisites for the “Century.” Luce (1941), who coined the term “American Century,” laid out the important factors needed to realize the American Century: the American economy, American ideals, and responsibility for leading the entire world. In addition to those three factors, most importantly, structural advantages within the US-led liberal international order enabled the American Century. Even if China had a preponderance of the total economic size over the US in the future, China could not create a China-led international order in which China and other states enjoy economic, political, and social prosperity due to China’s intrinsic political issues and external factors.

Are We Entering an “Asian Century?”: The Possibility of a New International Order

We can bitch about the things that China is doing….but we need to understand the policies behind the movement……without understanding then basically all you are doing is bitching for the sake of bitching.

For instance….china’s expansion into the African continent…….why is it important?

For a generation, China has expanded its economic outreach to the Middle East but has largely remained diplomatically neutral and militarily absent. Beijing, for example, maintains cordial diplomatic relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. It often abstained on contentious UN Security Council resolution. And while Chinese Navy ships do make occasional port calls in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, but China’s non-combatant evacuation operation from Libya at the beginning of that country’s civil war was far less coordinated and effective than Chinese authorities claimed.

President Xi Jingping’s assertiveness may not be limited to China’ periphery, in Hong Kong, the South China Sea, and Ladakh. China, for example, not only established a military base in Djibouti within miles of the U.S. presence, but also has begun to interfere with U.S. pilots in the region.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/chinas-next-military-move-base-persian-gulf-164184

Is this a hostile move?  Or could it be a defensive one to protect their assets in Africa?

Any thoughts?

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Politics Of Covid-19

We here in the US have been scrambling to decide just who is telling the truth about this virus……the president or the health professionals.

I know who I believe but that is just me.

I read a piece written by a South Korean professor that sheds some light on the situation as it pertains to politics.

The author is a political science and international relations professor at Seoul National University.

I am teaching my political theory course remotely this semester due to the new coronavirus outbreak. For the midterms, I told my students to submit essays discussing “the politics of Covid-19.” Using the basic concepts of politics they will learn in the first half of the course, my students will analyze the political situation surrounding the Covid-19 crisis. For reference, I uploaded about 50 news articles — including editorials and columns I found in the local and foreign press — onto our online bulletin board. The news clips have provocative headlines such as “corona-politics,” “self-serving politics,” “the political offensive of a contagion” and “the government’s self-praise.”


In real life, politics is not so negative. From a realist point of view, politics is about clashing with one another over self interest and competing to take and maintain their power. The American political scientist Harold Lasswell famously defined politics as a science of “who gets what, when and how.” When we look up the word “political” in the dictionary, we come across such words like “crafty” and “scheming.” That is what we mean when we say someone is “too political.”

Covid-19 has definitely laid bare the dark side of politics. With less than a month to go until the April 15 parliamentary elections, we see political groups bashing and fighting against one another to pursue their factional interests and gain power. Attention from the media tends to amplify such political strife, and they demonstrated conflicting views on whether the Korean government is doing a good job in tackling the virus. In that sense, media outlets are also engaged in the politics of the coronavirus. The Journalists Association of Korea even published an official column criticizing a conservative newspaper’s “political and biased” news coverage.

http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx

Fascinating look……but all that aside the South Korean model of dealing with this virus should be held up as the only way to deal with it.

Have not hears this before now?

Then read and then tell me who has a better model….that idiot in the White House or South Korea?

“Test, test, test,” World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus implored countries fighting the novel coronavirus at a press conference on March 16. “You cannot fight this fire blindfolded.” The UK seems finally to have heeded this advice, announcing plans on March 19 to up test for Covid-19 to 25,000 every day.

As of March 20, the UK had only tested 64,621 people – more than any other European country apart from Italy but still far below the level needed to truly track the extent of the outbreak. But if the UK needs a role model for implementing these tests, it could do worse than look towards South Korea.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would quickly announce that 9,300 people attended the two Shincheonji church services alongside patient 31 and 1,200 were now complaining of flu-like symptoms. Hundreds would test positive in the coming days. During a 10-day period in late February, cases leapt above 5,000.

Yet South Korea, where the outbreak total stands, as of March 19, at 8,652 cases and 94 deaths, now has a case rate in relative decline. Just 93 new cases were reported on March 18 (though numbers rose again on 19, to 152.) During the worst periods of February, Korean officials were recording more than 900 a day.

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/south-korea-coronavirus

Guess what?  Testing is the key….now someone needs to whisper that in the ear of Donald the Orange.

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Be Well!  Be Safe!

I Read, I Write, you know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Now South Korea Is Angry

First NK is pissed and now we, the White House, have managed to piss off the South……

I have written that North Korea’s Kim has stated that he is finished with Trump and his brand to stupid (my term)……but Trump and the amateurs he hires have also pissed off the South Koreans…..

The huge $920 million annual fee South Korea has already agreed to pay the US for keeping troops in their country didn’t last long, as President Trump quickly upped the demand to an unprecedented level, approaching $5 billion.

On Monday, the US negotiator was upbeat to start talks, expecting a compromise to be reached. Tuesday the talks fell apart in a matter of minutes, as the US walked out as soon as South Korean officials resisted the massive increase.

This $5 billion annually is believed to be considerably more than the troops actually cost, and the Pentagon has defended the number publicly only on the grounds that South Korea could afford to pay it. Privately, the suggestion is that Trump came up with the number off the top of his head, and it became policy.

South Korean officials aren’t too happy, especially with how quickly the US walked out of the talks, and US officials are now saying they’re giving them time to “reconsider” the demands. South Korean officials warned the move shows signs of eroding trust.

There is also a sense among South Korean officials that this whole thing is a bluff by the US, noting that there has been no suggestion that the US might reduce troop levels or withdraw if they don’t get their way.

(antiwar.com)

Since they, South Korea, cannot make a deal with the US…their next logical step….CHINA.

The defence ministers of South Korea and China have agreed to develop their security ties to ensure stability in north-east Asia, the latest indication that Washington’s long-standing alliances in the region are fraying.

On the sidelines of regional security talks in Bangkok on Sunday, Jeong Kyeong-doo, the South Korean minister of defence, and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, agreed to set up more military hotlines and to push ahead with a visit by Mr Jeong to China next year to “foster bilateral exchanges and cooperation in defence”, South Korea’s defence ministry said.

Seoul’s announcement coincided with growing resentment at the $5 billion (£3.9bn) annual fee that Washington is demanding to keep 28,500 US troops in South Korea.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-signs-defence-agreement-south-140554626.html

Trump may punish South Korea by removing some US troops from the nation….

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper, quoting an unnamed US diplomatic source, says that President Trump is considering withdrawing 4,000 US troops from South Korea, and suggested the possibility of pulling out entirely, if South Korea doesn’t pay massive cost-sharing increases that Trump is demanding.

The US and South Korea agreed to a $920 million annual cost-sharing payment earlier this year, but Trump is now demanding $4.7 billion. South Korean officials have balked at that, and this week’s talks ended almost immediately with the US delegation leaving.

South Korean officials had previously downplayed the seriousness of the US demands, saying there was no sign the US was actually going to leave. It’s unsurprising, then, that US officials are leaking to South Korea’s press things that would benefit US negotiations.

US special representative to North Korea Stephen Biegun also bolstered this position, saying that he wants US troops to stay in South Korea but that “that doesn’t mean anybody gets a free ride.”

All of this suggests the US is going to push for Trump’s full $4.7 billion demand, though with South Korea having made defense agreements with China in recent days, the South Koreans are probably viewing US demands as less and less vital.

(antiwar.com)

Just another massive screw up by the amateur in the White House and the Toadies he hires.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

North Korea Has Lost That Loving Feeling

Trump and Kim of North Korea have had a love hate relationship for a coupe of years…..at first Trump talked tough (his usual BS) and then after the exchange of niceties he “fell in love” with Kim (his words not mine)……

After a success then there was a mis-start and then the cooling of the budding relationship….but now Kim has done all he can to break any ties that he has with Trump……

North Korea took a diplomatic shot at President Trump on Monday while rejecting the idea of another meeting. After a Trump tweet suggested the two sides would again get together—”see you soon!” he wrote—a diplomat from North Korea said thanks, but no thanks. The North, he said, isn’t interested in a meeting that results only in bragging points for Trump. “The US only seeks to earn time, pretending it has made progress in settling the issue of the Korean Peninsula,” said diplomat Kim Kye Gwan, per the AP. “As we have got nothing in return, we will no longer gift the US president with something he can boast of.”

The response came after the two sides found some common ground in dissing Joe Biden, notes the Wall Street Journal. After the North likened Biden to a “rabid dog,” Trump responded with a backhanded compliment. “Mr. Chairman, Joe Biden may be Sleepy and Very Slow, but he is not a ‘rabid dog,'” Trump wrote. “He is actually somewhat better than that, but I am the only one who can get you where you have to be. You should act quickly, get the deal done. See you soon!” His reference to “the deal” is about the stalled nuclear talks between the two nations.

The lack of the US giving North Korea anything in return is a big reason why talks haven’t made progress in some time. The US has expressed a willingness for more talks, but has shown no sign they’ll let North Korea get sanctions relief or anything in return.

Though there had been some talk of another summit in December, North Korea seems to be backing away from that unless the US commits to taking a different approach from the previous meetings, which were largely done with an eye toward global media praise.

Looks like the “bromance” has run its course and now we will return to the tough talk and threats……

No way to run a foreign policy.

I read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

North Korea…Missiles Everywhere

Two summits with Kim and a little has changed….Kim got to be on the international stage just like he always wanted and Trump get a photo op that solves NOTHING.

But Kim is now a global figure……thanx to Trump

There’s no question that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in full control of his nation. But a recent change to how he’s being formally described in the North Korean Constitution may allow him even more diplomatic leverage as he steps with increasing confidence onto the world stage for negotiations over his powerful weapons program.

Despite a flurry of unprecedented summits between Kim and the world powers that surround him, the outcome of that crucial diplomacy is very much in question amid currently deadlocked nuclear disarmament talks and an outburst of North Korean weapons tests in recent weeks.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/12/north_korea_boosts_kims_rising_status_as_global_statesman_114660.html

Missiles have been flying out of North Korea for the last two weeks……

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday (Aug 10) that Kim Jong Un told him North Korea was ready to resume talks on its nuclear and missile programme as soon as US-South Korea military exercises ended.

North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles on Saturday, South Korea said, in a “show of force” against the military exercises.

More missile launches are highly probable, as the North Korean military is conducting its own summer drills, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/north-korea-fires-two-projectiles-into-sea-off-eastern-coast-yonhap

A point of agreement between Kim and Trump are those military drills conducted with South Korea……

In comments to reporters on Friday, President Trump said he agrees with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in his opposition to the major US-South Korea war games, saying he’s also “never been a fan” of the war games, because “I don’t like paying for it.”

This makes some sense in that President Trump was quick to agree to halt such joint exercises in Korea during peace talks when the process began. However, there is no indication such talks have been planned.

That was apparently part of the subject of Kim Jong Un’s letter to Trump, objecting to the exercises, which North Korea sees as simulated invasions. In acknowledging Kim’s position, Trump did not indicate if he was going to make any changes to policy.

(antiwar.com)

Looks like His Majesty has recieved another “beautiful letter” from his bromance,,,,,

President Trump has reported on Friday that he received a “very beautiful letter” from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, saying he believes it is possible that the two of them could meet again, but not saying when such a meeting might happen.

Trump did not provide details on the letter, or the possibility of talks. The two last met on June 30 and agreed to further meetings. There has since then been no indication any such talks have bee planned.

Recently, North Korea has badly criticized the US over planned wargames, and has fired short-range missiles several times. Trump emphasized that he does not consider those missile firings to be a violation of any of North Korea’s pledges.

(antiwar.com)

This is what passes for foreign policy under the Trump White House…..any other time it would be mocked and dismissed….but these days it is front page news.

All the summits and all the “beautiful letters” will accomplish one thing…..North Korea will remain a nuclear state.

The president’s willingness to talk with North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un deserves praise, despite complaints from the warmongering Right and partisan Left. However, his demand for instant and complete denuclearization was never realistic.

Alas, negotiations in which the president placed so much hope have ground to a halt. Most recently, North Korean diplomats skipped the ASEAN summit, where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had expected to meet with North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho. Said Pompeo: “We stand ready to continue our diplomatic conversation with the North Koreans,” but, he added, “I regret that it looks like I’m not going to have an opportunity to do that while I’m here in Bangkok.”

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/accept-reality-north-korea-will-remain-nuclear-state-72296

All this “news” around North Korea will do two things…..keep Trump in the news and provide the media with some dandy photo ops.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Nukes For China

We have heard all the spurious arguments for the nuke policies for Iran and North Korea……but what about a strategy for a nuclear power and one of our biggest opponents? China.

A diverse range of external stimuli, including technological trends and geopolitical shifts, is leading the strategic community of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to reconsider existing nuclear policy, strategy, and operations. According to Chinese open sources, U.S. global conventional precision strike systems, U.S. missile defenses, and India’s nuclear weapons modernization, among other threats, could shake the PRC’s faith in longstanding nuclear doctrine and posture. The 2013 Science of Military Strategy confirms that “the nuclear security circumstances facing China in overall terms are trending toward complexity.”   In response to such challenges, some Chinese analysts have proposed loosening the no-first-use policy and undertaking quantitative and qualitative improvements to China’s nuclear forces.

A departure from enduring nuclear policy and strategy may also reflect China’s growing power and sense of purpose as it seeks to reshape its surroundings and accelerate the erosion of the U.S. position in the Western Pacific. Indeed, Chinese analysts are exploring Cold War history in Europe, from which they may be drawing lessons about the vulnerabilities of U.S. extended deterrence in Asia. While it remains unclear how and to what extent Chinese nuclear strategy will advance Beijing’s expanding ambitions, the internal debates suggest that China may be increasingly inclined to adopt a more coercive nuclear strategy.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/07/17/chinese_nuclear_weapons_strategyleaning_towards_a_more_proactive_posture_part_ii_external_drivers_of_potential_changetechnical-military_developments_and_perceptions_of_credibility.html

China continues to confront the US and its Asian allies on many fronts and yet the president is concerned over a country that is not yet a nuclear power…..where is the sanity there?

I believe you ignore China’s nukes at your own peril.

June 25, 1950

Closing Thought–25Jun19

That is the date when the North Koreans rushed South of the border….the day the Korean War began.

The Korean War? Some say that it was the first battle against communism (I disagree)…….a quick simple look at the war……

Though the Korean War started on this day 65 years ago—June 25, 1950—when North Korean tanks crossed the 38th parallel, the boundary with South Korea, TIME’s reporting from the following week reveals it took several days for the United States to realize the scope of what had happened.

It was early Sunday morning in Korea, the middle of Saturday afternoon in Independence, Mo. In the former, TIME reported, “North Korean radio broadcast war whoops” as “past terraced hills, green with newly transplanted rice, rumbled tanks.” In the latter, U.S. President Harry Truman was visiting with friends and supporters in his home state when he received a telephone call from Secretary of State Dean Acheson.

http://time.com/3915803/korean-war-1950-history/

https://www.history.com/topics/korea/korean-war

If reading is too difficult then this short video can help……

My look into the past and the Korean War was made possible by something that I read (I am always finding something for I read a lot)……

North Korea already has China watching their back but it may be that North Korea will once again embrace Russia as it did in the early days of the Korean War……

Both Moscow and Pyongyang have common grievances with Washington and may work together to evade sanctions

It seems almost inevitable that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin at some point in the near future, possibly in the port city of Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East.

The United States should be concerned.

Since this would be the first meeting between the two leaders since Kim came to power in 2011, the summit provides an important opportunity for both Russia and North Korea to advance their interests.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/korea-watch/will-cold-war-allies-russia-and-north-korea-be-reunited-50747

This is something I hope those “experts” on the Asia situations will keep this in their reports and intel…..but with this president I would not bet on anything at all.

That “Beautiful” Letter

Love Letters In The Sushi….or More News From the Korean BBQ

As a person who worked as an analyst in the government I find the statements by this president as simplistic and probably bullshit.

I do not understand Trump’s warm feelings for Kim of the DPRK (North Korea)……my years working in DC I never heard anyone refer to a letter sent by a leader as “beautiful”……and yet it seems that most of Kim’s letters are just that…..

John Bolton told the Wall Street Journal that North Korea had not complied with the deal reached with the US during last year’s Singapore summit. President Trump spoke hours later, however, defending Kim Jong Un, and insisting that he had “kept his word.”

“He kept his word. There’s no nuclear testing. There’s no large, there’s no long-range missiles going up,” Trump insisted. He added that all North Korea had done was very short-term, short-range tests, and that he considers those a “whole different deal.”

Trump also reported that he had received a “beautiful” letter from Kim, calling it “very warm” and expressing confidence that the two sides would eventually be able to reach an agreement.

Trump and Kim had a very positive meeting in Singapore last year, but the February Hanoi Summit ended in failure. Since then, there has been no visible progress on talks, and North Korean state media has expressed growing impatience, calling on the US to try a new approach.

The big obstacle has been that North Korea’s commitment to eliminate its nuclear arsenal is expected to take quite some time, but the US has so far ruled out any easing of sanctions or international hostility toward the North Koreans until the entire process is completed. Since the US has continued to increase sanctions in this time, many in North Korea are doubting if the US is approaching this with honorable intentions.

(antiwar.com)

Then he made another silly statement….he said that he would not use a family member as a CIA asset….seriously?  There is NO better source of accurate intel than from a family member…but not to Trump…..

President Trump has responded to reports earlier this week that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un’s slain half-brother Kim Jong Nam had worked as a CIA informant before his 2017 murder, saying he would never allow that to happen while he is in office.

Trump told reports on the South Lawn that when he speaks to Kim “I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices.”

Technically, it already did. Kim Jong Nam was killed in Malaysia in February 2017, after Trump took office, and it is believed he flew to Malaysia to meet with his CIA contact. While the CIA’s use of him started before Trump took over, it clearly didn’t end with his election.

In reality, Trump likely believes that disavowing this tactic against Kim would be a way to try to gain his favor in future talks. Diplomatic progress with North Korea in 2018 was significant, but has all but halted in 2019. Trump has remained confident he will make more progress with Kim, with whom he seems to have quite the rapport.

(antiwar.com)

This is amazing…..I have talked with friends that handled Asia in the past and they cannot comment any further than to shake their heads in disbelief.

Does Trump have any idea what the CIA does for a living? 

What is in it for Trump to treat Kim like a ally?  Who will make the cash off this relationship?

This is all too damn silly for words…or it would be if it were not so damn pathetic.

Not to worry….this docu-drama is not over yet.

The Purge

This is not a belated movie review….no this time it is the news that Kim of North Korea is purging his people that have failed him…..again!

North Korea executed its nuclear envoy to the United States as part of a purge of officials who steered negotiations for a failed summit between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, a South Korean newspaper said on Friday.

Kim Hyok Chol was executed in March at Mirim Airport in Pyongyang, along with four foreign ministry officials after they were charged with spying for the United States, the Chosun Ilbo reported, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the situation.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-usa-purge/north-koreas-kim-jong-un-carrying-out-purge-after-hanoi-summit-collapse-chosun-ilbo-idUSKCN1T02PD

This is a typical move for the North Korean leader, right?

How many times have we heard about such a move from the Supreme Leader of North Korea?

Is this good solid reporting or just another hit piece?

A South Korean newspaper reported Friday that North Korea executed a senior envoy involved in nuclear negotiations with the U.S. as well as four other high-level officials. But as ever with North Korea, a country that closely guards its secrets, there are reasons to be cautious about the purported purge.

While North Korea hasn’t used its propaganda services to comment, the report in the conservative Chosun Ilbo daily could be true. North Korea has previously executed scapegoats to atone for high-profile political flops, and the most recent summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump ended in failure, leaving Kim embarrassed on the world stage.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/amid-reports-of-north-korean-envoy-purge-south-koreas-spotty-scoop-record-raises-caution-2019-05-31

I have often said that some of the claims about North Korea were not completely accurate…at least in my mind.

I am not siding with North Korea…just saying that not all that is reported is as good as it should be…..after years of doing analysis of international situations I have learned that all that is reported is not necessarily as accurate as it should be.

Here is why I say this……

A senior North Korean official who had been reported as purged over the failed nuclear summit with Washington was shown in state media on Monday enjoying a concert alongside leader Kim Jong Un. North Korean publications on Monday showed Kim Yong Chol sitting near a clapping Kim Jong Un and other top officials during a musical performance by the wives of Korean People’s Army officers, the AP reports.

Is this true or is it wishful thinking?

Why report a report that cannot be verified if not to be used as a propaganda tool?

You Have Your Orders!

Recently PDRK has tested a few short range missiles that have all the earmarks of being of Russian design…..

“The three new missiles North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has tested over the past week are eerily familiar to military experts: They look just like a controversial and widely copied missile the Russian military has deployed to Syria and has been actively trying to sell abroad for years.”

Could be after all Kim just met with Putin just recently and now he has “new” missiles to play with…..

Shortly after the missiles were fired the US comfiscated a NK ship on “sanctions” violations…..

Well Kim has just ordered the US to return his ship and return it NOW……..

North Korea has expressed its displeasure with the US seizure of one of its cargo ships in standard North Korean fashion, denouncing the “flagrant act of robbery” and threatening unspecified consequences. “The United States committed an unlawful and outrageous act of dispossessing our cargo ship,” a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency. The statement said the seizure had violated the “underlying spirit” of the agreement President Trump and Kim Jong Un signed after last year’s summit, the New York Times reports. The official warned that it would be the “biggest miscalculation” for the US to think it could control North Korea by force.

The ship, the Wise Honest, was violating sanctions by exporting coal, according to the Justice Department. It was detained in Indonesia in April last year and is now in American Samoa after being confiscated by US authorities. “The United States must mull over what repercussions its gangster-like act will entail, and must return our vessel without delay,” North Korea’s statement said. Kim called for North Korea to be on “full combat posture” after the seizure of the ship was announced, reports Reuters. Analysts tell the Times that recent North Korean short-range missile launches may have been Pyongyang’s way telling the US it needs to compromise on sanctions—and the country may be using the seizure of the Wise Honest to ratchet up tensions.

We now await the Tweet that should follow this event…..will his, Kim, demand be met?

What will it say?