North Korea–The In And Out Meeting

Just recently the US and North Korea announced they would hold nuclear meetings after a long lull…

The talks were started after North Korea had another successful missile launch…this time from a sub off shore…

North Korea has confirmed that its latest missile launch involved a new kind of ballistic missile—and it’s one that has other countries very worried. Pyongyang says the missile launched early Wednesday was a Pukguksong-3 submarine-launched ballistic missile, which state news agency KCNA said “ushered in a new phase in containing the outside forces’ threat” to the country, reports Reuters. Analysts say that the missile, which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, was probably fired not from a submarine but from a barge built for an underwater launch, the AP reports. The final stage of testing for the medium-range missile will be a launch from a submarine, says Kyungnam University expert Kim Dong-yub.

Kim estimates that the missile, which was launched in vertical mode and flew 280 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan, could have flown up to 1,240 miles if launched on a standard trajectory. Analysts say the launch demonstrates that the country can now launch missiles far from its own territory—and missiles launched from submarines are harder to detect.

Was it coincidence that the missile incident took place just days before the talks were to begin?

My thought is,,,NO WAY!

So North Korea comes to the negotiation table with a new feather in their hat…

On to Sweden and the talks (comment here…as I was writing this post the talks began and ended)…..

American and North Korean officials met Saturday in Sweden to resume talks—and walked away only hours later, Reuters reports. “The negotiations have not fulfilled our expectation and finally broke off,” said Pyongyang’s top negotiator, Kim Myong Gil. “The US raised expectations by offering suggestions like a flexible approach, new method and creative solutions, but they have disappointed us greatly and dampened our enthusiasm for negotiation by bringing nothing to the negotiation table.” The US team gave no immediate comment, and its leader—US Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun—apparently went back to the US Embassy in Stockholm.

Many analysts expressed hope the new working-level nuclear talks would lead to a third summit, per the BBC. The first, in Singapore in 2018, led to a hazy denuclearization agreement, while the second, in Vietnam in February, prompted President Trump to walk out. The latest attempt follows a Thursday report that North Korea had fired yet another ballistic missile. Its eleventh in 2019, this one was launched from a platform at sea and is capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. Observers said the launch looked like an attempt to pressure Washington before the Sweden talks

This meeting sounds more like a pay back for the short Hanoi meeting with Kim just a few months ago.

How about you?

But do not worry according to the American people this meeting went well…..

North Korea said the meeting had broken down, because the US brought “nothing to the negotiation table”.

Officials from the two countries met in Sweden on Saturday, in the hope of breaking their stalemate.

This came just days after North Korea tested a new missile, in a significant advance on earlier tests.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49947836

Seriously?  Dom we believe a group that his proven to lie whenever the mood comes over them….well you may believe…I think they are trying to make sirloin out of bullshit.

I Read, I Wrote You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

United Nations For The 21st Century

This week has been the annual meetings of the world leaders at the General Assembly….and as usual was full of drama and theatrics.

I admit it…I am not as gung-ho as I use to be about the United Nations (UN)……what started off as a great idea and the elimination of the necessity for war has become a joke among international analysts (me included).

I have tried to explain the reason why the UN seems ineffectual…..https://lobotero.com/2015/06/30/why-hate-the-united-nations-un/

I read a lot of papers trying to keep up to date since I left the international relations field…..and this one is a paper about the limitations and capabilities of the UN in conflict management……

A plethora of contemporary challenges have exposed the UN to criticism in its ability to evolve with changes in geopolitics, most notably the organization’s responsive rather than reactive approach to confronting international crises and the rise in nations disinterested in international consensus building. “The protection of civilians, the threat of violent extremism… and the dilemmas of state building” have presented obstacles that have forced both the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the UNSC to reevaluate their ability to comprehensively address today’s global challenges.[8] However, the primary obstacle threatening the capacity of the UN remains “how to deal with conflicts – be they between or within states – without offending the national sovereignty of its member states”.[9] Additionally, the UNSC remains controversial for its lack of global representation amongst the P-5 members with the ability to veto vital resolutions brought before the body. Given that the organization “remains largely unchanged since its founding in 1946”, debate regarding “its efficacy and authority as a mediator on matters of international security” is ongoing and increasingly prevalent in light of presently deteriorating modern conflicts.[10] With the determination of the P-5 having been structured in the aftermath of World War II, critics note that the current authority of the body disproportionately favors the positions of the permanent members, thus hindering the UNSC’s ability to distance itself from the sovereign interests of states when attempting to combat international security risks. Respective geopolitical aims of hegemons are evident in the present stalemate in the UNSC between Russia and the United States, with the veto power granted to permanent members constraining “the Council from engaging in the resolution of civil wars within their borders and in areas of perceived vital interest”.[11] Evidently, there is a disconnect between present threats to international security and the capacity for entities such as the UNSC to effectively mediate and mitigate conflict. The archaic structure of the UN and its entities makes it unable to address transitions in conflict that have complicated the need for resolution vis-à-vis mediation between nation states.

The Limitations and Capabilities of the United Nations in Modern Conflict

I think there is a place for the UN in the management and resolutions of conflict but to do so there would need to be a change…..for one get rid of the permanent members of the Security Council…those members have done NOTHING to make the world a safer place.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Why Not Compete With Iran?

By now every Tom, Dick and Harriet knows about the mash up between the US and Iran with the Saudis on the side line throwing gas on the fire…..but instead of trying to destroy the country why not try to compete with them on the world stage?

US has imposed more sanctions on Iran and its leadership…..which is a tool for diplomacy but not for the Trump presidency……they have little to no plans……

For the Trump administration, and much of America’s Republican Party elite, the Obama administration’s nuclear deal was a step too far. Elements of the inspection regime expired prematurely, they argued, and the deal undercut a key pillar of Washington’s longstanding effort to topple the Iranian government through economic warfare. However, neither the Trump administration nor those that support the current U.S. policy in the Middle East have put forward a workable policy to address Iranian behavior. Instead, as Nicholas Miller wrote on Twitter, the Trump administration’s policies are “dangerously escalatory” and, importantly, have ceded diplomatic and coercive leverage to Iran. The result has been to push the United States into a position where it has to contemplate air strikes, a choice neither Trump nor the Democratic opposition is enthusiastic about, or just do more of the same and apply more sanctions.

Washington has no plan to translate sanctions against Iran into diplomatic success. The result is a policy of escalation that, counterintuitively, creates conditions that favor Iran’s policy of conflict-by-client to manage escalation and damage American relationships with its Gulf Arab partners. For this reason, it is important that Washington change course, seize the diplomatic initiative, and work alongside its European allies to explore ways to augment the nuclear deal — which remains operative despite the U.S. withdrawal. The United States could further defuse regional tensions by pushing for an end to the war in Yemen and initiating a high-level conversation with Iran about regional security.

Compete with Iran Without Trying to Destroy it

Something needs to change for the status quo in the Middle East is unsustainable……

At this point, it should be clear that the regional status quo is simply not sustainable. Iran’s “strategic patience” over economic sanctions following the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, aimed at giving Europe the chance to provide Iran with the promised economic dividends of that pact, has not borne fruit. Europe has been unable to provide sufficient sanctions relief after more than a year of trying. Iran now sees its position deteriorating, with little diplomatic progress and a weakening economy – and it is not prepared to allow this to happen quietly.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/18/iran-saudi-attack-nuclear-deal-us

For 30 years the Middle East has been close to settling old hatreds and then someone somewhere has to re-light the fuse and conflict boils over again.

If Western ideals are superior to all others then why do we need to force them on others by military might?

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

That Damn “Libya Model”

This term is getting a workout from dear president Trump…it is one of the insults he has used to explain why Bolton had to resign…..He slammed a mistake Bolton made early in his tenure at the White House when he discussed a “Libyan model” in the context of North Korea — which that country took as a sign that its leadership could meet the fate of former Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. 

He is conflating two events a  2003 decision  and the civil war that killed Qaddafi……

Let me offer a free lesson in international relations for our dear president…..

After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq toppled President Saddam Hussein in 2003, Libya’s leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi feared he might be next. On Dec. 19, 2003, Gadhafi announced he intended to rid Libya of its weapons of mass destruction.

Within a few months, Libya handed over vast amounts of equipment, documents and centrifuges — all of which were flown out of the country, mostly to Oak Ridge, Tenn. Gadhafi allowed international inspectors into Libya, and, in about two years, they certified that Libya’s nuclear weapons program was no more. Full destruction of Libya’s chemical weapons program was due to be completed by 2016.

This event might have had a round about consequence in the civil war and eventual death of Qaddafi…but that would take a whole bunch of research.

Fast forward to 2011, when the Arab Spring uprisings roiled the Middle East. Riots broke out across the country, including in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. On March 19 of that year, the U.S. and its European allies – the very powers Gadhafi sought to cultivate by foreswearing nukes – launched a seven-month bombing campaign — ostensibly to stop attacks on civilians but in reality to topple his regime. On Oct. 20, 2011, Gadhafi was found hiding in a drainage ditch in Sirte after rebels overran the coastal city. He was beaten senseless by a crowd and shot dead.

And that was what was meant when Bolton mentioned the ‘Libya Model’…..

Only some amateur would conflate the two situations….and a bigger idiot that would do so in the press where he can be fact checked and proven to be uninformed on international issues.

Now Mr. President you may return to your normal daily consumption of shitty news and Tweeting all about it.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Foreign Policy Black Hole

The US has entered into a diplomatic black hole……

This black hole is the seemingly need to use military force in the nation’s foreign policy….

Sadly for years now the presence of US troops in other nations leads to their eventually use in some sort of military campaign.

Yet since the “end of history” and the dissipation of those threats in 1989, there has been no pull-back. Instead, the U.S. has been ever more sucked into places around the world. This expansion produces unnecessary tension with China, Russia, and the Islamic world. Worse, the U.S. now fights more often than it did during the Cold War. These interventions often take far longer than the public is led to expect. They kill far more people and cost far more money than admitted. At home, a massive national security state has emerged, confirming President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous warning of the “military-industrial complex”.

The policy response to this sprawl is some mix of retrenchment and restraint. A U.S. grand strategy of “offshore balancing” would husband American resources at home. Intervention would only occur when facing a genuine hegemonic challenger – most obviously China. But the “small wars” which have characterised U.S. intervention in recent decades would stop, for we now know that they do not stay small. Diplomacy would be properly funded; U.S. foreign policy would be de-militarised. Multilateralism and international organisations would be given a chance where the U.S. today disdains them.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/06/us_foreign_policy_restraint_without_retrenchment_114641.html

Surely there is some sort of reason behind our endless wars…this piece from a Neocon website but it still needs to be considered….

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Plato made that incisive observation a rather long time ago. Yet a surprising number of politicians, journalists and think tank denizens continue to affix bumper stickers to their Priuses (if they’re on the left) and SUVs (if they’re on the right) demanding an end to “endless wars.”

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/08/07/why-endless-wars-cant-be-ended/

It seems like once we get entrenched in a region we are then drawn into a conflict and a conflict we cannot seemingly remove ourselves….why is that?

Time and again, the United States has attempted to redirect more of its attention and resources toward its competitions with Russia and China. But Washington’s other commitments around the world continues to undermine this effort. Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump has sought to address this problem by pressuring allies to commit more military resources to places like Syria (where the United States is trying to draw troop levels) and most recently, the Persian Gulf (where it now faces an increased risk of a military clash with Iran). 

But concerns over the direction of U.S. leadership has made even Washington’s strongest partners in Europe reticent to deploy more troops to these hot spots. This lack of trust — combined with the fact that many allies already have significant security commitments of their own — will likely leave the United States with little choice but to make do with the allied support it has in order to finish out its duties in the Middle East.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/06/why_the_us_will_struggle_to_reduce_its_military_commitments_abroad_114642.html

I will admit that at one point I was with Trumnp and some of his foreign policy stands in the beginning…but it did not take long for his true self to emerge from the cloak of the presidency.

And now us foreign policy wonks are waiting for the adults in foreign policy to step forward.

NO one is the photo below is an adult in foreign policy….just puppets of the M-IC…..they smile because they are getting away with their crimes and NO one seemingly gives a damn…..

Be Smart!

Do Not Buy The Hype!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–29Apr19

Last week the big story was that Joe Biden was entering the 2020 process……but everybody knew he was going to do what he did….big story.

The true big story was the one that hit while the country was focused like a laser on the Biden announcement…….when Otto Warmbier was a bigger story.

We all have watched the antics of Don the Orange and Li’l Kim……but think back to their first “summit” one aftermath was the release of Otto Warmbier from a North Korean prison…..

North Korea insisted the U.S. agree to pay $2 million in medical costs in 2017 before it released detained American college student Otto Warmbier while he was in a coma, a former US official said Thursday. An envoy sent to North Korea to retrieve the 21-year-old student signed an agreement to pay the $2 million on instructions passed down from President Trump, the former official told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity. The bill went to the Treasury Department, where it remained—unpaid—throughout 2017, per the Washington Post. CNN reported the bill has not been paid since then.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration does not comment on hostage negotiations. US policy is to refuse to pay ransom for the release of Americans detained abroad. While the majority of Americans detained by North Korea have been released in relatively good condition, Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, died last June after he was flown home comatose after 17 months in captivity. Warmbier was seized from a tour group while visiting North Korea in January 2016, convicted of trying to steal a propaganda poster, and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. Joseph Yun, the US envoy, told CNN he could not confirm the payment report, saying, “These are diplomatic exchanges and negotiations.” Fred Warmbier, Otto’s father, said he was never told about the hospital bill, per the Post. He said it sounded like a “ransom” for his son.

Seriously?

Was this the big decision that was made at the first “summit”?

If so, it is pathetic!

Further reading on this news story…….

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/25/politics/otto-warmbier-north-korea-comatose-bill/index.html

And Bolton says it is true…..

National security adviser John Bolton confirmed on “Fox News Sunday” that a Trump administration official signed a document pledging to pay North Korea a $2 million hospital bill to release Otto Warmbier, though he said no money was ultimately transferred.

WALLACE: Did North Korea demand money for the release of Otto Warmbier?
BOLTON: It appears that they did. This occurred before I came into the administration, but that’s my understanding.
WALLACE: Did the U.S. official who was there to get him out of the country, Joseph Yun, did he sign a document pledging the money in order to get him out.
BOLTON: That is what I am told, yes.
WALLACE: I guess the bottom line question is, did the U.S. pay any money to North Korea, however it was disguised, after Warmbier was released?
BOLTON: Absolutely not. And that’s the key point.

The backdrop: President Trump called the Washington Post story that first reported the hospital bill “fake news,” though the report notably said it was “unclear” whether the administration actually ended up paying the bill. Nothing in the story has been proven inaccurate.

Is not this negotiating with “terrorists” and I thought the US does not do this.

Some stories are more important than others.

Vlad Meets Li’l Kim

We have seen the two “summits” between Li’l Kim and Don the Orange and the results that have been no where to be seen.

Not to be left on the sidelines Putin (Vlad) is set to have his “summit” with Li’l Kim….for security reasons the exact date has not been released…..but according to Russian speculation it will be soon…..

When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin for their first one-on-one meeting, he’ll have a long wish list and a strong desire to notch a win after the failure of his second summit with President Trump. But it’s not entirely clear how much Putin can or will oblige, the AP notes. Kim has two urgent concerns as he heads to the summit, the date of which hasn’t yet been announced. More than 10,000 North Korean laborers still employed in Russia, many working in the logging industry in the Russian Far East, are being kicked out by the end of this year as a 2017 UN sanctions resolution takes effect. The laborers, who previously numbered as many as 50,000, have provided a revenue stream estimated by US officials in the hundreds of millions of dollars that the Kim regime would like to keep flowing.


Kim is also looking at the possibility of a food shortage this summer. Russia has shown a willingness to provide humanitarian aid and just last month announced it had shipped more than 2,000 tons of wheat to the North Korean port of Chongjin. But his decision to more actively court Putin undoubtedly goes deeper than that. Despite all the talk in Washington about denuclearization, Kim’s primary concern is improving his country’s economy. Per internal documents obtained by a South Korean researcher and published this week in a Japanese newspaper, Kim wants to boost trade with Russia tenfold—to $1 billion—by 2020.
That would obviously require some significant easing of sanctions, which seems unlikely. But it would also require a change in Russian behavior. The AP has more on what the Kim-Putin summit could mean, and what could emerge as a result

Want more information?

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-northkorea-russia/north-korea-confirms-leader-kim-jong-un-to-visit-russia-for-summit-with-putin-idUKKCN1RY1KF

Since the US has massive sanctions in place any deal Kim makes with Putin would make things worse?  This will be interesting to watch the reaction from our Supreme Leader.