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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 25-May-2018
25-May-18 World View -- North Korea suffers diplomatic defeat as Trump cancels summit

Web Log - May, 2018

25-May-18 World View -- North Korea suffers diplomatic defeat as Trump cancels summit

China prepares to station thousands of troops in South China Sea

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

North Korea suffers diplomatic defeat as Trump cancels summit

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump
Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump

In my opinion, Thursday's cancellation of the planned June 12 summit meeting between president Donald Trump and North Korea's child dictator Kim Jong-un is a major diplomatic disaster for Kim.

Two weeks ago, when talk of the summit meeting was still in the Pollyannaish honeymoon stages, I wrote "13-May-18 World View -- Likely outcome of Trump-Kim North Korea summit: Mutual recriminations and accusations." I gave a list of reasons, but the main reason were that the core objectives of the US and North Korea were in conflict and couldn't be reconciled or compromised. These conflicting objectives are:

These are incompatible core objectives that cannot be resolved except by military action. The Trump administration has made numerous promises in the hope of getting North Korea to denuclearize -- promises that Kim Jong-un would be safe and remain in power, promises that sanctions would be lifted, promises that enormous aid would pour into North Korea, making the country economically equivalent to South Korea. Kim would get all that, simply be denuclearizing which, in my opinion, will never happen except with military action.

So given those realities, what have the North Koreans been up to these last few weeks? In my opinion, they have had one and only one objective: Use diplomacy to force the Trump administration to lift the sanctions, while continuing nuclear weapons and missile development.

They've succeeded in this objective several times in the last three decades, most recently in 2008. They committed to ending nuclear weapons development and even blew up a nuclear cooling tower to prove it. The Bush administration accepted their promises and agreed that all sanctions should be lifted. The sanctions were lifted, and North Korea immediately resumed nuclear weapons development. They completely humiliated and diplomatically defeated the United States and the Western world. It was a total North Korea diplomatic victory of enormous proportions.

So every step that North Korea has taken in this year has been with only one objective: To repeat the diplomatic victory of 2008, to get the sanctions lifted, while continuing nuclear weapons and missile development.

The Trump administration has outplayed North Korea at every stage:

The letter that Donald Trump sent to Kim Jong-un on Thursday was, in my opinion, a negotiating masterpiece:

"Dear Mr. Chairman:

We greatly appreciate your time, patience, and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant. I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place. You talk about nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.

I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated. If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history."

This letter has left North Korea in a desperate diplomatic position. They had hoped to use diplomacy to force Trump to agree to lift the sanctions. They proposed a summit meeting that they didn't want, but it was accepted anyway. They tried to sabotage the summit meeting, but that backfired and they're receiving the blame for the canceled summit meeting. Now they have to try something else.

Trump's cancellation of the summit meeting was another negotiating ploy, with the purpose of gaining a negotiating advantage. It is not the end of the story. The North Koreans are already issuing conciliatory statements, looking to gain the moral high ground after Trump's cancellation. It's still possible that the summit meeting will be held. But the two core irreconcilable objectives that I listed at the beginning of this article are still in place. CNN and White House and KCNA

Related Articles:

China prepares to station thousands of troops in South China Sea

Satellite imagery has revealed that China has built hundreds of buildings on the artificial island that China has created illegally on Subi Reef in the South China Sea. This is on top of existing military infrastructure that includes emplacements for missiles, runways, extensive storage facilities and a range of installations that can track satellites, foreign military activity and communications. Analysts say that the buildings could house 1500-2400 troops.

This revelation occurs just a few days after China announced that it has begun landing bombers on the artificial islands it created in the South China sea, in preparation for the Battle of the South China Sea.

And that announcement came just two weeks after China deployed offensive cruise and surface-to-air missiles in South China Sea.

The Pentagon on Thursday withdrew an invitation for China to take part in the 2018 Rim of the Pacific Drill, the world's biggest multinational naval drill, scheduled for this summer. The purpose of the drill is to help build cooperation among nations, and China was invited to take part in the last two drills, in 2014 and 2016.

The Pentagon withdrew China's invitation this time because China's activities in the South China Sea "raise tensions and destabilize the region." Sputnik and Business Insider and South China Morning Post

Related Articles:

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 25-May-18 World View -- North Korea suffers diplomatic defeat as Trump cancels summit thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (25-May-2018) Permanent Link
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