Monday, 25 June 2018


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The media's had a field day with the Trump/Kim Jong Un meeting.
It had everything. Thousands of photo ops, endless opportunities to compare bizarre hairstyles, and a plethora of symbolic images.
Trouble is, it's a little difficult to measure any productive outcome beyond lots of statements from both sides.
In reality, Trump's administration has apparently made one significant concession, viz the cancellation of routine joint military exercises.
The North Koreans have allowed the repatriation of remains of US service personnel lost in the Korean war.
The US concession seems to have been made without reference to either Japan or South Korea.
 Let's do a quick and dirty analysis of the sequence of events leading up to the Trump/Kim Jong-un meeting. Note the activity of Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un, rather than anyone on the US side. Any time Trump's people got involved (Bolton & Pence), with the exception of Pompeo, the whole thing became precarious.
Here is the sequence of events leading up to Trump/Kim Jong-Un (KJU) meeting –

Jan 1st – KJU calls for better relations but shows off nuclear button on his desk.
Jan 3 – Trump tweets that he has bigger button.
Jan 9 – North & South Korea agree to a joint team competing in the Winter games.
Mar 5 – KJU says he is willing to discuss the future of his nuclear arsenal. Chung Eui-Jong (South Korea’s Director of National Security) visits Pyongyang.
Mar 8 – South Korean envoy visits US and delivers an invitation from KJU to meet with Trump.
Mar 27 – KJU visits Beijing.
Apr 18 – Pompeo meets KJU.
Apr 21 – KJU announces suspension of nuclear & ICBM tests.
Apr 27 – First North/South Korean summit between KJU and Moon Jae-In (MJI).
May 7 – KJU makes 2nd visit to Beijing.
May 9 – Pompeo meets KJU 2nd time.
May 10 – Announcement of Trump/KJU meeting.
May 16 – NK threatens to pull out over Bolton’s “Libya model” remarks.
May 22 – Moon Jae-In meets Trump
May23/25 – North Korea dismantles old nuclear sites.
May 24 – NK calls Pence “political dummy”. Trump announces withdrawal from talks.
May 26 – KJU and MJI meet again.
Jun 1 – Meeting announced for June 12.
Jun 12 – Meeting. 

Concessions –
NK – Releases remains of soldiers
USA – Cancels joint military operations (without consulting South Korea and Japan).
It seems that if any one individual is to be lauded for setting up the meeting it should be South Korea's Moon Jae-in.
MJI for a Nobel?

A Pinch of Common Sense

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