Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 14, 2018

The Real Results Of The Trump-Kim Summit - Freeze For Freeze (And Some Amusement)

The aftermath of the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore confirms my early take on the talks. What both sides committed to is the "freeze for freeze" agreement North Korea had offered since at least 2015. The U.S. stops its threatening maneuvers while North Korea stops missile and nuke testing. Both sides further committed to future talks about a peace treaty in exchange for some nuclear disarmament

Under pressure from hawks the Trump administration tries to spin additional Korean concessions into the summit declaration. It claims that North Korea committed to "verifiable and irreversible" steps. It is a bad move as that is not the case. Only the written words count. "[T]he DPRK commits to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" is the binding wording.

In 1970 the U.S. committed itself to its own complete nuclear disarmament in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT):

Article VI - Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

Both statements are aspirational. "To work towards" and to "undertake to pursue negotiations" are both intentionally vague and of equal determination.

The real point of the Singapore summit was the "freeze for freeze" the U.S. and North Korea both committed to it.

After North Korea successfully tested a thermonuclear device and an intercontinental range missile the U.S. was no longer able to go to war against it without risking the destruction of a major U.S. city. It had to negotiate towards some new truce with North Korea that would reduce the risk of a nuclear conflict. Freeze for freeze is the first step towards that.

North Korea had economic reasons for seeking nuclear weapons. The cost of constant military preparedness against a potential U.S. attack was killing its economy:

Each time the U.S. and South Korea launch their very large maneuvers, the North Korean conscription army (1.2 million strong) has to go into a high state of defense readiness. Large maneuvers are a classic starting point for military attacks. The U.S.-South Korean maneuvers are (intentionally) held during the planting (April/May) or harvesting (August) season for rice when North Korea needs each and every hand in its few arable areas.
Its nuclear deterrent allows North Korea to reduce its conventional military readiness especially during the all important agricultural seasons. Labor withheld from the fields and from elsewhere out of military necessity can go back to work. This is now the official North Korean policy known as 'byungjin'.

A guaranteed end of the yearly U.S. maneuvers would allow North Korea to lower its conventional defenses without relying on nukes. The link between the U.S. maneuvers and the nuclear deterrent North Korea is making in its repeated offer is a direct and logical connection.

Following this economic logic North Korea offered to freeze its nuclear development if the U.S. and South Korea freeze their large scale maneuvers. The Obama administration rejected the first offer in February 2015 and another one in April 2016. After that the Chinese government pushed the "freeze for freeze" concept. In early 2017 China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi explained:

To defuse the looming crisis on the peninsula, China proposes that, as a first step, the DPRK suspend its missile and nuclear activities in exchange for a halt of the large-scale US-ROK exercises. This suspension-for-suspension can help us break out of the security dilemma and bring the parties back to the negotiating table. Then we can follow the dual-track approach of denuclearizing the peninsula on the one hand and establishing a peace mechanism on the other. Only by addressing the parties' concerns in a synchronized and reciprocal manner, can we find a fundamental solution to lasting peace and stability on the peninsula.

When the Chinese President visited Trump in April 2017 he explained the whole concept. Trump understood and spoke of "tremendous progress". He had found a way to defuse the strategic problem of the North Korean bombs and missiles.

Secret negotiations were held with China and North Korea. In April Kim Jong-un froze all further testing. After some huffing and puffing the summit happened and the common declaration was signed. In his long press conference Trump explained the "freeze for freeze" parameters:

[T]he war games are very expensive, we pay for a big majority of them, we fly in bombers from Guam, ...

I know a lot about airplanes, it’s very expensive. And I didn’t like it. And what I — what I did say is — and I think it’s very provocative, I have to tell you, Jennifer, it’s a very provocative situation. When I see that, and you have a country right next door, so under the circumstances that we are negotiating a very comprehensive, complete deal, I think it’s inappropriate to be having war games.
So we’re getting the remains back, secured the halt of all missile and nuclear tests for — how long has it been? Seven months? So you haven’t had a missile go up. For seven months, you haven’t had a nuclear test, you haven’t had a nuclear explosion.
.. they secured a halt of all missiles and of all nuclear tests, they secured the closure of their single primary nuclear test flight — test site ...

There is the 'freeze for freeze' North Korea had offered and China promoted. The U.S. stops the large "strategic" maneuvers involving nuclear capable bombers flying from Guam, aircraft carriers and the like, while North Korea stops testing nukes and missiles. North Korea achieved its first aim. It can now lower its miliary posture and develop its economy.

The situation is still somewhat unstable as both freeze steps are reversible.

The 'freeze for freeze' is, as the Chinese Foreign Minister envisioned, a starting point for a long series of talks which may finally lead to a peace agreement and some nuclear disarmament. Now comes the "dual-track approach" of a peace agreement in exchange for some disarmament "in a synchronized and reciprocal manner". This will be a "step-by-step" process which will take years or even decades.

North Korea will stay under U.S. sanctions for now but the teeth of the "maximum pressure" sanctions have been broken. Other countries will be free to deal with North Korea. In his press conference Trump talked about that too:

In the meantime, the sanctions will remain in effect.
The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor.
President Xi of China, who has really closed up that border maybe a little less so over the last couple of months, but that’s okay.
... And I think over the last two months, the border is more open than it was when we first started, but that is what it is, ...

Trump will keep the U.S. sanctions up but he is fine with China ignoring at least some of them. Trump no longer insists on "maximum pressure". Russia will also ease on sanctions as will South Korea.

The summit was successful in that it created the basis for further talks. Trump was smarter than Obama. Obama's rejection of the offered freeze allowed North Korea to complete its nuclear program. Obama could have prevented that. Trump agreed to the North Korean concept of "freeze for freeze". There was no other sensible way out of the security dilemma. Many further talks will follow and, if things go well, peace will finally come to Korea and the nuclear weapons will "no longer be a factor".

The summit was a good start. The Trump administration is doing itself no favor now in overselling it as the all encompassing deal.

South Korea's President Moon is also very happy with the results. It helped him to crush the hawkish opposition in yesterday's local and by-elections.


Now for some amusement:

Don't miss this amazing piece of propaganda that was shown on North Korean TV. Supreme Leader Kim's triumphant voyage to Singapore where he strolls through the town before the acclaimed statesman converses with Donald Trump on an equal base. The video is narrated by the incomparable TV announcer Ri Chun Hee. A forty minutes long chorus of triumph and praise.

The people against this summit will be enraged by the triumphant video. At 23:35 Trump is seen saluting a DPRK general. An excellent gesture that created a great atmosphere. Kim Jong-un breaks into a smile after that. For anti-Trumpers it will be another reason to criticize the summit. But Trump salutes only after the general bowed his head and saluted him. This is really extraordinary. A nationwide North Korean TV broadcast of a leader of its armed forces saluting the U.S. president!

The video shows Kim traveling on a China Air Boeing 747-400 with a large Chinese flag on its side. North Korea has its own long range planes and could have made the trip on one of those. It is highly symbolic that Kim used a Chinese plane. It shows that it was China which  brought him there and back. The video prominently acknowledges that. (The plane is also larger than Trump's Boeing 747-200 which may have been an additional point.)

Additional amusing takes related to the summit: The summit scene they was cut from TV and the summit in Gangnam style.

This picture is also amusing. In 2003 North Korea called John Bolton "human scum" and "a bloodsucker". Before he became Trump's National Security Advisor Bolton supported a summit only because it would “foreshorten the amount of time that we’re gonna waste in negotiations.”

Bolton was wrong. The negotiations were quite successful. Kim Jong-un defeated him fair and square. Just look at the smile.


Posted by b on June 14, 2018 at 18:57 UTC | Permalink


Of course, all reasonable people should back this move towards a peaceful resolution between the two Koreas, but, the hypocrisy involved shouldn't be forgotten either. When our first elected black puppet tried to engage N. Korea in dialog, the right wing went nuts. Especially Fox "News". Now it's DJT, and it's totally cool.

And the beat goes on.....

Posted by: ben | Jun 14 2018 19:22 utc | 1

thanks b.. this is a win for kim and trump,the south korean leader , china and russia too.. in fact, there are no losers except neo cons like bolton who want to use the threat of war for leverage... why is it obama wasn't able to do something similar? or is it that trump is not as beholden to the neo cons as many think? trump is having few successes in his presidency, but this looks like one of them..

Posted by: james | Jun 14 2018 19:26 utc | 2

As I pointed out in my last comment on the previous Korea thread, only the UNSC sanctions are legal--Outlaw US Empire sanctions have no legal force outside its borders and can be freely ignored. It's entirely possible Russia will use its position as UNSC President this month to introduce a resolution canceling or greatly scaling back UNSC sanctions. That almost the entire Imperial Establishment has given the Finger to the entire affair isn't being ignored by the rest of the world, the EU in particular.

Although short, the Global Times link I provided has useful information as does the Black Agenda Report item I linked to in my comment previous to my last on that thread. I very much approve of b's linking what was just accomplished with the NPT and hope other writers pick it up and help further broadcast his very important point. As for 100% denuclearization of Korea, lots of nuclear power plants will need to be replaced and decommissioned, and that will likely take several decades to attain.

One can hope that an historical movement's begun to finally decolonize those nations occupied by the Outlaw US Empire upon WW2's end. Admittedly, the Asian nations will find such a process much easier than those in Europe. I doubt I'll live to see it, but somehow I can't find any reason for Germany to continue being occupied in 2045, a full century after the end of WW2. But if Germany is to become free, it cannot afford any more Merkels.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 14 2018 19:28 utc | 4

james @ 2 said: "why wasn't Obama able to do something similar?"

This is for you james:)

Posted by: ben | Jun 14 2018 19:33 utc | 5

DrtmargTony Twitter link doesn't have his content.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 14 2018 19:35 utc | 6

A good start...can't say more than that. The MSM is still digesting the Singapore meeting. Some are mildly optimistic, some think Trump was tricked. They aren’t quite sure which way to go. But Trump seems popular for the moment. Even Circe is giving him a pass.

Posted by: dh | Jun 14 2018 19:42 utc | 7

"why wasn't Obama able to do something similar?"

Obama listened to the evil men who came to him in 2008 threatening to break the world financial system unless bailed out, and listened to the White House women who told him to be a man with Russia and the North Koreans.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Jun 14 2018 19:55 utc | 8

- Nope. North Korea is NOT capable of "taking out" a major US city. because the rockets never have been thourouhly tested. It more to threaten Japan, Guam and South Korea.
- Now Trump has met Kim Jung Un, FOX News is celebrating. But when in the presidential campaign Obmama told he would talk to his friends and enemies (like Kim Jung Un) FOX "didn't like"that at all.

See e.g.:

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 14 2018 19:59 utc | 9

The Korean Herald election results b linked to above reflect the great enthusiasm generated by the growing prospects of peace and unification as the support rate for the main opposition Liberty Korea Party fell to a paltry 18.5%, while President Moon's approval rating rose a tad to 72.3%--it's been over 70% since late April, an extraordinary run for Korea. Also, Moon's twitter b linked to is almost unanimous with praise. I can't recall the last time a US president did anything so praise-worthy in my lifetime.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 14 2018 20:05 utc | 10

Trump - even a blind pig finds the trough sometimes.

Posted by: Mantooth | Jun 14 2018 20:34 utc | 11

B, you're falling again to your innate optimism. First of all you argue that it is the wording of the declaration which counts. But - the declaration says nothing about a war game freeze. Why would you trust Tronald's words in this case? The real imperial aim is China, this has not changed a bit. For now Tronald will talk soft, even mentioning a coming home of the 32'000 force stationed in South Korea, but after the mid term elections this will probably change. A little false flag will do. Only if the big 'winner' Kim will agree to almost total u.s.-control over his military, to intrusive inspections, a war can be avoided. The Pentagon wants to reach the Chinese-Korean border, the empire wants to lay hands on the North Korean mineral richness. That's worth a try. But if Kim does not what the real estate broker in chief dictates, it will be war.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jun 14 2018 20:53 utc | 12

This event reminds me of Nixon's visit to China. Only an arch-anti-Communist can visit a Communist country or talk to a Communist leader earnestly. If a Democrat had done it, he would have been crucified as an appeaser and a traitor. And also, when an anti-Communist make a deal, it might sound more credible than a two-faced progressive hopped up on democracy and human rights.

Hopefully the outcome will be the same: The opening of North Korea and an economic miracle. Sure the military tension will still remain, but people will be too busy making money to war.

Posted by: Cycloben | Jun 14 2018 20:56 utc | 13

Over time, we will learn of the inside work Russia has played for several years. The Russians don't need public acknowledgement. They care about results, a denuclearized Peninsula, eventually, NK's nukes gone. Most of all, the release of NE Asia from the grip of the Hegemon.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jun 14 2018 21:03 utc | 14


Economic miracle? Neoliberal dream perhaps. The workers in China is probably not so well off by this so called "miracle" though.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 14 2018 21:05 utc | 15

Re: Why wasn't Obama able to do something similar?

I'm not a Trump fan by any means but one must give credit where credit is due, and he deserves praise for even this small step. He had to buck the establishment who didn't want it, and also knowing he was going to get flak from the Democrats (a la he was "tricked", "duped", I had the misfortune of listening to NPR news today where they quoted "national security experts" saying this freeze of maneuvers "endangers" the US and chafed at Trump calling them war games.)
I'm also by no means an Obama fan. And the fact is he twice rejected the freeze- for-freeze approach. Of course the Republicans were going to scream bloody murder if he did. That's how utterly stupid the duopoly politics are in the US, just look at what the Dems are doing now. So trotting out some Faux News nonsense in no way excuses the inaction by the *cough* *cough* Nobel-freaking-Peace-Prize winner.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Jun 14 2018 21:24 utc | 16

Pnyx 13
The sacking of Japanese diplomats with Chinese language skills and contact networks in China over recent weeks is not an encouraging sign for peaceful outcomes in this east Asian region.

Posted by: ashley albanese | Jun 14 2018 21:24 utc | 17

- Nope. North Korea is NOT capable of "taking out" a major US city. because the rockets never have been thourouhly tested.
Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 14, 2018 3:59:16 PM | 9

You wish...
The Yanks were livid when the range of the rocket deemed capable of reaching Guam hit the headlines. The range of the rocket in the final test was deemed to be so far inside the Continental USA that NK could pick and choose its preferred targets. That's when the Yanks sobered up.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 14 2018 21:26 utc | 18

@5 ben... yes, i picked that up after i posted and saw your post @1.. thanks..

@8 bart... that is true too.. perhaps trump is ever so slightly different by being more into theatre then politics..

@17 don waiscacho... that is basically how i see it - "That's how utterly stupid the duopoly politics are in the US" seems the duopoly works for those taking advantage of the narrow-mindedness of those stuck thinking dem /rep, left /right or whatever - is the only way to look at anything...

Posted by: james | Jun 14 2018 21:59 utc | 19

@19HW.......while events in the still recent past do suggest as you do...... At the time wasn't RF & CHN saying not ICBM......IIRC...?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jun 14 2018 22:05 utc | 20

Why didn't Obama do it? He wasn't threatened in 2008; he was already bought and paid for. He wasn't making policy decisions. That ship had sailed before he was even in the White House. In the words of somebody, you dance with them that brung you, and he consistently did.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 14 2018 22:12 utc | 21


The range of the rocket in the final test was deemed to be so far inside the Continental USA that NK could pick and choose its preferred targets.

Could you link to that "fact"?

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 14 2018 22:21 utc | 22

I'm thinking that somebody was Molly Ivins, long rest her soul. I'll give her the credit anyway.

She left us far too soon.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 14 2018 22:24 utc | 23

Juliania -

From Putin interview with Le Figaro:

“I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go, but politics stay the same at all times. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy. When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well dressed, wearing dark suits, just like mine, except for the red tie, since they wear black or dark blue ones. These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes. This is what happens with every administration.”

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Jun 14 2018 22:49 utc | 24

China's providing the plane is more likely to be a Chinese 'victory lap' than a feather in Kim's cap. It says "we (China) made this happen" via an independent diplomacy that flouted US wishes.

It is China's answer to Trump's ham-handed chocolate cake & fireworks diplomacy.

Bolton and other neocons/chickenhawlks will now hype China's bold assertiveness (in this and other areas) as demonstrative proof of its "revisionist" challenge. This is probably why Trump has floated Russia's rejoining the G-8. US neocons may have woken up to the stupidity of pushing Russia and China together.

I wager the smug 'exceptionals' have shat themselves. That's literally what it takes to change neocon policy priorities.

So I'm not holding my breath for peace on the Korean peninsular. Its still a frozen conflict. And a plaything of greater powers.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 14 2018 22:52 utc | 25

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jun 14, 2018 6:05:14 PM | 21
Posted by: Zanon | Jun 14, 2018 6:21:30 PM | 23

Google North Korea Missiles and focus on dates in 2018.
Pick your own trusted sources.
(There are 750,000+ results).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 14 2018 23:01 utc | 26

I beg your pardon T & Z...
Google: Maximum Range of NK Missiles
(There are 750,000+ results.)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 14 2018 23:08 utc | 27

Pardon me for being old mister negative here but haven't we just seen the precedent of a deal made by one president being kicked over by his successor? Keep the big picture in mind. As I see it the US wants their bases south of China and there is no pretext for retaining them if Korea moves towards unity. The deal can last until the next Democrat administration when it will be kicked over (They are already condemning it) In the meantime they are saving money by suspending drills and N Korea may disarm their nuclear capability to some degree at least, the sanctions will never end though.

The real story will happen in Syria and it seems likely that another one of those increasingly tired "Chemical weapons attacks" is going to take place and possibly a final showdown between the RF and NATO in Syria.

Posted by: MarkU | Jun 15 2018 1:14 utc | 28

Syria is not the prize,Iran has always been the key to hegemony.
Pax Americana had lost its focus on that,bogged down doing Israels bidding
for a supply of potable water.

Posted by: Winston | Jun 15 2018 1:55 utc | 29

b I believe it was you who said that TV announcer Ri Chun Hee is the Dan Rather of Korea....that video was some great notch propaganda..loved it...

Posted by: notlurking | Jun 15 2018 2:05 utc | 30

Great article, b. Unfortunately, the US can turn on a dime. President Obama did do an Iran deal. Where is the Iran deal now?

Still, this development does walk the world back from the nuclear brink and takes three or four million Koreans in and around Seoul (both sides of the border) out of immediate harm's way.

President Trump is making a lot of freewheeling decisions lately (mouthing off at the G7 that since all they ever talk about is Russia, Russia may as well be there). It seems to me, that both he's aware that the Russia-gate investigation has run out of steam and he has chosen to be a one term president. That means he can get something done now. If he's pushed back into office out of public acclaim, like any philosopher king, he can accept or decline the sceptre. The man/charlatan certainly knows how to play a crowd.


NHS is still polluting our site with links. He knows better. It's vandalism.

For those who are curious, all the links go to a superficial, blithe and without merit blogspot weblog:

NHS should grow up and stop hiding your spam behind

I don't know why you put up with it, b, and subject your regular and sponsoring readers to it. At least Chipnik's was original and occasionally entertaining (this is less in defense of Chipnik and more an indictment of NHS).

Posted by: Uncoy | Jun 15 2018 3:19 utc | 31

@32 Uncoy, to be fair, I clicked on your link to the failed evolution blog and it is not simply "without merit" as you say. I agree that one should post direct links rather than using and it is a bit annoying that it persists but perhaps it is not something worth getting so worked up about.

Posted by: George Lane | Jun 15 2018 3:34 utc | 32

@24 juliania

Yes, it was Molly Ivins, bless her. Thanks for that beautiful memory. She would have been wicked with Trump as material.

It was the title of the last book of her essays on the Clinton years. And here's an interview with her:
Molly Ivins talked about her new book, You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You: Politics in the Clinton Years

"It's one of the oldest sayings in politics, `You got to dance with them what brung ya.' And what it means is that when you get to office, when you get to public office, you vote with the folks who put you there. And that used to mean your constituents, the people who voted for you. But more and more what it means is you vote with the special interests who put up the money to get you to public office."

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 15 2018 4:06 utc | 33

b, thanks for excellent coverage and insight into the meaning of this situation. Wonderful journalism from you.

I watched the victory lap video - 42 minutes of no English and I was glued to it. I've downloaded it as a keeper.

In my screening I saw Kim, ultimately alone, even with his peerless sister, but resolute, stepping into a scene of apprehension - as was Trump in the first meeting. Trump seemed the most comfortable in the setting in the beginning - but then after the documents were signed and Kim and Trump were leaving the room, Kim matched Trump's body language by patting his back as they left. Touch for touch, I'd call it even.

The film seems to capture Trump as not only an affable man but a gracious one also.

The video forced me to step back and consider: holy fuck, who could have predicted this occurrence? Really, how on the cards was this scenario? Who in the west could have written this movie script, and received any funding whatsoever? The colonial boy walks with the emperor, as peer and equal, and so it is for the emperor too.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 15 2018 4:30 utc | 34

karlof1 | Jun 14, 2018 3:28:49 PM | 4

Interesting. That, combined with a multi-country effort to go around the dollar in trading, will nullify the sanctions.

Posted by: V | Jun 15 2018 4:31 utc | 35

One of the unknowns about Trump is to what degree, in general policy and specific decisions, he is under others control. Or to put it the other way, to what extent does he and will he make independent final strategic and tactical decisions? Another great question is: to what extent is he learning capable?

Apart from political puppets, who merely follow orders, there are political 'leaders' who are mesmerized by or tend to acquiese to the strong influence of particular advisors, so that the advisor(s) in effect decide(s)/rule(s). Other more mature-seeming political leaders readily canvas a variety of perspectives and mull things over. Here a critical factor is to what extent a full range of, and accurate, material is presented. But in both cases there is a tendency to present the decision reached in a scripted 'everyone on point' manner. Political theater.

But then there are those leaders who function with a capacity for going off script, making important policy on the fly as it were, serving intuition or gut feelings etc. This approach is the very antithesis of technocratic or hidden oligarchic control, and can drive conventional advisors batty, though if the intuition turns out to be perceived in a positive light, well, hard to criticise success, and if ad-libbing spontaneity turns out badly, well, the advisors don't get the blame .

When you are a rookie in politics, even at the lower levels, there is a pretty challenging learning process that must initially take place. But once one becomes more familiar with 'the political ropes', then the characteristics and intentions and prejudices and strengths and weaknesses and understandings and misunderstandings that one brought into politics come into play.

Trump came into politics as a rookie but as a seasoned experienced person. He played the game of national politics remarkably well to gain both the Republican nomination and the Presidency. Trump's Presidency is over a country that, apart from other serious internal social and political dysfunctions, is post-or-anti-constitutional in important respects.

So he is in effect operating in a kind of functional and dysfunctional legal limbo, whereby the United States had previous to his Presidency internationally in effect declared itself both above and arbitrer of international law, and operating on the implicit principle of might makes right. And nationally, the characteristics of a high tech somewhat veiled police state were much in evidence.

And just about the entire federal political body have bizarrely sworn allegiance to Israel.

Now I should emphasize that this is not an attempt at presenting Trump in a bad good or indifferent light, but merely to describe aspects of his circumstance and context. One notable aspect of his context is that he has been presented in an extremely unfavourable manner by much national mass media, and much of the political establishment, while at the same time being subjected to a year long grinding high profile Mueller 'Russia-Trump probe' absurdity. So the rookie politician has early in his presidency faced extraordinary national hostility. But at the same time his popularity has if anything grown.

Again, we can agree that some of the complaints made against Trump are warranted. But the hostile or almost desperately negative tenor of the mass media attacks is unprecedented.

As I mentioned earlier, key questions are to what extent Trump is actually independent minded, and to what extent he is able to learn.

JFK was imo a notable example of someone who displayed both those capacities. As a direct result of JFK's independent mindedness and intense interest, against much opposition the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere was ended; and his secret correspondence with Khrushchev played some part along with a lot of luck in defusing the so-called Cunban missile crisis.

The future, except for those blessed with clairvoyance into it, is a murky business. With Trump, what seems clear is that the future will remain a murky matter with his imprint on it for better or worse.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jun 15 2018 5:01 utc | 36

@ Grieved and Robert Snefjella who write about Trump

I assume that no one gets (s)elected president of the US without backing by all or some of the folks in our world that run the show. It seems from Trump's (s)election that there are strategy differences among different factions of elite as well as potential group winners/losers financially.

Neither faction is saying they want to abandon private finance, property and inheritance so what we are discussing here is what sort of R2P will be developed for the 99 % in the new world order. The only murkiness I see is in the kabuki the public is fed to make them think they are winning something.

I continue to hold out hope that China and Russia have plans to end the rule of private finance of the West but credit Trump with no part in consciously trying to make that happen......I think Trump clearly represents the lost soul of empire in the height of decadence.

I can only conjecture that the wailing we see/read about in the MSM and such comes from those of the elite that don't fare as well under the strategies for ongoing control (keep private finance alive....but not necessarily in US) that the Trump faction is putting forward.

As an American being thrown under the bus by the elite that have used us up, I don't take too kindly to your positive words about the Apprentice plutocrat family called Trump as the patriarch steers what remains of this version of lurching and dying empire.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 15 2018 5:41 utc | 37

currently NK and Iran share ballistic data, research and tests results, the biggest loser in this reapproachment will be Iran, as Dr Assad said in his interview with Al-Alam, "everything happening now is linked to Iran in order to create an international position against it."

Posted by: papa | Jun 15 2018 6:15 utc | 38

@Karlof1 - @6 "DrtmargTony Twitter link doesn't have his content."

Sorry, S/he deleted that - here is a working link:

Posted by: b | Jun 15 2018 6:33 utc | 39

I see Trump as normalizing hate in America at the same time he is written about here as doing something positive, where all I see are optics and probably propaganda cover for even more heinous treachery and war crimes.

Here is a link to what hate Trump is normalizing in middle America

Ohio school keeps racist mascot after mob of angry parents shout down ‘politically correct bullies’

When the bullies win and can keep being bullies by calling those that call them out bullies and getting away with it, what cultural line has been crossed?
Trump is a TV actor turned political grifter in chief of hopefully the last gasps of private finance empire. He is projecting his "dynamic" personality within the bounds of his plutocratic apprenticeship which I think he is ill prepared to finish......I have long held that Trump will not complete 4 years in office.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 15 2018 7:00 utc | 40

#24, others

The King is Dead, Long Live the King!* + Yes, Prime Minister! ?

* Why not Queen-2-Queen, or would that open up a whole different kettles of fish? ;)

As for the unreliablity and flipping of US FP, we must remember who has time on their side...

I'm greatly encouraged, but still cynical.

Posted by: et Al | Jun 15 2018 7:42 utc | 41

anyone care to comment on the baby snatchers and children concentration camps (as in a camp with a few thousand kids kidnapped from their parents).

What does anyone think trump is gonna do with these kdis? slave labour for he boys and nude work for the girls over twelve?

Sell them to the highest bidder?

I mean its all biblical n shit?

and why does anyone believe that Trump is gonna keep his word, that the US is gonna keep their word?

Oh because.........bullshit?

this whole kim / donald charade is nothing more the kabuki.


so many people so full of bullshit, in the meantime the US of A is stealing children from asylum seekers to lock them up in tent camps in military bases and in a decomissioned walmarts.

fucking oath, that is why this planet goes to shit.

cause you discuss kabuki theatre while right in front of you people have their children stolen from the breast.

Posted by: Sabine | Jun 15 2018 7:51 utc | 42

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jun 15, 2018 1:01:34 AM | 36
(Trump vs JFK)

I like that comparison.
One important difference between them is that JFK hadn't nearly enough 'life' experience when he became Prez. Imo, that led him to overestimate his 'unassailable' power. He and his Attorney General brother began confronting the people on their hit list of dangerous pests right from the beginning of his term. Trump is much smarter than that and knows that there are a lot more than 100 ways to skin a cat. He's better at helping people to ambush themselves than any hi-profile mover & shaker I can recall.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 15 2018 8:07 utc | 43

Sabine | Jun 15, 2018 3:51:05 AM | 42
cause you discuss kabuki theatre while right in front of you people have their children stolen from the breast.

Indeed, it's all scripted. The NK crisis is manufactured along with the internment camps.
This time it's not the Japanese; just brown and black people.
Same shit, different year...

Posted by: V | Jun 15 2018 8:30 utc | 44

Two leaders met and exchanged promises. There is very little else of any substance to report here unless you are pressing an agenda to idolize one or both of the leaders.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 15 2018 8:46 utc | 45

@Robert S #36

"One notable aspect of his context is that he has been presented in an extremely unfavourable manner by much national mass media, and much of the political establishment, while at the same time being subjected to a year long grinding high profile Mueller 'Russia-Trump probe' absurdity. So the rookie politician has early in his presidency faced extraordinary national hostility. But at the same time his popularity has if anything grown."

He presents himself in a negative light, just read his morning tweets and you get a good picture of his unedited self. I find that a much of the media goes out of its way to ignore his personal nature.

The Mueller probe has already turned up a number of indictments, I hardly find it absurdity. If it is taking a lot of time, it is because he needs to be thorough and methodical and allow to cause to attack him on formal or procedural grounds.

"Rookie politician" is another way of describing someone with absolutely no record or background in public service elected to the highest office in the land.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 15 2018 8:58 utc | 46

@Zanon 22. Here you go, from the New Scientist: Estimates of range run out as far as New York City, based upon inferences from the trajectory (range and height) of the successful test launch last year.

Posted by: andrew | Jun 15 2018 9:13 utc | 47

andrew / Hoarsewhisper
Thanks, those are estimations/testings, I dont see that North Korea have successully completed this development though.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 15 2018 10:03 utc | 48

ralphieboy 46

Of course it is absurd, you really believe Putin and Trump worked together in secret?
Its pure Mccarthyism.
McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.[1] The term refers to U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy and has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1947 to 1956 and characterized by alleged heightened political repression as well as an alleged campaign spreading fear of Communist influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 15 2018 10:05 utc | 49

>>>>> karlof1 | Jun 14, 2018 4:05:43 PM | 10

as the support rate for the main opposition Liberty Korea Party fell to a paltry 18.5%, while President Moon's approval rating rose a tad to 72.3%

Moon needs to watch out - the Washington/Atlanticist Borg will soon be saying he's the new Putin, and how the last elections in South Korea weren't democratic and how Russia interfered in them. Then a few thousand Koreans will start demonstrating and calling for Moon's replacement which of course will be supported by the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian and Rachel Madcow

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 15 2018 10:30 utc | 50

Robert Snefjella says:

...key questions are to what extent Trump is actually independent minded...

well, he just allocated 6.6 million bucks for those white helmets…

guess those Syrians are still suffering!

Posted by: john | Jun 15 2018 11:29 utc | 51 How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions

by Jonathan Cook Posted on June 15, 2018

For several years now, I have been writing regular posts on my blog with one end in mind: to help open a door for readers and encourage them to step through. I select issues, usually those that dominate western media coverage and represent a consensus that we might term the Great Western Narrative, and try to show how this narrative has been constructed not to inform and enlighten but to conceal and deceive.

It is not that I and the many other bloggers doing this are cleverer than everyone else. We have simply had a chance – an earlier one – to step through that door ourselves, because of a jarring life experience that the Great Western Narrative could not explain, or because someone held the door open for us, or more usually because of a combination of the two.

My personal awakening...

Plenty more at the link, or read the original at Jonathan Cook's blog where you can see the Steve Bell cartoon that the Fraudian censored (and more).

Meanwhile in other news:

Neuters via U.S. charges Russians with violating sanctions by sending jet fuel to Syria


I guess the judges back home need the work and the brownie points. In the good old days a call from Washington would be enough. Those days have long gone so bleating loudly from home base is all that is left.

Posted by: et Al | Jun 15 2018 12:25 utc | 52

China's providing the plane is more likely to be a Chinese 'victory lap' than a feather in Kim's cap. It says "we (China) made this happen" via an independent diplomacy that flouted US wishes.
It is China's answer to Trump's ham-handed chocolate cake & fireworks diplomacy.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 14, 2018 6:52:14 PM | 25

I think it was more a deliberate policy of demonstrating that Kim has the full weight of China's foreign and economic (and maybe even military) policy behind him. It sends a strong message that if the US blocks or sabotages the Koreas' peace moves China will be all-out against it in the UNSC, sanctions, etc. It's a subtle way of saying that if you maliciously sabotage peace, we will out-maneuver you on every plane*. A very clever and powerful move by China.

* (eg openly ignoring sanctions 100%, strong moves to bring SK into the RU/CN/NK fold, strong support for full integration of SK and NK with Eurasia and OBOR, strong investment in NK economic development etc; necessarily that would also imply strong defensive military support to protect their investment!)

Posted by: bm | Jun 15 2018 12:25 utc | 53

George Lane @ 32 said:"but perhaps it is not something worth getting so worked up about."

Bout' time someone said that, thanks!

Sabine @ 42: Great post I concur..

If ANYTHING comes of this theater, good, but past history suggests, NOT!

Posted by: ben | Jun 15 2018 15:06 utc | 54

was trump waiting until after this bromance with kim before he slapped china with the 50 billion trade tariffs? looks like it..

? what will happen to walmart, lol!

i agree with trump a good bit of it is theatre, as opposed to politics..

Posted by: james | Jun 15 2018 15:45 utc | 55

Good Day to all!

On my way here this morning, I stopped in at The Saker's bar and discovered he posted an interview between Pepe Escobar and Serbian TV from June 11 in English that's just short of a hour long and packed with all sorts of info. It's most definitely Must Watch TV. Perhaps b will make it a thread topic as Pepe covers a very wide spectrum of events.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15 2018 16:14 utc | 56

Moon Jae-in should be receiving all credit, not Trump. It was South Korea after all that went behind their U.S. Master's back and initiated peace talks with North Korea. Moon Jae-in was able to get Trump to the negotiating table and is absolutely the REAL hero of this summit. Period. He did not even do it for any sort of political opportunism, but his own inner desires to reunite Korea along with the millions of South Koreans advocating for peace. What Moon did was appease to Trump's massive Ego in that 40 minute phone call that Trump could make a miraculous achievement by attending the summit (i.e., feeding him the notion it would be his 'achievement').

Hopefully, going forward, Korea will no longer be the playground of the U.S. Empire.

Posted by: AnonG-Man | Jun 15 2018 16:23 utc | 57

@Zanon 49

Trump and Putin directly? No, but the Trump campaign and figures connected to the Russian government? There does some to be some evidence.

And the investigation has already produced charges and indictments, it is not fictive or contrived. There are irregularities that need to be addressed, like meetings that were first denied, then reported as being about adoption and then finally about campaign-related issues.

It is not illegal for Russia to work to influence an election in the US, but it is illegal for US citizens to work with a foreign government to do so.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 15 2018 17:07 utc | 58


" No, but the Trump campaign and figures connected to the Russian government? There does some to be some evidence."
That makes no sense, Trump people working with Russia, without Trump's knowledge?
And no there is no "evidence".

There have been ZERO indictment relating to any sort of collusion related crime.
Stop spreading bs.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 15 2018 17:28 utc | 59

bm @53

If one focuses on personalities (Kim va Trump) then it’s very easy to view all US-NK events as initiated by Kim or Trump. In this way of thinking, Kim “lined up” Chinese support for NK. Yet, as the vastly more powerful country, China is in full control of how much or how little diplomatic support they provide to NK and the major consideration will be, of course, US-Chinese relations.

So if China provides a big plane to take Kim to the conference, it’s not a feather in Kim’s cap as much as it’s a statement by China.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 15 2018 19:41 utc | 60

james @53

I think the trade frictions are part of a new phase in the strategic struggle between US and China.

See my comment @25.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 15 2018 19:45 utc | 61

"One important difference between them is that JFK hadn't nearly enough 'life' experience when he became Prez. Imo, that led him to overestimate his 'unassailable' power. He and his Attorney General brother began confronting the people on their hit list of dangerous pests right from the beginning of his term. Trump is much smarter than that and knows that there are a lot more than 100 ways to skin a cat. He's better at helping people to ambush themselves than any hi-profile mover & shaker I can recall.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 15, 2018 4:07:31 AM | 43
I agree, given Trump's long experience with just about every union, bank and mafia in the world, I think he is a lot smarter and a lot tougher than the people attacking him. His tweets that may irritate many are designed to keep his agenda clear, in play and especially to keep him in touch and in sync with his base. Remember the average IQ in the US is 100, that means you need to keep your correspondence basic, really basic and he does that.
I see him as rich, proud, shrewd, motivated and intelligent. I think he will go for a second term to ensure his legacy is not lost, good luck to him, if he can turn this ship around from its all war all the time lunacy and keep it from breaking up on the financial rocks of its own creation , good luck to him.

Posted by: frances | Jun 15 2018 19:53 utc | 62

b @39--

Thanks for your effort to provide that link, b!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15 2018 20:02 utc | 63

I absolutely recommend that Pepe Escobar interview linked by karlof1 @56.

I watched it last night and wanted to share it here, but it was late and I couldn't summarize it well. Indeed, Escobar covers a lot of ground, and explains much about Trump and the forces that govern the US. It's all almost done in passing, he's being interviewed by a Serbian friend, and he gives a very informal and revealing breakdown on many of the current spots of interest in the world - the Middle East, and China of course, and Korea, as well as South America.

It's pure enjoyment to see how well Escobar knows his chosen field of journalism.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 15 2018 20:41 utc | 64

Grieved @64--

Thanks for the extra plug, although anything by Pepe shouldn't need additional promotion at this site! I found his depiction of Brazil towards the end rather brutal, but it does jibe with the PoV of a Brazilian who moved here recently--"Everyone's corrupt!" along with that look from his eyes. And he's correct about Venezuela's Orinoco Heavy Oil deposits being far greater than KSA's, thus the neverending battle to recapture Venezuela's government. But I thought this the most curious point he made: The Outlaw US Empire hasn't a clue how to stop the BRI and EAEU combination; they just know that it must be fought. What utter folly--Nero or Caligula at the helm!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15 2018 22:13 utc | 65

@61 jackrabbit.. check out karlof1's pepe interview @56... it answers all this and more...

thanks karlof1... good interview!!!

Posted by: james | Jun 15 2018 23:27 utc | 66

karlof1 | Jun 15, 2018 12:14:28 PM | 56

Pepe interview is most definitely a must see.

Posted by: V | Jun 16 2018 0:24 utc | 67

#37 psychohistorian - "... I don't take too kindly to your positive words about the Apprentice plutocrat family called Trump..."

For what it's worth, very little of anything I'm saying is intended to elevate Trump. I think all the victory here resides with Asia. Trump is still being revealed to most of us, I think. We considered that he might be the Mule, but I don't see much conscious intention here, and I think you see even less. And yet he flouts the predictions of the first Foundation, as only someone Mule-like could do, and so we can't be blamed for watching and wondering just what we're dealing with here. The difference between Asimov's trilogy and this is that we don't think there is any Second Foundation to step in and manipulate this game, unless it's destiny itself.

I'm interested in the plasticity of Trump, and his reactivity as a guy from Queens up against the Manhattan aristocracy - to use the words of Pepe Escobar in the wonderful interview linked by karlof1 @56. I count him as an unconscious force, floating on the borderline between the conscious and the unconscious of the US - I agree totally with your description of him as the lost soul of empire in the height of decadence. I think he reflects this and manifests it perfectly for all to see.

And this is useful. There's no telling what subliminal detritus from the American soul he will dredge up and cast into the glare of daylight. In this sense, his very ignorance is revolutionary.

I'm getting thrown under the same bus as you, by the way, and in the same manner. I don't lose sight of this on any day. My only satisfaction is the rise of other forces outside the Hegemon. Life goes on. For me this may have to be enough.


Getting back to Korea, and to use the parlance of this thread, if there's a feather in anyone's cap, it's surely in that of the multi-polar world arising, wherein all nations may not be equal in various metrics, but all are sovereign in equal measure. Thus, as to who drives this train, is it Korea or China? I would answer that destiny is driving, and everyone is on the bus.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 16 2018 0:57 utc | 68

Posted by: psychohistorian @37
"I assume that no one gets (s)elected president of the US without backing by all or some of the folks in our world that run the show. It seems from Trump's (s)election that there are strategy differences among different factions of elite as well as potential group winners/losers financially."

Bingo! All this Cult of Personality stuff keeps the commentators and pundits employed, and most of the (Western) public distracted. But the show goes on.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 16 2018 2:09 utc | 69

Rachel Maddow used every bit of her Rhodes Scholar genius and deep investigative journalism chops to dig deep enough to uncover the real winner here. After about 10 minutes of careful historical reference and analyses, she unveiled to her (record sized) audience that, apparently quite unknown to anyone else, North Korea shares a border with…. now make sure you’re seated… shares a border with…. RUSSIA!!!

Only Ms Maddow and her laser-like focus could have discovered that - as in every other case - all roads lead to RUSSIA!!!

And she even uncovered a map to prove her point! Who knew?

JIC, yes, /s.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 16 2018 2:17 utc | 70

Posted by: psychohistorian@40
"I have long held that Trump will not complete 4 years in office."

Could well be. In fact, an assassination as foreshadowed by many MSM voice -, including Rabbi Blitzer on the eve of Trump's inauguration - would be a great way to close the Season Premier of America's Next Great President. Of course, it would be of the false flag type, since liberals don't do that sort of thing. But boy-oh-boy could that press the neocon agenda forward!

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 16 2018 2:24 utc | 71

@ Grieved and Daniel with responses to my comments

Yes, Grieved I am sensitive to the machinations that the elite are taking against America to keep private finance vital to the world going round. As much as we may see the star of empire losing its brilliance, it is still killing people all over the world without being brought to justice. I will survive being thrown under the bus better than many of my fellow Americans and understand that this step is a necessary part of the process but I still don't like that this has to happen to bring the dysfunctional social contract to an end.

Yes Daniel, Trump is and has made lots of enemies. At some point the shear volume of anger toward what he has and is doing will fuel someone with skills to circumvent his security......and that is if it is not an inside job. I am not advocating his death but noting the steadily increasing potential.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 16 2018 2:58 utc | 72

Posted by: frances @62
"Remember the average IQ in the US is 100..."

As the Great George Carlin said, "picture how stupid the average American is. Now remember that half of them are even DUMBER!"

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 16 2018 3:01 utc | 73

psychohistorian. I wasn't clear. In no way do I expect Trump's "enemies" to assassinate him. His actual enemies... those who truly do hate him and all he stands for and does... are incapable of pulling off a Presidential assassination. Only someone inside can do that anymore. And insiders are not enemies of Trump. His Administration is pleasing the insiders quite well.

I do think that a false flag/hoax could do wonders for the agenda of Trump's backers. They could blame "progressives" or "Muslims" or any of the hated others of the day, and use it as an excuse to enforce even more tyrannical state powers and foreign wars.

And it would free Trump to retire to an invisible life of leisure and debauchery far beyond what his phony billions could have ever offered.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 16 2018 3:13 utc | 74

Thanks, those are estimations/testings, I dont see that North Korea have successully completed this development though.
Posted by: Zanon | Jun 15, 2018 6:03:33 AM | 48

No offense intended but rocket science is Science.
EVERY NASA space mission is cold turkey, fingers crossed stuff, based on careful estimates and calculations. The exploratory missions to the outer Solar System were predicated on the THEORY that it should be possible to get the craft to change speed and direction using the gravity of each planet it visited. Had that THEORY been wrong, or executed with poor precision, the mission would have failed. But it was successful.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 16 2018 3:20 utc | 75


"governments have probably murdered near 170,000,000 of their own citizens and foreigners in this century, about four times the number killed in all international and domestic wars and revolutions."
- R. J. Rummel, PHd, Professor of Political Science (Indiana, Yale, Hawaii)

"And the different forms of government make laws democratical, aristocratical, tyrannical, with a view to their several interests; and these laws, which are made by them for their own interests, are the justice which they deliver to their subjects, and him who transgresses them they punish as a breaker of the law, and unjust. And that is what I mean when I say that in all states there is the same principle of justice, which is the interest of the government; and as the government must be supposed to have power, the only reasonable conclusion is, that everywhere there is one principle of justice, which is the interest of the stronger."
- Thrasymachus (Plato, The Republic)

Political Ponerology
The vast majority of human beings experience empathy and have a conscience rooted, to a significant degree, in values such as peace, cooperation and shared health and prosperity. Some human beings, however, exhibit certain important psychopathologies – including psychopathy or other personality disorders (which Lobaczewski calls characteropathies) - that can affect them in a very holistic way, fundamentally shaping their perception and experience of the world: • Reduce their ability to experience empathy • Reduce their ability to experience certain other emotional states in the same ways that normals do • Lead them - despite the assumption of many normals that all people value peace, cooperation and shared health and prosperity as they do - to actually hold very different values such as domination and excessive, if not endless, acquisition The result….

A totalitarian form of government in which absolute political power is held by a psychopathic elite, and their effect on the people is such that the entire society is ruled and motivated by purely pathological values. A pathocracy can take many forms and can insinuate itself covertly into any seemingly just system or ideology. As such it can masquerade under the guise of a democracy or theocracy as well as more openly oppressive regimes.

Kim Jong Un went to school for several years in Switzerland - as most of the top elite do, traditionally. Did the MSM tell you this, and point out the implications? Namely that he's just as much a part of the cabal that rules most of the planet, as billionaire bullshit artist Donald Trump, and all the rest of them: Merkel, Blair, Netanyahu, Kissinger, Cheney, the Bushes, Clintons, etc. To me, the fact that a tiny minority (of psychopaths) rule the rest of us, is an opportunity more than anything else. Well, it would be, if most of the human race had any idea how to think, any inclination to develop the ability, let alone put it to use. Knowledge of the inevitable corruption of all forms of government is evident as far back as ancient Greece (see Thracymachus quote above) - human nature doesn't change. We've got the tools to better understand the mechanics of the problem now, than ever before...if people could pull themselves away from their smartphones, tablets, televisions, sports, celebrity scandals, AKA bread and circuses...we might have a fighting chance.

Further Reading

Posted by: Brian Maiden | Jun 16 2018 7:03 utc | 76


"No offense intended but rocket science is Science.

You miss the important stage of testing.
"Rocket Science" would be a rocket going from place x to place y without problem. North Korea havent reached that stage.

For example, the most obvious:

"To launch a nuclear attack, North Korea would need to produce nuclear devices small enough to fit on its missiles - this is not known to have been successfully developed and tested."

Another obvious failure with the tests carried out:

However, the missile’s re-entry vehicle failed to successfully re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, according to the Japanese defense minister Itsunori Onodera. The missile broke apart before crashing into the waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.[14] Some of the sources for this conclusion were later assessed to have likely been observing the missile's first stage burn out rather than the re-entry vehicle.[15][16]

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 16 2018 9:40 utc | 77 Trump: Not Going After North Korea on Human Rights to Avoid Nuclear War

During his news conference today, President Trump was pressed by reporters on why he hadn’t focused heavily on human rights issues during his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump said this was because the focus was instead on the nuclear issue.

“Because I don’t want to see a nuclear weapon destroy you and your family,” Trump said, adding that he wants to have a good relationship with Kim, and believes avoiding a nuclear war that would kill millions is the priority...


A refreshingly straight and clear response! It's the kind of direct talk that travels well beyond the Beltway and those that know better which should make them look as ridiculous as they really are.

Posted by: et Al | Jun 16 2018 12:29 utc | 78

The Nation via Trump Meets Kim, Averting Threat of Nuclear War—and US Pundits Are Furious

...The contrast between Asian and US perceptions of the summit and the view from the United States was apparent from the moment I arrived in Singapore. ..

...At the nearby White House press center at the Marriott, the atmosphere was far more subdued. There, the established press corps from CNN, NBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other major outlets seemed interested only in how the summit might affect Trump and his political fortunes, and had little interest in the enormous impact of a peace settlement on South Korea.

At one point on Monday afternoon, as the room waited for Pompeo to arrive, I observed a senior Times reporter in deep conversation with his fellow reporters from ABC News and the Post. As they laughed about the next day’s expected encounter between Trump and Kim, the Timesman joked that he was “covering the Neville Chamberlain summit”...

...The lack of interest by the US press corps in how the talks would affect South Koreans was underscored during the press conference with Trump. About half the questions from the White House crew focused on the wisdom of a US president meeting with a dictator—as if this had never occurred before—or how the North Korea talks might affect other aspects of US foreign relations...

A lot more at the link.

Quite the fascinating insight in to the US Press Corpse navel gazing, not to mention the other stuff that happened at the presser.

Posted by: et Al | Jun 16 2018 12:45 utc | 79

As they laughed about the next day’s expected encounter between Trump and Kim, the Timesman joked that he was “covering the Neville Chamberlain summit”...

Wait a minute, I thought it was Trump himself who was supposed to be Hitler. Now it's Kim who's Hitler and Trump is Neville?

Damn, it's hard keeping up with the idiocies of these establishment wingnuts.

Posted by: Russ | Jun 16 2018 13:47 utc | 80

thx b for the write-up and the super prop. video, interesting.

I have one NK acquaintance (married to a SK here in CH) and a bunch of ppl are getting together to replicate this fantastically delish lunch, will be great, menu (scroll down):

the first entrée is a 60’s W standard, too cute, a nod to Trump.. the Tropézienne is a tart, the inclusion is a tribute to the culinary tradition of France (ok..) I’m worried about the stuffed cucumber as I know nothing about it. heh.

Light relief. :)

Trump is busy smashing the old ‘Bretton Woods’ World Order. Euro weenies are appalled and lost in the wilderness but others know how to garner advantage.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 16 2018 15:29 utc | 81

@81 I understand from anonymous sources that John Bolton gagged on the oiseon.

Posted by: dh | Jun 16 2018 16:07 utc | 82

Russia dumps half of its T-Bills. By comparison with amounts held by other nations such as China's $1.18 Trillion, the $47.4 Billion sold is rather small but represents @50% of the amount held by Russia. Clearly, with over 2 Trillion held by China and Japan, the world has a ways to go in ridding itself of dollar dependency, with Russia now positioned as the least exposed of any major nation. I see China selling its T-bills to finance BRI as a double whammy aimed at the Outlaw US Empire's solvency.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 16 2018 16:58 utc | 83

The TIC report has little more credibility than the garbage served up monthly by
the BLS.
China has been spending trillions on the BRI infrastructure using USTs for payment,
yet their holdings never budge.
Even common core math cannot explain this.

Posted by: Winston | Jun 16 2018 17:57 utc | 84

Many thanks, Grieved, for the Molly Ivins interview! It sure beat feeling (excuse the bad pun) aggrieved that tptb
had seen it in their infinite wisdom to deprive oi non-pay-tv polloi of the enjoyment of the US open golf this weekend
I'll take Molly any day of the week! That was the best book review I have ever seen, highly recommended!

"...politics is finding that tiny sliver of daylight in a wall of obstruction that prevents anything from
getting done."

I think Molly would apply that to the Korean summit. A tiny sliver of daylight.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 16 2018 20:07 utc | 85

Also thanks karlof1 (if you are still around) Great Pepe link!

Posted by: juliania | Jun 16 2018 22:07 utc | 86

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 16, 2018 5:40:48 AM | 77
(Kim's Nukes)

By insinuating that Kim has to launch a rocket which lands in a US state in order to persuade Zanon that it's possible, you're just being silly. He's demonstrated that he has a rocket which can reach a US state and that he has a bomb (of some kind). That's enough. It puts the "Do I feel Lucky?" ball in AmeriKKKa's court. Trump, being sane, decided that it wasn't worth calling his bluff (by attacking NK).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 17 2018 2:17 utc | 87

The Meeting of Kim and Trump – Summit of Nothing (Ruslan Ostashko) [ENG SUBS]

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 17 2018 3:11 utc | 88

83 "I see China selling its T-bills to finance BRI as a double whammy aimed at the Outlaw US Empire's solvency"
I have thought this for a few years now. China unloading US dollars on Eurasian integration.

Winston 84. I thought China held about 4 trillion US$ a few years back?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 17 2018 5:14 utc | 89

That was total Foreign exchange,the % $ figure hasn't budged.
If they were really sneaky they'd use USTs at western banks as collateral and then
default on those loans.

Posted by: Winston | Jun 17 2018 15:00 utc | 90

CBS keeps trotting David Sanger around to overhype the threat of cyber and slyly undermine Trump's rapprochement with Kim

Posted by: aaaa | Jun 17 2018 15:19 utc | 91

What North Korea and Libya have to teach North Korea regarding making deals with the United States. An enlightening read from a good source

Posted by: Latts Razzi | Jun 29 2018 18:34 utc | 92

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