Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 13, 2018

U.S. Bullying Of The Two Koreas Endangers Its Alliance ... And Peace

The Trump administration is haranguing South Korea for taking steps the U.S. had already agreed to. The New York Times believes that North Korea's insistence of sticking to signed agreements is a means of war. This only unites the two Koreas and does not bode well for the alliance. 


North Korea Weaponizes Its Deal With Trump to Tangle Talks

In hailing the deal he reached with Kim Jong-un this summer in Singapore, President Trump said it “largely solved” the North Korean nuclear crisis.

He has since doubled down on that statement, most recently on Tuesday. “People don’t realize the importance of the first meeting,” he said. “I mean, we said, ‘Point No. 1: denuclearization.’ They’ve agreed to denuclearization.”

It was actually the third bullet point in the four-point Singapore agreement, and for the North Koreans, the order of those bullet points is everything. It will only agree to denuclearize once Washington commits to the first and second points: Mr. Trump’s promise to build “new” relations and a “peace regime” in Korea — and makes North Korea feel secure enough to disarm.

The standoff shows how North Korea has turned the deal Mr. Trump signed with its leader, Mr. Kim, into one of its most effective cudgels in talks with Washington over denuclearization, ceaselessly flaunting it to force American concessions.

The highlighted paragraph is the first time the New York Times admits that the Singapore agreement is indeed a numbered list of tasks that are to be taken step by step.

Moon of Alabama explained the sequence proscribed in the Singapore Statement, which is also included in the inter-Korean Panmunjom Declaration, back in July: Pyongyang Talks - How Pompeo Put The Cart Before The Horse. Ignoring the agreed upon sequencing was the reason why the talks Secretary of State Pompeo held in Pyongyang nearly failed. 

The hawks in the Trump administration tried to ignore the Singapore Statement as soon as it was signed. They wanted to jump to point 3 - North Korea's aspirational commitment of eventual denuclearization - before the U.S. even starts to fulfill the concrete measures it committed to in point 1 and 2 - establishing diplomatic relations and a peace agreement. The U.S. mainstream media supported the administration's false and a-historic interpretation that claimed that denuclearization comes first. It insisted on ignoring the sequence and wording of the Singapore Statement. The only exception was an op-ed by a Duyeon Kim in Foreign Policy.

We welcome the NYT to the small club of those who acknowledge the reality of the Joint Statement. But how is North Korean insistence on the written agreement "weaponizing" it? How can an amicably agreed and signed sequencing be a "cudgel"? Who is really trying to "tangle" the issue? The piece does not give any substance that supports its diction.

It is the Trump administration, and the main stream media who support its fudging, that deviates from the agreements. It is the U.S. that is in the wrong here, not North Korea.

Other countries accept the sequencing and the necessity to start with point 1 and 2. A recent joint press release by the deputy foreign ministers of China, Russia and the DPRK emphasizes it:

The three parties shared the understanding that such processes should be ensured to progress in a stage-by-stage and simultaneous way while giving precedence to confidence-building and that they should be accompanied by corresponding measures by the countries concerned.

China and Russia want to adjust the international sanctions to honor the steps North Korea has already taken.

President Moon Jae-in of South Korea also insist on following the signed agreements. But when he recently took steps to fulfill the inter-Korean Panmunjom Declaration, which Trump had endorsed, the U.S. intervened.

Moon needs to lift some sanction his country had put onto the north in 2010, to allow for the resumption of aid to North Korea. Trump rejected that in a rather humiliating way:

“Well, they won’t do it without our approval,” Trump said in the Oval Office on Wednesday when asked about reports Seoul is considering the idea. “They do nothing without our approval.”

Even the right leaning Korea Times found that insulting:

While Washington leads the international community's sanctions regime on Pyongyang, Trump's excessive remarks are seen as denying South Korean sovereignty.

In a just revealed earlier incident Pompeo reportedly even used swear words in a phone call with South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo furiously harangued Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha in a telephone call on Sept. 17 about South Korea's rapid rapprochement with North Korea.

A diplomatic source in Washington said, "Pompeo was informed of the terms to be agreed on during the inter-Korean summit and became very angry that he was not consulted in advance on issues that could have a major impact on the U.S." The source added Pompeo "used strong language" in the phone call with Kang.

Pompeo was incensed by plans to begin reconnecting severed inter-Korean railways and a cross-border military agreement that aims at reducing arms along the border.

The reconnection of the railways and the military agreements to avoid conflicts in the demilitarized zone follow directly from the Panmunjom Declaration. The Declaration was formerly endorsed in the Singapore Statement Trump himself signed. It is ridiculous that the U.S. claims it was not informed about these steps and that it blocks the necessary procedures.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha

Pompeo especially came off as the bully he is. Washington's pressure was successful though - for now. South Korea's government stepped back and said that the lifting of its sanctions is not imminent. But it insists on fulfilling the agreements with the north which will require to take this step.

Korean media warn that the boarish American behavior may well destroy the alliance:

It would be best for Pompeo to clarify whether he used improper language.

If he did, he should apologize. If he didn't, his clarification would suffice.

Korea and the U.S. have been allies in good times and bad. If that tradition of alliance is kept, manners are adhered to, or it could end up among the first cracks that lead to its collapse.

The inter-Korean politics of Moon Jae-in are supported by more than two-thirds of the South Korean population. The conservative Liberty Korea Party, which supports Washington's hawkish stand, recently polled below 20%. Everyone but the U.S. believes that unilateral denuclearization is a fantasy and that only accepting peace can defuse the problem. If this haranguing by Washington continues, South Korea may well act on its own.

Posted by b on October 13, 2018 at 17:22 UTC | Permalink


Moon of Alabama explained the sequence proscribed in the Singapore Statement, which is also included in the inter-Korean Panmunjom Declaration,

The sequence is prescribed, not proscribed. The sequence is a prescription. Proscribe means to forbid.

Please feel free to delete this comment.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 13 2018 17:42 utc | 1

I still have the feeling that it's important to differentiate between Trump and the Trump administration. The real power is still with Trump while the current members of the administration could be gone in the blink of an eye. I'm guessing Trump understands what the outcome of these negotiations will be and what he wants from them so in reality there is nothing for him to give away. Any comments Trump makes publicly are likely to be a distraction to divert attention from what is actually happening. There will be considerable push back from both the Republicans and Democrats to any settlement that can't be presented as an outright victory for the United States and I suspect also from Korean War veterans who'll wonder what they suffered and saw their mates die for. So it will be a hard sell for Trump unless he can present it as a fait accompli from the Koreans, then it would be a question of is the United States prepared to go to war to overturn the agreement which the great American unwashed would object to.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Oct 13 2018 18:03 utc | 2

Oh to swear at a woman and demean her in Asian culture is extremely bad behavior, but par for Pompeo. The Alliance may have been around for awhile, but Americans have never been popular in Korea given their genocidal assault on ALL Koreans during the war and support for South Korea's Hitlerian-type dictators. Perhaps the Times goal is to portray Trump diplomacy as inept by showing how Trump was out-dealed by Kim.

The momentum for Peace in Korea is being driven by Koreans, and it's all too easy for the world to see which nation is impeding progress. The more interference made by the Outlaw US Empire, the further it erodes what remains of its international credibility. With its snowballing fiscal problems, continuing occupations in many nations will need to be ended as there's no longer any rationale or money for them. A major budget battle is brewing that will include the massively corrupt Military Congressional Industrial Complex, which this report reveals to be an abomination wasting hundreds of billions of dollars for crap.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 13 2018 18:14 utc | 3

The standoff shows how North Korea has turned the deal Mr. Trump signed with its leader, Mr. Kim, into one of its most effective cudgels in talks with Washington over denuclearization, ceaselessly flaunting it to force American concessions.

Additional, b, this NYT remark reveals the ARROGANCE of the US position, played out by Pompeo and Trump and the continuing expectation from US media, since June 12, that what happened there was a complete capitulation by Kim and he'd better get on with denuclearizing pronto.

The language used--cudgels, flaunting, conniving--is ignorant, insulting propaganda additional to misreading the agreement and insulting the spirit of cooperation between Kim and Moon.

Ignoring the details suggests, along with Mattis's reply to Trump on why troops are needed in the South (to avoid WW III) there is no intention to change the essential dynamics of suspended hostilities on the peninsula.

This misreading of the Korean Will to Reunify will probably do in the agreement before much longer, suggesting the US in Singapore was all playbook bullshit to begin with. But it will not stop Korea from reunifying. It may take a couple of years.

Posted by: Sid2 | Oct 13 2018 18:14 utc | 4


The only reason Trump would concede something to Kim, going against the wishes of his hand-picked administration, is becuase he's obsessed with getting the Nobel Prize, otherwise he's a Zionist neocon goon like the rest, case in point, his expanded support for the proxy war in Yemen and scrapping the Iran deal.

Iran could use Kim's cudgel and definitely needs to play hardball with Trump.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 13 2018 18:21 utc | 5

@3 Portraying Trump diplomacy as inept is precisely the point of this paragraph...

"The standoff shows how North Korea has turned the deal Mr. Trump signed with its leader, Mr. Kim, into one of its most effective cudgels in talks with Washington over denuclearization, ceaselessly flaunting it to force American concessions."

It's a variation on the old 'they are thumbing their nose' ploy.

Posted by: dh | Oct 13 2018 18:43 utc | 6

excellent b.. thanks.. ditto @2 karlof1 comment ans@4 sod2 comment as well.. but did, note how effective the cool aid is in the post immediately below yours.. ciao from bologna...

Posted by: james | Oct 13 2018 18:48 utc | 7

typing on an iPad if for the birds.. sorry for the typos..

Posted by: james | Oct 13 2018 18:50 utc | 8

The two Koreas will make peace, unify and expel the US from the region. It has been obvious to me from the beginning that this will be the outcome.

South Korea is the outpost of a unipolar world that is evolving into a multipolar one.....that future is just not evenly distributed yet.

Thanks for the posting b

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 13 2018 18:57 utc | 9


Get a bluetooth keyboard and use it for anything longer than a phrase. I have mine for iPad,iPhone and MacMini. Makes Messaging and emails normal as on the Mac.

Logitech solar keeps it wireless and battery-less.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 13 2018 19:06 utc | 10

@10 red Ryder. thanks, I am on my wives.. I will see if she goes for it!

Posted by: james | Oct 13 2018 19:18 utc | 11

irony aside in the comments, "cudgel" suggests the Nor Kors are sneaky sons-a-bitches who are using the very terms of the agreement the US agreed to into a weapon . . . this is paranoid anal arrogant assumption, and to think the Koreans are not aware of it is more of the same colonialist horseshit they are excruciatingly fed up with.

Posted by: Sid2 | Oct 13 2018 19:35 utc | 12

What can the US do at this point? Sanction South Korea and drive it further towards reunification with North Korea or try regime-change tactics and provoke even more South Korean nationalism, possibly even endanger individual soldiers in US military bases in that country who go off the ranch, get drunk and run over teenage schoolgirls in their jeeps or rape and murder young women?

Or maybe decide not to run Operation Foal Eagle next year? Perhaps on the excuse that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jet program isn't working as well as it should be and all current F-35s are being grounded in the US and Israel at present?

Keep going with isolating countries all over the world, Uncle Sam: you'll soon be left out in the cold.

(Of course, here in Australia, if we had any brains, we'd be saying bye-bye to the 'Murkans too ... is there hope for us to grow a spinal cord at least?)

Posted by: Jen | Oct 13 2018 19:37 utc | 13

"the boarish American behavior" should be "boorish" swine like though it is.

@9 has it right. I hope.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 13 2018 20:06 utc | 14

OT-- Big Anti-Right March in Berlin earlier today: "UnTrump the World" was the theme, united by #unteilbar. The title of their manifesto: "For an Open and Free Society: Solidarity, not Exclusion!"

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 13 2018 20:38 utc | 15

Kim ain't giving up his nukes and trump has no intentions of keeping up any other part of the deal. FFS he doesn't even know what the other steps are. I don't know what this all means for the long term prospects of the region but Trump and Kim are just bullshitting and it amounts to nothing.

China's not going to lean on Kim as long as the US is making a full court press in the South China Sea.

Trump gets to yammer about what great things he's doing and some people actually believe him. All he really got is a moratorium on NK testing and Kim gets to bust all the sanctions. How very impressive.

Posted by: peter | Oct 13 2018 21:07 utc | 16

Does anyone really think the so-called US-NK negotiations, following the Singapore meeting, mean anything? The real negotiations are between south and north Korea. US intervention is just a nuisance, more likely to make things break down than anything else.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 13 2018 21:10 utc | 17

The U$A will never allow the unification of the two Koreas. If they struck a deal on their own, massive economic sanctions would follow.

The U$A insists on capitulation, nothing more, nothing less.

An alliance with China and Russia is the only thing that could mitigate circumstances for North and South Korea.

Trump, like Reagan, are bit players in a show staged for the "little people".

Business uber alles...

Posted by: ben | Oct 13 2018 21:30 utc | 18

American politicians and media are becoming increasingly unhinged.

Threatening friends and allies with tariffs on automobiles, and using these threats to impose unilateral trade agreements which include language designed to upend future trade with China ("non-market economies") - as done recently with Mexico and Canada - will hasten the isolation of the U.S., particularly when it demands European countries follow this line. The opportunity to secure a gradual soft landing for the dissolution of its hegemonic moment exists for the Americans, but its arrogant and delusional establishment will not turn from its confrontational policy, ensuring a harsh reality lesson sooner than most might predict.

Posted by: jayc | Oct 13 2018 21:44 utc | 19

Yes, the most important discussions are amongst Koreans, and even Far Right Southerners cannot say they oppose unification as the vast majority of Koreans know peace will bring further prosperity--that's why it has such huge support throughout Korea. If the Outlaw US Empire and its UN Command puppet continue to interfere in legitimate efforts to reunite and bring peace, they will be steamrolled out by Koreans as they demand 100% Freedom after over a century of being colonized. It's very possible for the Outlaw US Empire to create a new enemy with RoK if it continues its path of disruption.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 13 2018 21:54 utc | 20

SK is an occupied country whose constitution was written by and its government installed by occupation forces. There is an illusion it is free today but like Germany, Japan, Iraq, etc this is just an illusion. A divided Korea provides the justification for continuing the occupation and maintaining bases within striking distance of China and Russia. ReUnification will not be permitted until China and Russia capitulate and serve the Empire

Thats the unpleasant reality

Posted by: Pft | Oct 13 2018 22:30 utc | 21

Nice picture in the headline!
Is it me or the ackward position of Trump is because he is reaching for a Masonic handshake from Kim and yet he gets a "screw you pal, let's do this like normal people do" handshake answer?

Posted by: Greece | Oct 13 2018 22:43 utc | 22

China and Russia will make every effort in every way they can to assist in the unification of Korea. The USA is phucked here. It has been outplayed.

Posted by: fast freddy | Oct 13 2018 23:13 utc | 23

I can't wait for the step 2 peace treaty negotiations to begin. That should make for some interesting reading on this site. I hope North Korea asks for war reparations in an amount equal to what the USA invested in South Korea. After all, NK was bombed into the stone age.

Posted by: Chas | Oct 14 2018 0:00 utc | 24

peter | Oct 13, 2018 5:07:27 PM | 16

All he really got is a moratorium on NK testing and Kim gets to bust all the sanctions. How very impressive.

That is a mighty good achievement Peter. In the nuclear stakes the chips on the table are the entire humanity of this beautiful planet. Every step counts. Next step is to honor the agreement as is the case in all diplomatic relations. Many don't and they are the belligerents, that's how we recognise them. Ask the Palestine people.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 14 2018 0:16 utc | 25

Maybe Trump has been successful in economical deals but he and his team are zeroes when it come to solving issues that requires diplomatic skills. Trump team is made up of arrogant bullies.
Trump is a political bully, Pompano is vulgar bully and Bolton is a zionist bully. In addition we had Nikki Halley a hysterical bully.
With a team like this, there is no way they would reach a deal with Asians chess-players and sophisticated diplomats in North Koreas, China, Russia or Iran. Sticks don't work very well with Asians and the USA will find it out soon. While the Asians appear to bend over the pressures their response will be slow and ambiguous. Trump is impatient to show off results but with Asians he may have to wait a very long time...

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 14 2018 0:24 utc | 26

Along with the Trump regime pulling out of the Iran nuke deal, we now have this headline -"Trump administration kills contract for plutonium-to-fuel plant

Russia destroyed its excess plutonium pits after the nuke reduction deal with the US, but the US is keeping theirs. Trump wants tactile nukes and the pits are ideal.

Does the Trump admin really think NK will give up its nukes when the US cant be held to any agreement and are themselves building up numbers of nuke weapons. Makes me think these peace talks with NK are just a cover for some other scheme the US is up to.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 14 2018 0:49 utc | 27

Even the right leaning Korea Times found that insulting:

While Washington leads the international community's sanctions regime on Pyongyang, Trump's excessive remarks are seen as denying South Korean sovereignty.

Korea Times pretending to be surprised and insulted.

Posted by: vk | Oct 14 2018 0:54 utc | 28

NYT outNYTted themselves.

These days i have to make effort reminding myself that America is about capitalism, capitalism is about trade, and trade is about deals....

Posted by: Arioch | Oct 14 2018 0:55 utc | 29

> Pompeo was incensed by plans to begin reconnecting severed inter-Korean railways

....railways which are very important for Russia to get logistics to Far East seas independent upon Chinese OBOR. And which have no direct effect upon USA's standing S-Korea.

@Virgile but what if Trump really meant to isolate USA and his seemed bluffs were actually an intended sabotage of today world order?

Posted by: Arioch | Oct 14 2018 1:10 utc | 30

@Peter AU 1

No, Russia is not destroying her Plutonium. Russia leased the same Areva technology, built her plants (and reportedly in flexible enough way so they can process spent nuclear fuel too), demonstrated them working, and asked USA "so what now?".

USA said "nothing, we still can neither build a MOX plant, nor find buyers to the prospective MOX fuel as almost zero NPPs in US have recertified their reactors for MOX".

Wow, said Russia, that's damn impressive and last year suspended the deal because USA is uncapable to fullfil it.

So, basically there is just no deal anymore.

And yes, American variation of MOX plant proved a black hole.

Posted by: Arioch | Oct 14 2018 1:39 utc | 31

Holding to two positions in the same time when they seem impossible to reconcile it an old American tradition. This is called FREEDOM, you naysayers! Two titles from NYT today:

Snowstorm Kills at Least 8 Climbers in Nepal

Vigorous Exercise, Even a Trek Up Everest, May Be Safe During Pregnancy

From the department of defending the indefensible: the fatal climb was not directed at Everest, and not of the climbers or the guides suffered a miscarriage.

From the department of strange connections: the unlucky expedition was launched by South Korean who wanted to trace a new route to the summit and name it "The route of North-South Korea unification".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 14 2018 2:11 utc | 32

Arioch 31

I had to check back on it but you are right. Some time ago, perhaps a Putin interview or a news report saying Russia had fulfilled its obligations on the disposal of weapons grade plutonium agreement, and I took it they had converted the plutonium to fuel as specified by the agreement.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 14 2018 2:28 utc | 33

I still have the feeling that it's important to differentiate between Trump and the Trump administration. The real power is still with Trump while the current members of the administration could be gone in the blink of an eye.
Posted by: Ghost Ship | Oct 13, 2018 2:03:22 PM | 2

Me too.
Promoting demented Swampers to positions of influence and giving them enough leeway to shoot themselves in the foot should make it easier to hose out the stables when they've discredited themselves.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 14 2018 3:42 utc | 34

US foreign policy is self-defeating and delusional.

However odious Kim Jong-un might be, he has an irresistible argument that he must be putting to Moon Jae-in at every opportunity.

It is this: You know, don't you, that the USA intends to engineer a war that will destroy this Peninsula? And you must know that they don't care if all of us - you, me, everyone - die in that war, right?

And Moon Jae-in is not stupid, he will know that Kim Jong-un is telling the truth.

Which leaves Moon with two options:
a) Make a sudden break and join with a man who is demonised (rightly, or wrongly) as a madman, or
b) continue serving a cabal of evil, bloodthirsty madmen who won't lose a moment's sleep when everything he holds dear is utterly destroyed.

That's not really a choice, is it?

I expect that Moon knows that he has to sign a separate peace treaty and a plan for reunification with North Korea, and that this treaty will have to demand that all US forces leave the Peninsula.

Taking that route is a risk, sure, because if the USA gets wind of those plans then they'll have him killed. No question.

But the alternative is to remain a US vassal, and that makes a replay of the Korean War inevitable. And he'll die anyway, as will everyone else north and south of the 49th parallel.

He'll go big. He has no other choice.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 14 2018 4:13 utc | 35

Hoarsewhisperer 34
I judge Pat Lang not only on his own posts at SST (which I wouldn't bother reading) but by his choice of guest authors. Trump needs to be judged in the same way - both by what he says and does, and the type of people he appoints.
With that you have an admin that will protect Israel come what may, that has bet the petro dollar on global energy dominance, and shock and awe shows will be via tactical nukes.
Yank exceptionalism at its finest. Too exceptional to be bound by any agreements in any way shape or form.
Trump is Thucydides reigning power going to war with the up and coming powers.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 14 2018 4:17 utc | 36

Yeah, Right 35

You may well be right. SK and NK have a common enemy, which I think is what some perhaps many SK'ns are thinking. At the same time, after all these decades of US occupation, there will be a strong pro US fifth column in SK.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 14 2018 4:28 utc | 37

26, came across this, however I wanted Trump to be prez becuase he would wreck American power with=in 4 years so in economics the following applies.......

Trump is doing everything he can to bring on the end of the days when the US can borrow whatever it wants in whatever amounts it wants. To be sure, there is no recipe book. The dollar is now so entrenched as the world’s money that if your assignment were to bring the curtain down on that—and thus the ability of the US to borrow whatever it wants whenever it wants—it’s not at all clear what you would do.

But you’d start by doing everything that Trump is doing—pick fights with all your allies, blow the government deficit wide open at the peak of an economic recovery, abandon any notion of fiscal responsibility, threaten sanctions on anyone and everyone who seeks to honor the deal Obama struck with Iran (thereby almost begging everyone to figure out some way to bypass the US banking system in order to do business), [Which they are openly doing –JFM] throw spanners into the works of global trade without any clear indication of what it is precisely you want for a country that structurally consumes more than it produces and thus by the laws of accounting MUST run trade and current account deficits.

That’s strong language but exactly right, especially the last part. Trade deficits are President Trump’s bugaboo, yet he might as well complain about the weather. It is what it is. The US will run a trade deficit unless we accept some combination of higher savings and lower consumption. That’s not my opinion; it’s math. Threatening India will not change it.

Posted by: Col from OZ | Oct 14 2018 4:33 utc | 38

You can't trust Kim. He's weaponizing North Korea by building high rise apartment buildings, airports, ski resorts, resort hotels, super markets, golf courses, and keeping the lights on. All while under ever increasing sanctions many of which have been in place for over 60 years. Recent tourist documentaries by unbiased people, especially the one by Michael Palin on NGC, clearly show Kim is serious on opening up his country to the world as his nukes keep the US at bay. It's not a coincidence, if reports are correct, that kids must learn English, no word about ebonics, and the literacy rate is 98%. North Korea also has an international film festival and a recent trade fair was well attended.

It has been proven that many defectors from the North exaggerate their stories as it gets them a better pay out from the South. As one web site has shown, it produced the papers to prove it and the retraction when research proved the claim false, lots of the bad stuff like executing people by being eaten by wild dogs is click bait by bloggers outside NK who make money by visits to their site. Does not mean everything is peachy in NK but when wacky stories appear one should not automatically accept them as true.

South Korea has been the US's poodle since WW2 ended. They are kept on the leash by having favored nation trade status by the US. Without that there is no Korean miracle. The South must weigh being a successful poodle or face a possible major economic downturn if they go ahead and kiss and make up with the North if they cut the leash. With Trumps ego and hate to lose he will revoke the agreement. In the NY Times "expose" if true one of the papers stolen off Trumps desk was to cancel SK favored nation agreement. Thus Trump barks Moon cowers in a corner like a whipped puppy as he and his country are caught in a huge dilemma. With Trumps base screaming for more trade war, with US streets, stores, and homes chock full of Korean stuff, IMHO Korea is next on the tariff hit list regardless of what Korea does. At the same time Trump through the back channels will threaten SK with sanctions if they don't obey US dictats.

Watching Trumps body language and his glee with announcing sanctions on Russia, NK, or anyone else he has shown that he joined the deep state as soon as his backside hit the presidential chair. Up until 2 months ago aid groups were sending medicine into NK in violation of UN sanctions that weren't enforced. Suddenly they all stopped. Last month Pompeo extended the travel ban on Americans traveling to NK. At present as the saying goes for the worlds economies the US is the "cleanest dirty shirt in the laundry." What Trump is doing with his world wide financial and military chaos is ensure the US is the only intact shirt in an otherwise shredded laundry. Under Obama and many before him the one world government would have been run by 1%ers and intellectuals around the world. Trump is pro world government only in his world it will be run by the US in the DC swamp.

One could make a solid case that the US government encouraged it's manufacturers to outsource and replace with imported goods. So we now have a huge foreign presence in goods, banks, and retailers who can be counted on to obey any US sanctions or lose their access to US markets.

Posted by: snedly arkus | Oct 14 2018 4:54 utc | 39

You have fallen for one of the MIC's proton torpedo spread of bullshit stories. As I have said before, read South Korea's Yonhap news agency EVERY DAY. They are reporting VASTLY different results. Your story is total bullshit.

There are going to be the natural ongoing debates of how to handle this matter and the expense of the reunification but all in all this complex deal is coming together quite well. I am sure that upsets more than a few war hawks.

Trump has stepped back and allowed the two Korea's to work on pulling together a deal. As much as everyone hates the guy he got this one right.

Posted by: dltravers | Oct 14 2018 4:54 utc | 40

I've been saying it for awhile...

If the South Koreans really want peace and unification with the North they need to be under the Chinese umbrella. Maybe they don't like this fact, but one or other of America, China or Russia will want to control the Peninsula.

Which one is better for Koreans??

Invite the PLA to set up some bases in South Korea in the interests of peace and then ask(tell) the Americans to leave/ retreat to Japan.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 14 2018 5:09 utc | 41

@ Julian who wrote: "If the South Koreans really want peace and unification with the North they need to be under the Chinese umbrella."

I think the China umbrella will be less of an empire and more of a set of evolving alliances. I see no problem with a unified Korea being part of the China/Russia block of nations aligning themselves against the iFUKUS private finance West.

I include Russia in the "title" because China is not hemming in the West militarily like Russia is (with China nuke backup). So while China will grow to be the big gorilla in the world in the near term, I think that is a good thing. I am sickened by the ongoing inhumanity being served blood chilling cold to the underclass and "enemies" of the West.

Confucius said to teach the children and I believe that is humanity's only successful future. That is not the vision of the West.

I admit there is the possibility that private finance empire will morph into China but balance that with knowing that China has created and executed 13 - 5 year plans as a country with communist in its name. I fully expect the socialist version of "capitalism" will not make the oligarchs as happy as they have been, if we live through the pearl clutching, bloviating, crow eating transition.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 14 2018 5:40 utc | 42

dltravers 39

Watch the trump Kissinger interviews. Trump sitting beside Kissinger says he intends to make US as important in the world as it was 25 years ago. That was said late 2015 early 2016. 25 years ago makes it 91. The USSR had just collapsed and US was the dominant power in the world. There are many interviews of Kissinger stating the same thing.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 14 2018 5:42 utc | 43

Reading the comments above you can certainly tell we're getting close to Halloween. Goblins, witches and outright loons dominate.

Serious informed comment apparently does not exist, or is as rare as hen's teeth. Ignorance, foolishness and outright moonbattery abound.

What a waste of space.

Posted by: gda | Oct 14 2018 5:45 utc | 44

But you’d start by doing everything that Trump is doing -
Posted by: Col from OZ | Oct 14, 2018 12:33:45 AM | 38

Agree wholeheartedly.
For example Trump MUST be aware how ridiculous it is to blame China for the fact that AmeriKKKan Neo-liberal devotees of middleman-itis were solely responsible for exporting millions of American jobs to China et al.
But he gets away with it. It's amazing...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 14 2018 5:50 utc | 45

41 Recently SK was arlarmed that China media/gov might boycott SK products as well they should be.
If you combine China and Hong Kong you get $156 billion trade between these two. If you make SK choose between US and China over trade they will choose China.

Posted by: Col from OZ | Oct 14 2018 5:54 utc | 46

gda 43

So apart from your dribbling and whining, what is your contribution. Looks to be zero.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 14 2018 5:55 utc | 47

Which one is better for Koreans??

Invite the PLA to set up some bases in South Korea in the interests of peace and then ask(tell) the Americans to leave/ retreat to Japan.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 14, 2018 1:09:08 AM | 40

Frankly, this is insane. Sweden can survive without foreign military bases, so do Philippines and so can Korea. Powerful Korean companies are considerably dependent on American market, but there may be some limits.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 14 2018 6:18 utc | 48

Just a quick two cents from me: I really fucking hate Pompeo! He's such a fat fucking asshole. He's an obese, arrogant, abusive thug who is always making threats and trying to play 'mr badass' on the world stage. The last thing that fat fucking asshole wants is peace and cooperation between the two Koreas. What he does want to do is sabotage the peace process and obliterate N. Korea with American nukes and air raids. The only way assface Pompeo the Pompous operates is deceit–and regime change by military force, preferably leaving the targeted country a smoldering heap of irradiated rubble. He couldn't be happier with how the Yemen war is going with his best buddy Mohammed bin Solman.

Posted by: Deschutes | Oct 14 2018 6:30 utc | 49

The debate on US deep state vs Trump. It is a fight between exceptional global energy dominance backed by tactical nukes vs failing exceptional petro dollar and full spectrum dominance.
I liked some of his earlier moves - cancelling TPP, putting a cat amongst the NATO pidgins ect, but when it comes to the crunch, Trump is just another American exceptionalist trying to take the US on a different course for lasting world dominance.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 14 2018 6:32 utc | 50

Moon of Alabama explained the sequence proscribed in the Singapore Statement, which is also included in the inter-Korean Panmunjom Declaration, back in July: Pyongyang Talks - How Pompeo Put The Cart Before The Horse.

Oh dear, NYT wanted to try out this newfangled real news thingy but they messed it up. They are so hard-wired on fake news they don't know how to use raw news sources correctly, not how to read original documents.

Look, NYT, if you want non-morons to take you seriously you have to consult reputable sources like Moon of Alabama and other trustworthy sites, instead of believing the claptrap lies from US government spokesmen, Washington Post, and your own fake news generation at NYT.

Posted by: BM | Oct 14 2018 6:32 utc | 51

What a waste of space.
Posted by: gda | Oct 14, 2018 1:45:27 AM | 43

Go back to Disneyland, gda, it is better suited to your level of intellectual achievement, You'll find what you are looking for over there.

Posted by: BM | Oct 14 2018 6:45 utc | 52

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 14, 2018 12:17:10 AM | 36
(judging Trump by conventional standards)

Trump came to power with a promise to drain The Swamp.
There's a generally accepted perception that The Swamp has more power/influence than POTUS. However, from a democratic/constitutional pov, The Swamp's power is illegitimate, because it is not endorsed by The People. Anyone who expected Trump to play a Conquering Hero role from Day 1 doesn't understand the complexities of Regime Change (from The Swamp, back to The People).

One need only examine a few of The Swamp/CIA's Regime Change ops outside the US to begin to understand the many facets and factors involved in planning Regime Change, to realise that it's not simple and doesn't always succeed.

Added to the obvious complexities. is the fact that the Swamp/CIA can bribe people in the target country to disrupt and de-legitimise the current govt and, at present, Trump is on the receiving end of such efforts by the Swamp/CIA within AmeriKKKa.
So it ain't gonna be easy and he might need some help...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 14 2018 6:58 utc | 53

Like the rest of the world N and S Korea ! Can now clearly see, the U S game plan (cheating at cards) world dominance. Whilst hhat may be in America’s self interest, clearly less so for the rest of us ! N &S K are making other arangements. Along with the rest of the world.
The Master race hopefully is in decline. U S motive ? World de- population (that’s you and me) we’v seen Trump/Bill gates plan —- bio- warfare. Fermenting opposition in scores of country’s often for oil, and seen the encouragement of the far right fascism using MSM ! Only a deluded fool would condone or vote for such madness.
Thanks Karlofi @ 17 for the heads up on Berlin anti fascists march 250,000 turned up!

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 14 2018 7:58 utc | 54

Re: Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 14, 2018 2:18:37 AM | 47

Well, I'm sorry, for many reasons South Korea/Korean Peninsula is far more strategically important than Sweden at present acting as it does as a pressure point on China. I know you know this. There will be no real prospect of unification of the Peninsula as long as US troops and bases are there.

In addition, there will be no unification of the Peninsula allowed by China as long as US troops are on the Peninsula. So what gives? It's been that way for many decades. About seven decades actually.

Re: Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 14, 2018 2:58:53 AM | 52

He does indeed need some help. As I've said before the best result from the Mid-Terms I think is a Democrat victory in the House and an increased Republican majority in the Senate which will allow Trump to select who he wants for key positions in his Cabinet at will.

I also think this may be the most likely result.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 14 2018 8:26 utc | 55

Typo on my @53
Karlofi @ 15 not 17

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 14 2018 8:30 utc | 56

Julian @40:
It would be a bad idea for China to station troops inside a post-unification Korea. There are numerous bases in Northern China that can provide assistance when needed. I'm sure it would be the same for Russia. There should be no doubts that the final phase of unification WILL require withdrawal of US forces. As a consequence, Japan will rearm itself again, as Abe recently pledged to do. Both China and Korea may bitch about it, but Japan does have that right.

Posted by: Ian | Oct 14 2018 9:32 utc | 57

Julian @ 54
That would enable Trump to select who he wants in the cabinet! No please any thing but that !!
More klu klux klan, more insane military fascists (give a man a hammer and every problem looks like a nail) types, Zionist banksters making big money out of death and destruction and just plain wacko nut jobs !! Mmm what’s not to like !! Thanks but no thanks. 300,000 million Americans why not find a sane president ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Oct 14 2018 10:36 utc | 58

Obama did the same thing with the Minsk Agreementon ending the conflict in Donbass. The Ukrainian government agreed to take several political actions, with specific deadlines, before the the Donbass forces had to relinquish control of the border, yet Obama ignored the actions the Ukrainian government had to take, while accusing Russia of failing to live up to the Minsk agreements because the Donbass forces have not taken actions that were contingent on Ukrainian government action.

So there's nothing at all new about the US government misreading agreements to their unilateral advantage.

Posted by: rkka | Oct 14 2018 11:31 utc | 59

The isolation of the 4 key members of the coalition of evil is on track and actually recent events are speeding things up, they are US, Israel, UK and KSA. One can not stop noticing that all of these 4 countries have committed horrendous crimes recently, made huge strategic mistakes in the last few months and are bullying either to provoke more conflicts or to create major geopolitical global stress or even to ignore/destroy any last International forums to push their agenda. This is a clear sign of desperation, and the non fulfillment of any International agreement or the move away from International Tribunal are just samples of what they are doing.
Their isolation is a given, so they con implode in a controlled way without jeopardizing too much the rest of the world.

Posted by: Canthama | Oct 14 2018 14:49 utc | 60

The US could care less about reducing tensions in the Korean peninsula.

It has always been clear that two sides, as is always obvious, have two very different intentions.

Kim, like Trump is a new phenomenon. The large difference is that Kim is in control, he can make decisions. I very much doubt Trump can, he owns a very fractured government. The CIA, the FBI, the NSA, DoD, State Department, etc, all have their own agendas.

This will go nowhere. Mainly because there are too many interests on the US side that desire confliction.

Posted by: Ant. | Oct 14 2018 15:09 utc | 61

Nuttybooboo used the exact same tactic to prolong Isnotreal-Palestine negotiations for 60 years. 'First disarm, biblically acknowledge Isnotreal as your sovereign, then we'll talk.' That's NAZI talk. Don't be a NAZI. Don't mumble 'I did not know!"

Your last life savings, that are never coming back, ever, are being looted by these NAZIs. Your next 3Q18 $1,000,000,000,000 tithe-tribute to the s NAZIs is being ripped from your children's future tomorrow, while the NAZIs themselves pay no taxes at all.

Rise Up! Rise Up!

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 14 2018 15:40 utc | 62

There's always been a lot of Trumpery around here. But the notion that Trump actually decided to let South Korea go free, and has the unilateral power to do so, unlike waging economic warfare, is truly remarkable. People need to remember Wall Street is the center of the Swamp, not elected officials. Swamp creatures like Trump hate politicians who try to use their votes from the worthless rabble (aka you and me,) to tyrannize over the owners.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Oct 14 2018 15:44 utc | 63


Perhaps the outcome at this moment I'd you follow msnbc and 831, but Brunson hasn't taken his pulpit yet, and Bolton is still in the makeup chair, and Pompeo is in the War Room right now, preparing for the Great Iran Pre-Election Hockey Stick.

As soon as the $1,000,000,000,000 in tithe-taxes are hoovered up tomorrow and lock-boxed, and the 3Q18 financial actual are cooked and curried, you're gonna see a fortnight of relentless stress positioning psyop and Triumphal Exceptionalist Hoo-Ahh not seen since Misiion Accomplished.

All paid for by the looted $100B's in unencumbered and off-budget 'trade tithe' slush fund that Trump's cabal set up. Where is the media narrative *against* Iran sanctions?! Where is Sanders and Is such strumpeting against a New Oil War?

They are silent, because there is only the $4,000,000,000,000 Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty, and their now $235,000,000,000 Deficit from No Taxes for the Rich.

See you in Tehran! Lu,lu,lu,lu,lu!

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 14 2018 15:56 utc | 64


I'm sure Herr Goehring was a fat pompous assh*le also.

Your error is in embracing personality- politics, the pop-idol means by which the media stress-positions you, frog in a pot, into acceptance. You love Big Brother, you just hate Pompeo. Or maybe it's Bolton?

But tomorrow you will roll the cuffs on your trousers, you will eat a soft-boiled peach, and as Brunson speaks Satanically from his bully pulpit, you will make out your 3Q18 $1,000,000,000,000 tithe-tribute check, carefully sign it slowly, proud you can still sign away your fortunes, write 'Internal Revenue Service' on an envelope, lovingly peel off a fresh postage stamp, position it just right in the corner, then waddle out to your mailbox and place your gift in the collection box with a sigh of relief, and maybe a little wet fart.

And so will 200,000,000 other deluded USAryans, who hate this and love that and jibberjabber in their pajamas to the i-Screen, then drift off to American Dreamland.

It's not Pompeo! It's not Bolton! It's not Trump, or Kushner or Miller! It's the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty Wehrmacht, that's conquered the United Republic of States.

Rise Up! Rise Up!

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 14 2018 16:13 utc | 65

@ Anton 65

Nice attempt, but you've not quite yet got J Alfred pinned and wriggling on the wall.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Oct 14 2018 16:46 utc | 66

@65 anton

Like Ignatius, from Confederacy of Dunces, waddling out to the mailbox. Love it, sir.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Oct 14 2018 16:49 utc | 67

Julian @40:

The best option for united Korea is to keep itself neutral instead of asking China/Russia/US to station on its soil. In fact, this should be a sensible policy for any small countries bordering big countries.

Posted by: mali | Oct 14 2018 19:02 utc | 68

One effect of reconnecting the rail links between SK and NK is that the trains can then continue north into Russia. This opens up the quicker land route for SK exports to the EU so avoiding US 'protection' at sea.

The Russians are very keen on this as they are also enthusiastic about a gas pipeline transiting NK into SK, potentially killing any US LPG exports into SK.

Good reasons for the US to never allow any re-unification. Sovereign rights are only allowed if the US agrees. Just like in Syria.

Posted by: JohninMK | Oct 14 2018 19:44 utc | 69

China decides. US troops leave Korea, peace. Koreans would welcome this believe me. Thats the sticking point.

Posted by: steve | Oct 14 2018 20:17 utc | 70


The massive treasure-disappearing Mil.Gov bases in JP, CNMI and RMI, together with the joint-share bases in TH, AU and PH, represent $100B a year bleedout that has depended on shrieking psyop "NORTH KOREA HAS THE BOMB!" since the 1960s. Easily a TRILLION DOLLARS disappeared in Cold War, enough to buy every USAryan taxpayer a new car, and a Kobi loin-cut steak dinner.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Oct 14 2018 20:20 utc | 71

People like pointing out how much South Korea is under the thumb of the Empire of Chaos, but remember that the Empire installed the former "Shah" dictatorship in Iran. America's dictatorship's in Latin America keep falling to popular will and needing replacement. Even the South Koreans themselves have been making things tough for the Empire by kicking out America's hand-picked imperial governors.

The Empire doesn't always get its way, and has in fact been struggling to hold on to its vassals. Just because the Evil Empire seriously doesn't want Korean reunification doesn't mean it can stop that process.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 15 2018 10:28 utc | 72

« Diplomatic ‘SKILLS’ ? I always thought the expression was ‘Diplomatic KILLS’. »

-US Govt.

Posted by: Featherless | Oct 16 2018 21:30 utc | 73

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