Posts Tagged ‘Kim Jong Un’

Trump-Kim Summit, a Triumph for Something-or-Other.

June 12, 2018

Trump-Kim Summit, a Triumph for Something-or-Other.

Singapore: They came, they gripped-and-grinned, they ate lunch, they went home. Supreme Leaders Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un held a photo-op and everybody came. The two dictators had a jolly time talking science fiction, hotels, and real estate. They watched videos, and Mr. Kim taught Mr. Trump to call joint military exercisesprovocative war games” so they were easier for him to unilaterally cancel. The White House called Dennis Rodman to thank him.

President Trump went home early so he could talk to Fox News and play golf.


“The North Korea summit was a triumph of Trumpian stagecraft, and the media fell for it,” Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post

“Trump just struck a shockingly weak deal with North Korea,” Vox

“Trump really has achieved a historic breakthrough – for the Kim dynasty,” Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

“Trump Was Outfoxed in Singapore,” Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

“North Koreans ‘Love’ Kim Jong Un, President Tells ABC,” Daily Beast

“Trump’s summit military concession to Kim surprises everyone,” Alexander Smith, NBC News

“Trump-Kim summit: South Koreans wary of losing US defense assurance,” Fabian Kretschmer, Deutsche Welle

“‘What the hell?’ Trump-Kim lovefest ignores human rights nightmare,” Nahal Toosi, Politico

“Bush Center highlights North Korean human rights abuses after summit,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

“Kim Has Accepted Trump’s Invite To Visit Washington,” Kate Riga, TPM Livewire

Yes. Repeat, No:

“Pence: ‘regular readiness training’ to continue in South Korea,” Alayna Treene, Axios


“North Korea’s Media Tout Trump Concessions You Won’t Find In The Joint Statement,” Anthony Kuhn, NPR News

“All The Times North Korea Promised To Denuclearize,”Brian Barrett, Wired

“Trump and Kim Stir Confusion About What They Actually Agreed To,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

“Reporters thought this video was North Korea propaganda. It came from the White House.”  Avi Selk, Washington Post

“The Sensational Idiocy of Donald Trump’s Propaganda Video for Kim Jong,” Troy Patterson, The New Yorker

“Trump’s North Korean Propaganda Reveals His Contempt for Democracy,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine


“James Clapper tells CNN’s Chris Cuomo that Dennis Rodman is ‘our best resource’ for understanding Trump, Kim Jong Un,” Catherine Garcia, The Week

“When Hitler met Hoover and eight other instances dictators scored presidential face time,”  Erick Trickey, WaPo via National Post

“Trump’s ‘Great Chemistry’ With Murderous Strongmen,” Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

“Trump has officially been nominated for the Nobel Prize for his summit with Kim Jong Un,” Jeva Lange, The Week

“Can the US, China and North and South Korea find peace on the peninsula? War veterans hope so,” Minnie Chan, Robert Delaney, Lee Jeong-ho, China Morning Post



Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Kim Jong-un Loves Burgers

June 5, 2018

Kim Jong-un Loves Burgers

North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un reportedly wants a McDonald’s in Pyongyang. Guess he’s preparing for a Korean visit from U.S. Supreme Leader Donald Trump. In the meantime, you can get a burger at Pyongyang’s Munsu Water Park, but it will cost you $76. You want fries with that?

Actually, Kim Jong-un is said to fly in Big Macs from China for his own consumption, and the few ordinary North Koreans who have $2 to spare can get hamburger-like objects at Samtaesong Cooling Beverages in Pyongyang.


Kim Thinks Trump Won’t Bite Himself In the Ass. We’re Not So Sure.

August 16, 2017

Kim Thinks Trump Won't Bite Himself In the Ass. We're Not So Sure.

As Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un blunder and bluster their way towards nuclear conflict, one factor may hold Mr. Trump back from a rash military act. It’s something very important to him: His own self-interest. “The president owns a 59 percent interest in Trump Korea LLC,” points out Phillip Y. Lipscy, “a joint venture with Daewoo.”

“Trump World Seoul consists of six properties located in Seoul, Busan, and Daegu. In particular, Trump World I, II, and III are located in the heart of Seoul, which would be subject to heavy North Korean conventional artillery bombardment in the event of a major peninsular conflict.

North Korea may thus perceive threats by the president as noncredible given his personal exposure to financial loss. Despite Trump’s tough rhetoric and sending aircraft carriers to nearby waters, Kim Jong Un may reasonably calculate that the president will not risk annihilation of what the Trump Organization describes as an ‘unmatched project that is a true asset to the Trump portfolio.’

Trump World Seoul also puts the president at risk of personal coercion by the North Korean regime. Kim Jong Un could seek to deter U.S. intervention by threatening to specifically target and destroy Trump’s business assets in the event of U.S. escalation. Kim need not physically destroy a Trump Tower to harm the president’s bottom line: Prominently identifying Trump properties as targets will affect their economic viability.

The president stands to lose personal wealth if a military conflict imperils any Trump property. In the vast majority of cases, insurance coverage for commercial property excludes damages sustained in interstate wars. The president therefore faces a direct, personal incentive to avoid escalating conflicts that could potentially result in the destruction of Trump Organization assets.”

— “The Trump Tower Peace Theory,” Phillip Y. Lipscy, Foreign Policy

On the other hand, playing chicken is second nature to Mr. Trump, and this kind of dispute brings out the playground bully in him. It’s why he’s involved in 3,500 lawsuits, but he can’t lawyer his way out of this.

Maybe President Trump should consult with his Ambassador to South Korea. Oh wait, he hasn’t appointed one.


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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Where in the World in Kim Jong Un?

October 10, 2014

Where in the World is Kim Jong Un?

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Marshal of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, First chairman of the National Defense Commission, First secretary of the Workers’ Party, Chairman of the party’s Central Military Commission, and Supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, didn’t show up at the huge ceremony commemorating the 69th anniversary of North Korea’s only political party, which he heads, like his daddy and granddaddy before him. In fact, Mr. Kim hasn’t been seen in public since September 3rdWhat’s up with that?


Animal Welfare in North Korea

January 3, 2014

Animal Welfare in North Korea

Folks in North Korea might be feeling a bit peckish these days, but they sure do treat their puppies well. Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is reported to have killed his uncle and fed his body to 120 hungry dogs.

Or maybe not ….


“North Korean execution by dog story likely came from satire,” James Pearson, Reuters

 “Story about Kim Jong-un’s uncle being fed to dogs originated with satirist,” Jonathan Kaiman, The Guardian


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length


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