Posts Tagged ‘Korea’

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.

More:

“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

Updates:

“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

Related:

“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

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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, NotionsCapital.com

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White Snow

January 25, 2016

“White Snow” by Eru (Jo Sung Hyun).

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Lonely Christmas

December 29, 2015

“Lonely Christmas,” performed by K-Pop girl group Crayon Pop. It’s like Samsung cloned Shirley Temple.

Christmas is different in Korea ….

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Hangover

June 12, 2014

Hangover

Korean novelty pop star Psy (Park Jae-sang) hosts LA’s Snoop Dogg (Calvin Broadus, Jr.) on a binge-drinking tour of Seoul in a new music video. The hard part must have been convincing Snoop to forgo his customary herb for Korea’s potent soju (소주) distilled spirits, the best-selling booze in the world.

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Powerful Threat from North Korea

March 8, 2013

Powerful Threat From North Korea

North Korea has threatened the United States with nuclear attack. The communist regime is reacting to new UN sanctions it received after being caught conducting a third underground nuclear test last month.  Pyongyang has specifically targeted Washington DC, and we residents of ground zero are a bit more edgy, even though the USA has Dennis Rodman playing man-on-man with Kim Jong Un.

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Santa Sighting: Japan & Korea

December 24, 2012

Across the International Date Line, Santa was sighted over Asian rooftops. NORAD continues to track  Santa’s flight, and you can monitor it here. Google even shows you Santa’s Dashboard.

Related: 

“Why Did NORAD Start Tracking Santa?” Matt Soniak, Mental Floss

“Santa’s journey differs on Google, Microsoft trackers,” Craig Timberg and Hayley Tsukayama, Washington Post

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North Korea — Alternative Theory

May 31, 2009

North Korea -- Alternative Theory

The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center detected a 4.7 magnitude seismic event in North Korea last week:

While the USGS cannot positively identify the seismic event as a nuclear test, it was shallow and located in the vicinity of the 9 October 2006 North Korean nuclear test.

What other type of powerful process could it have been, buried slightly underground? That’s the traditional way to store Korean pickled vegetables, and a  magnitude of 4.7 is considered “mild” by kimchi aficionados.


The USGS event report is here; scientific formulae on the Korean pickle here

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

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