Tag: North Korea

A Tale of Three Nukes

 

Maps of Ukraine, Libya, North KoreaI recently urged “Don’t Say You Want a Revolution,” reviewing the sad and terrible consequences of American presidents talking up “regime change” or “revolution” in other countries. As the people of 1956 Hungary and 1991 Iraq discovered, the United States does not back up such talk with our own blood and treasure, even when local people put their own fortunes, sacred honor, and lives on the line. Now let us shift perspective, from the people to the governing elite.

What lessons should Kim Jong-Un draw from recent history? Does U.S. policy, as it has actually played out, cut against North Korean denuclearization? What of the Khomeinist regime in Iran? Consider Libya and Ukraine as cautionary tales for other governments considering what to do with their own weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.

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A Tale of Two Visits to the DMZ

 

Consider two images of two United States presidents at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea. The two images convey very different messages, very different possibilities. Which do you prefer?

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Trump Meets Kim in North Korea

 

Donald Trump made history overnight as the first sitting US President to visit North Korea. The POTUS met Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone Sunday and walked 20 steps into North Korea.

Trump spontaneously offered Kim to shake hands at the DMZ on Saturday and security officials on both sides scrambled to make it happen. The two met for about 50 minutes in a US effort to revive talks with the hermit kingdom. From CNN:

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The Washington Post originally printed this story, and it appears most of the media believes it’s true. Given the current anti-Trump environment, however, I don’t know what to think. In case you don’t remember, Otto Warmbier was the University of Virginia student who was arrested and imprisoned in North Korea in 2016, supposedly for “stealing […]

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Daniel Foster of National Review Online and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleased to see President Trump walk away with no deal with Kim Jong-Un rather than give in to Kim’s thoroughly unacceptable demands. They also slam Trump for taking Kim “at his word” that he knew nothing about the horrific treatment of American […]

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Wile E. Coyote Democrats, President Trump, and a Dangerous World

 

In case you missed it, two nuclear-armed nations, India and Pakistan, just had an aerial skirmish with bombs dropped and planes shot down. Also, a failed socialist state in our own hemisphere is on the edge of complete lawlessness, as the dictator, Maduro, shut down the last border crossing to stop relief supplies flowing to Venezuelans. Meanwhile, President Trump is practicing tough but patient nuclear diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, the third-generation hereditary North Korean dictator, and tough but patient trade negotiations with President Xi Jinping, the strongest Chinese Communist leader since Chairman Mao, while meeting in a tough, smaller rival to China, Vietnam.

So, naturally, the House Democrats, under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi 1.2, held their first big show hearing with a man convicted of lying to Congress. It went as well as President Trump could have wished. These same geniuses thought having House Democratic women wear white at the State of the Union was a brilliant move, only to be completely owned by a smiling President Trump. Who, again, is the political neophyte?

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Christmas Eve 1968: Remember the USS Pueblo

 

Fifty years ago today, Christmas Eve, 1968, the USS Pueblo crew arrived home in San Diego, California. They had been held and tortured by the North Koreans during the past 11 months. This incident happened in the context of the North Vietnamese Tet Offensive and uprisings and unrest across Europe and the United States. The Pueblo’s crew was returned after the election of Richard Nixon to be President.

The USS Pueblo incident began on January 23, 1968.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America lament the loss of another GOP Senate seat as Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is declared the winner of the Arizona Senate race. They’re also not surprised as North Korea is found maintaining and even enhancing its ballistic missile program with numerous undeclared sites. They also […]

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A recent article in the Asia Times describes Kim Jong Un’s efforts to develop a love for pop music in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, i.e. North Korea. While a picture of young and pretty Korean women is sufficient to warrant a look, I found one thing of interest in the article. It brings […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos tackle the latest accusations of Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh, leaving Republicans with the unpleasant choice of ditching a Supreme Court nominee over an eleventh hour allegation missing many specifics or confirming a nominee who many Americans now believe to be a sex offender just one […]

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On Finishing The Gulag Archipelago

 

Earlier today I finished the final volume of The Gulag Archipelago. Whereas Mark Twain defines a work of great literature as “Something that everyone wants to have read but no one wants to read,” I still think I’d like to re-read this one. There’s very little I can do for the multitudes processed through the Soviet prison camps, but I can bear witness. To that and to the camps that are still maintained in North Korea, Cuba, and other dictatorships around the world.

Even if there weren’t such camps in existence today I’m far too pessimistic to believe “never again.” If anything, I hope to be the one in the camp rather than the one running it. To that end, here are some lessons I learned from the book to help survive the Gulag.

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Former CIA Operative Unloads on Brennan and Politicized IC

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had former CIA operative and leader of CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center’s WMD unit, author of the must-read and highly relevant 2009 book Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and outspoken critic of the politicized leadership in America’s intelligence and national security apparatus, Charles Sam Faddis on to discuss among other things:

  • Why Faddis supports revoking John Brennan’s security clearance — and the bureaucratization and politicization of the leadership of the intelligence community versus the rank-and-file analysts and operatives in the field
  • Whether politics dominates over merit in the ranks of intelligence and the national security apparatus more broadly
  • What members of the national security establishment really mean when they talk about “protecting the institutions
  • Why President Trump has been deemed a threat to the power of the political leaders within the national security establishment in a qualitatively different way than any of his predecessors — and that’s a positive thing
  • What Faddis would do to reform intelligence
  • The poor state of America’s counterintelligence capabilities
  • The lessons of Iraq regarding U.S. intervention and the national interest
  • Whether America has the capability to use intelligence to engage in ideological warfare and bring down Iran’s Khomeinist regime
  • How China’s liquidation of our spy network reflects the problems plaguing America’s intelligence apparatus
  • The long-term dire ramifications of China’s OPM hack
  • The implications of China’s attempt to infiltrate Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office
  • The threat to the U.S. homeland of a collapsing Venezuela and Mexico, combined with drug cartels, organized crime groups and Hezbollah in our hemisphere
  • Faddis’ optimistic assessment of the Trump administration’s North Korea policy
  • Why China poses the greatest long-term threat to America of all, and our willful blindness towards it

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, and download the episode directly here.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the Trump administration for rolling back the burdensome EPA clean power plant regulations and giving the states more flexibility in how they deal with emissions. They also unload on CNN and other media outlets for reporting on tearful reunions among family members living […]

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Jim and Greg are both on vacation this week. They will be back June 25th. There will new episodes with guest hosts Thursday and Friday of this week. Today, please enjoy an encore presentation of the Three Martini Lunch. Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are in very good spirits […]

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Historic Snooker

 

The headline writers adore the word “historic.” It was ubiquitous in reporting on the April meeting between Kim Jung Un and Moon Jae-in. Kim shook Moon’s hand and then guided him over the military demarcation line to step onto North Korean territory. This prompted swoons. What rot. If that was a bona fide gesture of peaceful intent, time will tell. In the meantime, let’s assume it was a stunt.

So too with the summit between Kim Jung Un and Donald Trump, though in this case the media hype couldn’t compete with Mr. Trump’s own. He has basked in talk of a Nobel Peace Prize and predicted that he and the butcher of Pyongyang were “going to have a great discussion and a terrific relationship.” Obviously panting for a meeting, Trump was reportedly livid with National Security Advisor John Bolton, whose May comments about a “Libya solution” to the nuclear weapons problem apparently spooked Kim into withdrawing from the summit. Trump insisted that it was he who canceled, just as he did with the Philadelphia Eagles’ White House visit.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate another free speech victory coming out of the Supreme Court as it ruled against a Minnesota law that banned political apparel at the polls. They also remain confused at President Donald Trump’s praise for the murderous North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un. And they look at the […]

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The Korean Condo Podcast

 

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast number 179 (!!) for June 14, 2018, it’s the Korean Condo edition of the podcast with your hosts, radio guy Todd Feinburg and artificially intelligent (but naturally blue-eyed!) Mike Stopa over here on the left coast. We get together with you every week to peel back the onion skin of excruciatingly complex events and happenings in the public square. We are, you might have already figured out, the embodiment of the marketplace of ideas, yessirrreeee.

And speaking of the marketplace of ideas, we have our good friend Heather MacDonald on the show who knows a thing or two about ideas (both good and bad ideas, for that matter). Heather will give us her perspective on the North Korean Deal (Condos, beach and all) and will spout off about The Donald in the process and then we get into the meat and bones of #NeverTrump and question where we might find the synthesis between sycophants like ourselves at HLC and lunatics like, oh, Jennifer Rubin – just to throw out a name that pops to mind. Heather is, as you mostly all know by now, the Stephen Curry of conservative political punditry – moves like liquid light and scores from *way* downtown.

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The Road To Singapore, not the 1940 film starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, but the 2018 summit featuring President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Michael Auslin, the Hoover Institution’s Williams-Griffis Fellow in Contemporary Asia, explains the historical significance of this first such meeting between the two nations’ heads of state, what steps […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America congratulate the Seattle City Council for letting common sense prevail when they repealed a controversial employee tax. They recoil as GOP primary voters in Virginia nominate Corey Stewart for U.S. Senate and wonder what the real reason is for Mark Sanford’s defeat in South Carolina. They also […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America devote all three martinis to the Trump-Kim summit. They are happy that President Trump did not promise to revoke any of the North Korean sanctions and that Kim reportedly made concessions on his missile program. They also rip the deal over Trump agreeing to […]

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