Tag: North Korea

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.

But he showed quite a lot of ankle in his note. “I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me,” he cooed, closing with words conceding that it was Kim, not Trump, who had actually canceled. “If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write.” Kim reeled in his catch. He sent an oversized letter Trump could pose with, grinning like a winner of the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.

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 initial details of the long-anticipated Inspector’s General report about Comey, Lynch, and the Hillary Clinton private server investigation.

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.

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 might come next, and the ricochet effect across the Pacific Rim.

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 worry that President Donald Trump may have declared the North Korea nuclear threat over too soon.

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 end joint military exercises with South Korea, while only getting a vague promise from Kim to move towards denuclearization. They also berate Trump for lavishing public praise towards Kim, calling it a great honor to meet with him and suggesting Kim loves his people.

Donald Trump gave an hour-long press conference in Singapore after his meeting with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

This week on Banter, AEI Research Fellow Phill Lohaus joins the show to discuss the security environment in the Asia Pacific. Phill is cohosting an event with his colleague Tom Donnelly on June 1 featuring a panel of security experts discussing how the United States can keep its competitive edge in the Asia Pacific. You can livestream the event or catch the full event video at the link below.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud President Trump for backing away from next month’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, proving he is not desperate for deal and keeping Kim off balance.  While denouncing kneeling during the national anthem as the time or place to make a protest, they also slam Trump for suggesting maybe NFL players who kneel for the national anthem “shouldn’t be in the country.”  And they unload on former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for randomly concluding that Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 campaign definitely made the difference in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania and flipped the election results from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.  Jim points out that Clapper and other Trump critics simply refuse to believe that voters made a choice they don’t like.

President Trump Cancels Summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un

 

In a letter to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un on Thursday morning, President Trump cancelled the planned June 12 summit in Singapore between the United States and North Korea. In withdrawing from the talks, Trump cited Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement,” stating he felt it would be “inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned.” The president did express his willingness to meet with Kim at a future date.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America serve up three bad martinis today.  They react to Kim Jong-Un’s pathetic attempt to get attention by threatening to cancel next month’s summit with the United States over military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.  They also discuss revelations that Democrats are “rigging” primaries again as reports show the Democratic Congressional Committee (DCCC) is making polling data and email lists available to some candidates and not others.  And they note two literal socialists won Democratic primaries for the state legislature in Pennsylvania, suggesting socialism is becoming increasingly acceptable to voters on the left.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are in very good spirits as they savor three wonderful martinis for conservatives.  First, they celebrate the news that three American hostages are on their way home from North Korea in advance of the upcoming Trump-Kim summit.  They also applaud President Trump for withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, which was riddled with inspection loopholes and was never properly submitted to Congress.  And they cheer the victory of conservative Patrick Morrisey in the West Virginia U.S. Senate primary, the lopsided defeat for “Cocaine Mitch” accuser Don Blankenship, and strong turnout for Republicans in three primary states.

Nobel Talk

 

If President Donald Trump’s incendiary threats have actually frightened the “dear respected comrade” Kim Jong Un to lay down his nuclear arsenal, he will deserve the Nobel Peace Prize his fans are demanding. But the suits in Oslo might want to hold off before awarding another premature Peace Prize to an American leader.

One expects the press to swoon whenever a blood-drenched tyrant smiles and shakes hands with a democratic leader, and they played their part this time. After Kim’s announcement that he was suspending the nation’s nuclear testing, CNN’s Will Ripley gushed to Wolf Blitzer that “This is an extraordinarily significant development, and frankly a huge win for President Trump going into these discussions, this potential summit, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.” Trevor Noah softened his anti-Trump tone, saying “I know our first instinct is to hate, but if it wasn’t for his craziness, North Korea would never have come to the table.” And Senator Lindsay Graham enthused that if President Trump “can lead us to ending the Korean War” while “getting North Korea to give up their nuclear program” in a verifiable way, then he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize and then some.” South Korea’s president said the same.

With characteristic modesty, Trump tweeted:  “With all of the failed ‘experts’ weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total ‘might’ against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing!”

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see reports that North Korea is prepared to release three U.S. prisoners, but they’re still cautious about why Kim Jong-Un is suddenly so eager to find common ground.  They also shake their heads as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani reveals that President Trump did reimburse Michael Cohen for his $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, although he claims Trump didn’t know what the reimbursement was for.  And they react to the New York Times story alleging the Washington Redskins took passports away from cheerleaders on a trip to Costa Rica, allowed male sponsors and suite holders to watch the cheerleaders in various states of undress on the photo shoot, and assigned some of them to serve as escorts for the sponsors.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see South Korea’s president say North Korea is ready to give up nukes with no conditions, but wonder whether this is yet another ruse from Pyongyang.  They also wonder why 175,000 Starbucks employees need racial sensitivity training because of a high-profile controversy at one franchise.  And Jim has the perfect charity in mind for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio after tax returns show the mayor and his wife donated just $350 to charity in 2017.

In this AEI Events Podcast, CIA Director Mike Pompeo joins AEI’s Marc Thiessen to discuss the Trump administration’s response to the most pressing national security challenges of the previous year. The North Korean nuclear and missile programs now threaten not only the region but also the US mainland. China, Russia, and other revisionist powers are working to shape global events and landscapes to conform to their interests, to the detriment of those of the United States. And the terror threat from groups such as ISIS and al Qaeda remains potent throughout the world. In this global threat environment, America’s intelligence community is working hard to ensure the homeland remains safe.

Danielle Pletka gives an introduction (1:04); CIA Director Mike Pompeo delivers remarks (3:03); Marc Thiessen continues the conversation with Pompeo (15:28); Q&A with the audience (47:17).

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for March 13, 2018, number 166! it’s the YoungUns edition of the show with your YoungUns hosts radio guy Todd Feinburg and nanophysicist Mike Stopa. This week, heavens to murgatroyd he’s done it again! We discuss Donald Trump’s stunning decision to meet with Kim Jong Un of North Korea before May, following communication with South Korean diplomats who have suggested that Kim *might* be willing to surrender his nuclear weapons. It is obviously too early to tell if anything here will pan out, but the great uproar following the announcement is just what we have come to expect here in the age of Trump. Surprisingly, many of the mainstream media – including CNN – have greeted this announcement with something resembling approval…or at least hope. Just about everyone has had the common decency to wish Trump and the Administration well in his negotiations. The only vocal, unbending and completely unhinged responses that we have seen come from two of the usual suspects, namely Rachel Maddow and Jennifer Rubin. Maddow, of course, is paid to be a nutcase. Rubin is evidently paid in spite of it.

Then we will discuss the upcoming high school “walkout” protests this Wednesday (3/14). Todd is far more peeved by this than Mike is. The main question is whether the protests are being wholesale appropriated by the anti-NRA lobby or whether there is anti-NRA sentiment being folded into the protests but that they are subsidiary to a general desire to talk about the issues from all sides. This will obviously depend on where you are from. We will see.

China is a big player in economic and geopolitical matters, including trade, global aspirations, and finding a solution to the escalating tensions with North Korea. Michael Auslin, Hoover’s inaugural Williams-Griffis Fellow in Contemporary Asia, discusses North Korea, China, trade wars, tariffs, ICBMs, China’s one belt one road plan to link the infrastructure and trade of Eurasian under Chinese auspices, as well as many other topics including China’s presence in the Arctic.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America look at the possible pros and cons of President Trump meeting face-to-face with Kim Jong-Un, hoping there’s a shot at progress but realizing the North Koreans have no track record of honesty.  They also fume as radio chatter from the Florida high school shooting confirms Deputy Scot Peterson knew right away that shots were being fired inside the building, a direct contradiction of his earlier explanation that he did not enter the building because he thought the shots were coming from outside.  And they celebrate a robust jobs report, with over 300,000 new jobs added in February.