Thursday, May 17, 2018

Party Over So Soon?

"The United States must carefully contemplate the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit amid the provocative military ruckus that it's causing with South Korean authorities."
"We'll keenly monitor how the United States and South Korean authorities will react."
Central News Agency, North Korea

The love-in over already? The sincere forgiveness displayed by the mercurial Kim Jong Un has run its course, it seems. Applause on the world stage for his purported change of heart in opposing and violently threatening South Korea, Japan, the United States and any other nations that would impede the North's progress toward achieving nuclear weapons stockpiles was perhaps a little premature. North Korea does, truly want denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. Make no mistake about that aspiration.

There is a slight misapprehension about that singular feature of the talks between Kim Jong Un and his South Korean counterpart, however. It is the nuclear weapons held by the United States within South Korea as a guarantor of prevention and deterrence that Kim Jong Un means must vacate the geography, certainly not his own, attained through the brilliance of the North's science and technology expertise in which time and treasury has been invested for that ultimate success.

Why on Earth would he agree to surrendering all of that? His nuclear treasures and their accompanying ICBMS, the pride of his nation, which attainment has been such an entertaining feature of his leadership and such a pleasurable attainment it has been. Worth its weight in the consternation and apprehension it elicited from his international critics. As for deterrence effect, perfectly suited to ensure that no one takes the North's compliance with any international agreements for granted.

Chinese experts also flagged the need to monitor for radioactive leaks from North Korea’s nuclear test site. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
Much less view the North as being vulnerable to invasion, change of administration, or attack by its enemies. Yes, its enemies, the very same South and U.S. that Kim Jong Un has so generously permitted to believe that he had undergone a change of heart. He hadn't, after all, undergone an unimaginable surrender of his autonomy and jurisdiction, merely toyed with the impressions he left on others' gullible imaginations that his coy manipulations reflected an authentic change of heart.

That June 12 meeting between Kim and Trump? Oh, well.

The Max Thunder drills initiated Monday with 100 aircraft whereby South Korea and the United States undertook another iteration of their regular joint military drills is cited as being responsible for the North's withdrawal from civil discussion, representing as it does to the North, an "intended military provocation" as well as an "apparent challenge" to the legitimacy of the overtures undertaken at the April summit when Kim's attitude so delighted South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

No more animosity, a future bright with high-level exchanges of trust and mutual regard.

An earlier military drill between Washington and Seoul was conducted without Kim resorting to threats despite that it was a much larger event. No condemnation on that occasion. But that was then and this is now. Of course North Korea will continue dismantling its nuclear test site given the mountain's near collapse on that site thanks to a series of earthquakes occasioned by those nuclear tests. Yes, it will be a geological challenge to find an appropriate alternate site, but the will is there and that's the way of it.

This photo was released by North Korea’s state-run news agency on the same day as North Korea’s sixth nuclear test. North Korea claims it’s a thermonuclear weapon.
Photo: AFP/Getty Images

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