Donald Trump’s announcement to end military wargames with South Korea leaves former general ‘speechless’ [1]

President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US would suspend military exercises with South Korea left one of their most experienced military leaders “speechless”.
After the summit, Mr Trump said the military exercises would cease as a concession to Kim Jong-un, after the North’s leader re-committed to the “complete” denuclearisation of the Peninsula.

Retired lieutenant-general In-Bum Chun, a three-star general who served in the Republic of Korea Army for nearly 40 years, said he would have expected that kind of an announcement to come at a later phase of negotiations with North Korea.
“Something that would have been thoroughly consulted with Korea, and probably with Japan. So it came as a bit of a surprise,” he said.


Did Trump get what he wanted, or does Kim Jong Un have the upper hand? “The president continues to say that Kim is giving up his nuclear weapons. Kim continues to refuse to promise that,” says a nonproliferation expert (Knowledge of the nuclear weapons complex, the NNSA and Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation programs.). “I don’t know how long they can keep fudging this. 3)”

Kim, meanwhile, won a major concession from Trump—a pledge that the U.S. will end its joint military exercises with South Korea, which Trump subsequently described as “very provocative” and pricey “war games,” adopting the North Korean party line as his own. Responses within the diplomatic community were varied: “Ceasing or reducing our military exercises isn’t a huge deal,” the former State Department staffer said, noting that the U.S. holds military exercises elsewhere in Asia, and that South Korea is usually involved. The problem, this person added, is that “it does give away something right off the top.”

Worse, what Trump promised remains unclear. “That could be a catastrophe,” Lewis said. “With him, he is so careless with language. Does that mean that we are going to scale back some of the largest exercises? O.K., fine. No big deal. That’s great. Those exercises are designed to put pressure on North Korea. We are not putting pressure on North Korea anymore, so we don’t necessarily need those big exercises.” The other possibility would be too absurd to entertain, if Trump hadn’t spent so much time on the campaign trail complaining about footing the bill for allies’ security. (“We need to try to understand what President Trump said,” an anxious-sounding spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement after the summit.) “If he actually believes what he is saying, that the alliance is a bad thing and we shouldn’t be in South Korea,” Lewis continued, “then that’s a problem.”

Trump cast the meeting as a mutual victory, calling it “every bit as good for the United States as it was for North Korea.” But whether or not Trump recognizes it, the summit was going to be a win for Kim regardless of what was agreed to. As former top State Department official Lawrence Wilkerson noted, the Kim dynasty has “longed for what a meeting with the United States—and, in particular, a meeting with the U.S. president—would give them in terms of that recognition.” The image of Trump grabbing Kim’s hand, and the president’s declaration that meeting the North Korean dictator—a man who has slaughtered, imprisoned, starved, and tortured millions—was an “honor” is the fulfillment of a Kim-regime dream.

Indeed, the agreement may be a bigger victory for Trump personally than for the United States. “Trump claims a win. Of course he claims a win. And for his supporters, that’s sufficient. If this is the start of a meaningful dialogue that leads to less tension in Korea, he claims credit—and, indeed, deserves some,” a former senior U.S. official told me. “If, as most experts think, giving away elements of our commitment to defend South Korea—ending exercises, perhaps even withdrawing troops—in exchange for the same declaration from the D.P.R.K. about denuclearization that the D.P.R.K. has given before is a failure, Trump will blame others for bad implementation.”

m Jong-un have made history [4]

It is a very big deal because there have been many arguments between the US and North Korea in the past. Both men have boasted about their country’s nuclear weapons, and only last year were insulting each other in public statements.  They met at a luxury hotel in Singapore – a small country in south-east Asia. Afterwards there was a signing ceremony in front of journalists from around the world. The document they signed included promises to work together to build a new relationship between the two countries for “peace and prosperity”.


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Victor van der Meer

Founder & Director of My Rainbow Net Pty. Ltd.

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