Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Singapore Summit: A Momentous Event Pregnant With Risk and Hope

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The Oxford dictionary definition of the adjective “momentous”’ is as follows:

Of great importance or significance, especially in having a bearing on future events.

Therefore, we could’ve invented that word with the Singapore summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in mind. Peace is desirable anytime and for all time. If I may have a brief attempt at ascending Shakespearean heights, in the affairs of men, peace is one of the last frontiers humanity is yet to conquer. Moreover, these tumultuous and tempestuous times, the lack of peace… which means to say not merely an absence of conflict but instead an absence of the threat of conflict… hangs over all of us like an incubus. Personally, I don’t recall having ever experienced the sense of dread I experienced over the Douma crisis in April. It really did seem that we perched on the precipice of World War III. I like to believe and sincerely hope that having emerged from that crisis the world did so awakened to the folly of relegating diplomacy to the back of the queue when it comes to international affairs and disagreements and pushing the military option to the front.

This brings us to the presidency of Donald J Trump. In Trump, the world has a US president more worthy of serious character study by behavioural scientists, even perhaps psychiatrists, than any other… which I realise is a bold statement considering the previous incumbents of that office. Capricious, unpredictable, unstable, narcissistic, temperamental, mercurial… Trump has been justifiably described as all of the above since entering the Oval Office as the leader of the world’s most powerful country with no prior political experience. yet and yet… isn’t it he rather than Obama or Clinton or Bush who succeeded, while in office, in pulling off such a momentous event as the first sit-down face-to-face meeting with the leader of the DPRK since the state was established in 1948? Therefore, does his success in doing so suggest evidence of method in his apparent madness?

Certainly, more and more are beginning to come round to this assessment. In addition, considering the abrupt shifts in tone and tenor that he continually engages in… threatening conflict and war one day, talking peace and stability the next… why wouldn’t they? Nevertheless here’s the thing… while unpredictability and caprice may be an attribute in the world of business when it comes to negotiating and clinching deals, in the world of geopolitics involving matters of war and peace it carries with it the potential for catastrophic consequences. In answering our earlier question regarding Trump’s success in pulling off a face-to-face meeting with the DPRK’s Kim Jong-un, let us be clear… credit for success in establishing this peace process belongs entirely to Kim Jong-un and ROK President Moon Jae-in. In fact, the only reason Trump is in Singapore, basking in the credit, is down to the fact he really had no choice in response to the Koreans taking the initiative in embarking on positive and constructive dialogue. Thus, the Trump Administration is tailing this process, not spearheading it.

The million dollar question is, “Will it attempt to sabotage it?” The DPRK’s survival as an independent state, given what it’s been through… the asphyxiating isolation in which it’s been forced to exist over decades… is remarkable. This isolation came at a heavy price despite the brave face the country’s leadership maintained for the consumption of its enemies, particularly Washington. In December 2017, UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein outlined the grim reality of life in the DPRK for millions of its people under the most brutal sanctions ever imposed on a state by the UN since those imposed on Iraq between 1991 and 2003. Mr Zeid went so far as to recommend that the UN Security Council conduct an urgent investigation into the impact of the sanctions on the people of the DPRK and find ways to minimize their “adverse humanitarian consequences”.

No matter the obfuscation and attempts to beguile people into believing otherwise, those adverse humanitarian consequences were precisely the effect intended by those responsible for imposing sanctions, turning them into a grotesque experiment in human despair. Moreover, let’s not mince words… the only reason they hit the DPRK with such punitive and cruel sanctions was that it refused to give up its independence and submit to the writ of Washington. As for those who declaim against anything which smacks of an attempt to let the DPRK leadership and government off the hook when it comes to the desperate plight of its people, this conforms to an exercise in treating symptoms as causes and thus defending the indefensible when it comes to the brutal and unremitting role of the Empire in sowing misery and mayhem.

The economic, social, and political development of any given state is inextricably linked to the external pressure arrayed against it. As such, berating a given state over its lack of development in these areas while it exists in the crosshairs of imperialism is like grabbing someone by the throat and berating them for not breathing properly. In sitting down to discuss peace with an adversary that was responsible for the biblical suffering of its people throughout his country’s existence, Kim Jong-un does so in response to the suffering of his people. He more than anyone is aware that there’s a marked difference between a Carthaginian peace, a Pax Americana, and a peace agreed between equals in a spirit of reconciliation and good faith. Pessimism dictates that some wish to impose the former on the DPRK. Optimism hopes that the ROK leadership in Seoul possesses the requisite determination and will to refuse to accept anything less than the latter.

Whatever the outcome… here, let’s hope that this summit and continuing peace process ends in peace with security for the DPRK… the obstacle to normalisation on the Korean peninsula has never been Pyongyang… it’s always been Washington.

12 June 2018

John Wight

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201806121065340625-singapore-summit-risk-hope/

KCNA: DPRK and US Leaders Accept Invitations to Exchange Visits

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On Wednesday, KCNA reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump accepted mutual invitations to exchange visits following talks in Singapore:

The esteemed Supreme Leader invited President Trump to visit Pyongyang at a convenient time, and President Trump likewise invited Kim Jong-un to visit the USA. The DPRK and US leaders were certain that such invitations would be conducive to improving bilateral relations and accepted them with pleasure.

On 12 June, Trump said at a news conference in Singapore that he planned to visit Pyongyang in future at a suitable time. Trump also said that he was ready to invite Kim to the White House.

13 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/world/1009247

Kim Jong-un Sez World to See Major Change After DPRK-US Summit

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On Tuesday, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un said at the signing ceremony of the final statement following his meeting with US President Donald Trump:

The world will see a major change. I’d like to express my gratitude to President Trump for making this meeting happen. Today, we had a historic meeting, we decided to leave the past behind.

The meeting between Trump and Kim took place at the Capella Hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa Island. They signed a joint document after the talks.

12 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/world/1009192

Sunday, 10 June 2018

10 June 2018. Why Is It Important That Kim Jong-un Flew In a Chinese Aeroplane to Singapore?

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Kim Jong-un flew in a Chinese Boeing 747 to Singapore. Moreover, PLA fighters escorted it all the way. China told the whole world:

We have the DPRK’s back. We’re behind it 100 percent. We’ll intervene like in 1950 if the Americans attack it. We’re the local power and you’d best adjust to that.

The USA doesn’t have the oomph to take on the PRC. The PLA is much larger than the American ground forces are and the ROK forces wouldn’t hold against the Chinese (Korea, historically, has been a Chinese client-state). If the Yanks were to involve the Japanese, it’d cause an explosion in both Korea and China. Both countries have a Number One White-Hot hatred of Japan. In other words, the USA is fucked… royally. Trump doesn’t have anything to negotiate over. China wants it done its way; the DPRK will repeat verbatim whatever Beijing tells it to do. That is, Trump can’t threaten an invasion, for Chinese forces are in Manchuria waiting to intervene in the case of such a scenario. The USA has nothing in the store-cupboard, militarily. It has no conventional forces to send, for all its forces are engaged in colonial wars in Southwest Asia and Africa. What reserve units exist in CONUS aren’t up to strength and need at least a year to get ready for the big time.

That’s what scary in this impasse. Trump could decide to go nuke because he has no other options. The USN can’t interdict the Chinese and Russian land-based transportation networks and the USAF would face world-class air defences. The Army simply has no troops to send. Trump is an impulsive and juvenile character. The Chinese will do their best to save his face (they aren’t like Anglo Americans, who like humiliating people), but Trump may resent it. Parenthetically, Russia is involved in this, but only as an ally of China. China is the major actor in the Anti-Empire Coalition, and all know this, including the Russians. They find being Number Two to China preferable to being the Victim of the USA (it’s much like St Aleksandr Nevsky making tribute to the Tatars whilst resisting the West… it’s the same historical situation, with the same result, no doubt).

This scene isn’t encouraging at all. God willing that we’ll get through it. China, Russia, and the DPRK are the grownups in the room… unfortunately, an adolescent US President holds the nuclear football. Let’s all hope for the best.

BMD

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