North Korea - Page 6

Donald Trump Calls For Denuclearization Of North Korea


During an interview on Tuesday, the President of the United States Donald Trump said that North Korea must get rid of their nuclear bombs. He emphasized that it is essential for world peace that Pyongyang puts a halt to their nuclear program. The primary theme of the upcoming Trump/Kim summit will be “denuclearization.”

During the joint press conference with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, Trump explained what denuclearization means in his book: “It means they get rid of their nukes — very simple.”

POTUS continued by saying: “It would be very easy for me to make a simple deal and claim victory. I don’t want to do that. I want them to get rid of their nukes.”

North Korean officials led by Kim Jong-un claim that they are willing to consider “denuclearization.” But, Pyongyang has a different definition of this term. For them, it’s “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” Under this, they want to see America’s military presence in the south part of the peninsula gone. But, removing US military presence from South Korea might destabilize the area, with both South Korea and Japan being in danger of North Korean power.

Donald Trump

The summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un is planned for some time now. The idea is to have a meeting to discuss North Korean nuclear program this year during May or June. Donald Trump is optimistic about the meetup calling the president of North Korea “very open” and “very honorable.” Judging by these comments some progress has been already made because a few months ago Trump called Kim “Little Rocket Man.”

At a press conference held in the White House on April 24th Trump said: “We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible. We think that’s a great thing for the world. Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open, and I think very honorable from everything we’re seeing.”

The summit between Trump and Kim will have a prelude when North Korean leader meets with his Southern counterpart Moon Jae-in at demilitarized zone between two Korea’s.

The date and location for Kim/Trump meeting haven’t been officially set.

Trump – Foreign Policy Before And After


Donald Trump’s rose to the Presidency on the wings of a single premise: that America is no longer a superpower. According to him, there are many culprits for this downfall. NATO allies are guilty because they don’t contribute to the mutual defense fund and are using US military as a shield. Mexicans are guilty because they steal American jobs. Above all else, President Obama is guilty of failing to prevent all this and now it has fallen to Mr. Trump to make America great again. His voters believed this and President Trump was sworn into Oval Office.

Once there, he discovered that international politics aren’t as simple as he portraited them to be. With Chinese economy on the fast track, constant challenges in the Middle East, Russia flexing its muscles in Ukraine and Eastern Mediterranean, Mr. Trump and his ever-changing team found themselves in the deep end of the pool.

Iran deal, signed between P5+1 group (US, UK, Russia, China, France, and Germany) and Iran, has been one of the favorite Mr. Trump’s targets. The agreement allowed Tehran to return to the international markets, in return for giving up its nuclear program and has left Israel as the sole nuclear power in the region. President Obama, who signed the deal, has stated that it was the best solution at the moment and that the only other option of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons was another war. In line with his Asia Pivot policy, he wanted to detangle the US from the Middle East, thus recognizing that Iraq war was a strategic failure. When he withdraw US troops from Iraq – a move heavily criticized by American allies in the region, Israel, and Saudi Arabia – the newly-created vacuum was quickly filled by ISIS.

This has opened up an opportunity for Russia to step in and offer Syria its help in “fighting terrorists” by deploying a substantial military force and creating a narrative that it is still a major player in the international arena. Combined with the annexation of Crimean Peninsula and heavy support of the rebels in Eastern Ukraine, (and short and decisive war with Georgia in 2008) it would seem that Vladimir Putin is well on his way of restoring at least some of the international power the Soviet Union wielded in its heyday. His “unholy alliance” with Turkey and Iran has managed to keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria, while the US was content with providing support for their Kurdish allies.

Another flashpoint of international politics, North Korea, has managed to obtain nuclear weapons, despite the constant threats by the US and Japan. This has forced America to increase its military presence in the region and seek deeper collaboration with Japan and South Korea.

When President Trump took power in January of 2017, one of his first moves was the cancelation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). With the appointment of Jared Kushner as the special envoy for the Arab-Israeli peace process and the recognition of the Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and a steep increase in drone attacks in the region, it seemed that he is abandoning Asia Pivot strategy set by his predecessor and focusing on the Middle East. He also signed a bill introducing sanctions against Russia for its intervention in Ukraine, a move that caused Kremlin to expel 755 members of the US embassy in Moscow. President Trump threatened on several occasions to withdraw from Iranian deal and has given its European allies till May 12th to fix it.

His first address to the United Nations Assembly was marked by threats to North Korea, in response to Pyongyang ballistic tests. He also ordered the deployment of THAAD missile defense system in South Korea and B1 bombers patrols in the region.

The long-awaited response to the trade deficit with China and theft of intellectual property right (estimated at $300 billion) came in April 2018 in the form of 25% tariffs on 1,333 Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated by imposing similar taxes on US food exports and Washington is currently developing a second round of import fees aimed at Chinese merchandise.

Mr. Trump’s military budget reflects his nationalistic views and his campaign promise of self-reliance. It is the largest ever military budget in history at $700 billion and yet some experts claim that it won’t be enough. His National Security Strategy identifies China, Russia, and Iran as direct threats to the American security and that return to “principled realism” is the only possible answer. Paradoxically, President Trump’s policy of America First will lead to increase interventionism in trade, which will hamper the international commerce system, which is vital for America’s own economic prosperity.

Therefore, it is far more likely that the US, in future, will rely more on both NATO and strategic partnership with India, Japan, and Australia in order to curb Chinese expansion in Asia, despite his campaign promises.


Critics Attack Trump Over North Korea Talks


In response to critics saying that the US has given too much to North Korea while getting almost nothing in return, President Trump has used his favorite platform to fire back at them.

Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Sunday Today” said that so far it seems that Kim Jong Un is getting everything he wants from Mr. Trump, without giving up anything substantial in return. This has irked Mr’ President somewhat and he didn’t fail to take a shot at both Todd and NBC: “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd of Fake News NBC just stated that we have given up so much in our negotiations with North Korea, and they have given up nothing.”

While stating that the talks are a positive development, Todd pointed out that the US has failed to negotiate the release of Americans held in North Korean prisons and lack of denuclearization pledge from Kim Jong Un. President Trump has tweeted that North Korea has offered to stop nuclear and ballistic tests and even close its test site.

“Wow, we haven’t given up anything & they have agreed to denuclearization (so great for World), site closure, & no more testing!” President tweeted on April 22nd. However, the official statement from Kim Jong Un doesn’t mention his current nuclear arsenal.

“Under the proven condition of complete nuclear weapons, we no longer need any nuclear tests, mid-range, and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests, and that the nuclear test site in northern area has also completed its mission,” said Kim in a statement to the state-run Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA.

Some experts say that this is North Korean’s leader way of saying that he sees his country as a member of the nuclear club and has no intention of denuclearization, something that has always been a stated goal of the American diplomacy.

“They’re not giving anything up, they’re keeping (their weapons), and that’s the message,” he said. “It was wrapped in this seeming concession, but it’s not really a concession. (If) they can decide to test after all, they can just start doing it again.” said Josh Pollack, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Even Republicans don’t seem thrilled over Kim’s proposal. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) said that this is a public relations move by Kim and that both Congress and the administration are skeptic and cautious about it.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has taken the opportunity to pressure Congress into confirming new Mr. Trump’s nominee for the secretary of state, saying that he “needs his new secretary of state confirmed so the chief diplomat can go back over to North Korea and elsewhere to sit down and try to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, which is in everybody’s interest.”

In the meantime, President continues to use his personal Twitter account to fire at everyone who criticizes him: “Funny how all of the Pundits that couldn’t come close to making a deal on North Korea are now all over the place telling me how to make a deal!” he tweeted.


Kim Jong-Un and Mike Pompeo Meeting, Donald Trump Confirms


According to President Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, a current CIA Chief Secretary and Kim Jong-Un, North Korean leader met and “a good relationship was formed” between the two countries. This unexpected meeting “went smoothly” based on what Trump told us via Twitter. Trump also wrote: “Denuclearisation will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!”

Trump also announced that the two countries were having talks at “extremely high levels” and that they are organizing a possible meeting which is going to take place at one of the five potential locations. If this summit is to be organized, it will happen in early June, most likely. Two officials confirmed the meeting, and they wanted to stay anonymous since they weren’t authorized to speak of such matters.

The Washington Post was the first one to report on the topic, and they said that the meeting was held over Easter weekend. This happened right after Pompeo’s nomination for Secretary of State. This was confirmed by the two anonymous White House officials. Reports claim that it was Kim Jong-Un who proposed the conference to Trump and everyone was surprised that he accepted it. The two sides are going to discuss the nuclear weapons program, and this could be the first summit between the United States and North Korea since the Korean War.

This might represent a great move for the United States because North Korea has nuclear weapons with long range, threatening the US mainland also. The formal diplomatic relations between the two countries don’t exist, which further complicates the arrangements, and it is not a surprise to have a US intelligence official as a conduit for communication with the North Korean leader. Last time a US intelligence official visited Pyongyang was when James Clapper went there in 2014 to bring back two American detainees.

China encourages dialogue between the two countries and their foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying pointed out that it is important for the US and North Korea to find a way in order to reduce the tensions between the two countries. It is essential to note that South Korea and North Korea are still at war because the ceasefire was signed but not a peace treaty.

On the summit, North Korea may not immediately accept denuclearization, but it is highly likely that such thing would happen after a few talks. Without a doubt, it is positive to have the two sides discussing the matter, and it could lay the groundwork for a comprehensive agreement on the subject. Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “I’m optimistic that the United States government can set the conditions for that appropriately so that the president and the North Korean leader can have that conversation and will set us down the course of achieving a diplomatic outcome that America and the world so desperately need.”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Pompeo should be voted Secretary of State and this meeting confirms it. She tweeted: “Dems have an opportunity to put politics aside, acknowledge our national security is too important, and confirm Mike Pompeo. Statesmanship.”

However, the Democratic Party is not eager to place Pompeo on the seat of Secretary of State, and Sen. Robert Menendez announced that he would voice against Pompeo. The vote will take place next week and Menendez said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “Now I don’t expect diplomacy to be negotiated out in the open but I do expect for someone who is the nominee to be secretary of state, when he speaks with committee leadership and is asked specific questions about North Korea, to share some insights about such a visit.”

On the other hand, Republican Senator Cory Gardner supported Pompeo’s nomination, and he told the Democrats to stop playing politics. He said: “This is a very important and delicate negotiation taking place and I have full confidence in Mike Pompeo. That’s why he needs to be confirmed.”

What is your take on the topic?


FPI Analysis: The Future of Missile Defense in the Asia Pacific


The Asia-Pacific region is important for the United States because it is the part of the world where some of the US allies are located. It is also the region in which missile threats are going through the roof, and the United States need to protect the country as well as its allies from any possible attack. Trump’s administration is well aware that they would not be able to intercept every missile, but it is feasible to assemble an integrated defense for protection from countries such as North Korea and China.

So far, every administration, including this one has claimed that the missile defense architecture is ever-changing. It is something that keeps evolving, and it is a process that will never be finished. While Obama did everything to implement such defense in Europe and has done so successfully, Asia-Pacific region has been neglected, and it is up to Trump and the presidents who come after him to fix this issue.


Missile Threats Increase

North Korea has developed the nuclear program, and their ballistic missiles are considered to be their only defense. This way, they are keeping the USA at bay and with such weapons they can target any of the nearby US allies such as Japan or South Korea. The North Korean leader also claimed that the rockets could reach the States. Last year, North Korea introduced a new missile with faster launch times and better mobility. Meanwhile, this country is working on the development of submarine-launched ballistic missiles as well as an ICBM capability to threaten the US.

However, North Korea is not the only country in the region that could harm the United States. Another, much larger threat comes from China and their far more sophisticated long-range missile systems. Furthermore, China has created large numbers of short and medium-range missiles for regional use. This means, once again, that one of the US allies can be attacked and defeated. What is concerning is that the number of missile tests is growing in the region and the USA needs to do something about it.

Missile Defense

Firstly, America needs to accept the fact that the threat is real. The country needs to do everything in its power to improve and further develop the missile defense in the region. This means that new capabilities need to be created and a large number of interceptors and sensors are supposed to be built. Currently, there are several sensors in the Asia-Pacific which would prevent any possible attacks, but their number needs to be increased. They are listed below:

• PAVE PAWS Early Warning Radar – Taiwan
• TPY-2 radars – Japan
• Aegis SPY-1 radars – afloat
• Sea-based X-band radar

The interceptors can be divided into three groups – Patriot, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Standard Missile-3. There are also large numbers of inexpensive and lower-tier levels of defense, which we are not going to mention here in greater details. All you have to know is that they exist, but let’s check out these interceptors, one by one.


The Patriot family of missile defenses is intended to strike down short-range ballistic missiles. Such weapons are located in the United States, but they are also built in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Although Patriot family has been enhanced significantly in the recent years, there are still numerous problems that plague such systems. For instance, they cannot provide a full 360-degree coverage, and their blind spots are their weakness.


THAAD is arguably the best missile defense systems implemented by the USA. It is positioned in South Korea despite China’s disagreement and objections. There is one in Guam as well. When combined with the Patriot, THAAD is relentless. They cover more territory and can knock down missiles on a larger area. At this point, THAAD looks good, but the US Army has a goal to improve it even further.

Aegis Weapons System

Last but not least, we need to mention seven Aegis BMD-capable destroyers deployed by the United States. In addition, there are four Japanese BMD capable ships at Yokosuka. The ships are equipped with the radar which can track any missile launched by the enemy, and besides the radar, various sensors are used as well. This system is intended for longer range threats. Also, the SM-3 IIA interceptor will be deployed in 2018, the result of the cooperation between Japan and the United States. These interceptors are a feat of engineering, and they have improved sensors and are a lot faster than any other interceptors.

United States Allies

The American allies in the Asia-Pacific need to band together and create a defensive wall. While in Europe, NATO exists, there is no such thing in this region of Asia, and more cooperative efforts are required in order to improve the capability of the defensive weapons and cut down the costs as much as possible.

So far, the American allies have been doing the right thing. Both Japan and South Korea have invested a lot of money in missile defenses. For instance, just two years ago, Japan spent about $2.1 billion whereas the South Koreans increased the budget for the Korean Air and Missile Defense system to $1.43 billion last year. Meanwhile, Japan is also distributing money to the enhancement and deployment of Aegis Ashore in their country. On top of that, they are upgrading their destroyers and basically every aspect of their missile defense system. The same goes for South Korea.

However, these two countries are not the only allies of the Americans in the region. Australia is also working on first two destroyers equipped with Aegis, and this would improve the overall missile defense significantly. With the allies investing from their budgets, the costs for the US would be reduced, or the money intended for such purpose could be redirected. Let’s not forget that the USA also has the Ground-based interceptors in the Pacific states of Alaska and California. Currently, the biggest issue is protecting Hawaii, which is in the outer reach of the United States territory.

What the US should do

As you can see, improving the defensive line in the Asia-Pacific region is a must and the efforts need to be made. While this all costs a lot of money, it is the money well spent. In order to create better Asia-Pacific missile defense system, there are several rules America needs to abide by. They need to purchase state of the art weapons which are currently available and to further invest in their development, plus, the priority should be architecture.

Furthermore, launch systems which are more adaptable and flexible need to be acquired because this would reduce costs. All aspects of the BMDS can be increased with a space-sensor layer. In that way, both regional and homeland missile defenses would be enhanced significantly. Last but not least, the United States Army needs to use the money for nine THAAD batteries, and THAAD interceptor needs to be improved to have more range.

Obama administration didn’t do much in order to improve missile defense in this region. Trump has held the office for almost year and a half now, and if he wants to secure the country, his administration needs to address this issue. While it is not the most burning problem America is facing, something needs to be done about it. The most important thing is that the improvements are constantly happening.

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