Thursday, August 30, 2018

SecDef Mattis: There Are No Walmarts In North Korea Only Targets

President Trump canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s latest mission to Pyongyang, North Korea citing the bullheadedness of Rocket Man who continues to produce fissile material and missiles rather than working toward complete denuclearization as agreed to in the Singapore Summit.

The Trump Administration demanded the North move first by providing a complete inventory of its nuclear material and production facilities. Pyongyang countered with the demand that Washington join South Korea in declaring an end to the Korean War. The declaration would commit to initiating a peace process that would include military confidence building measures to reduce the risk of deadly clashes in the contested waters of the Yellow Sea and the DMZ.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers, “We believe that a method involving the balanced, simultaneous, step-by-step implementation of all terms in the Joint Statement, preceded by the establishment of trust, is the only realistic means of achieving success.” He emphasized the North’s “unswerving resolution and commitment to responsible, good-faith implementation of the Joint Statement,” and the “unacceptability of a situation in which we alone are the first to move unilaterally.”

Defense Secretary James Mattis tried to increase pressure on the North by announcing, “We have no plans at this time to suspend any more exercises.” While he clarified that no decision had yet been made, he also noted, “We are going to see how the negotiations go, and then we will calculate the future, how we go forward.”
America is the most powerful nation in the world. Our military is second to none, outspending the next eight countries combined. Our fighting men and women are the best-trained, most technically advanced force in history. We have thousands of nuclear weapons and many more precision-guided conventional bombs. Our warplanes, ships, drones and cyber capabilities are the envy of all. Most importantly, the American experiment─one committed to democratic values and the rule of law─has allowed us to become the world's sole superpower.

North Korea, by contrast, is a totalitarian state that consistently fails to meet the basic needs of its 23 million people. The United Nations World Food Program says 70% of the North's citizens do not have enough food to eat. An estimated 25% of the North's children are physically stunted. The country ranks 213 out of 230 countries in GDP per capita. The North does have a 1.2-million-man military; but an International Institute of Security Studies report found that the North's conventional forces rely on "increasingly obsolete equipment, with little evidence of widespread modernization." In other words, their equipment is old.

Who should be afraid of whom?

For all its idiosyncratic behavior, outlandish threats, actions and gruesome human rights record, the North Korean government is not suicidal. It knows in a large-scale confrontation with South Korea and the U.S. its leadership and the country itself would cease to exist.

UPDATE:  Welcome readers of Bad Blue Uncensored News.  We are grateful to Doug Ross for linking to this post.

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