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Expected: North Korea Balks

Continued military drills between the U.S. and South Korea have caused North Korea to rethink peace talks.

So who was fooled? Let’s see a show of hands of anybody (other than Donald Trump) who actually believed Kim Jong Un, the little tyrant of North Korea, was serious about ushering in this great time of peace, standing shoulder to shoulder with President Trump and burying the nuclear hatchet?

Well, I hate to be the one to say “I told ya so,” but, you know, I did.

Because of joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea, North Korea has gotten a bit jumpy and they’re ready to take their ball and go home.

North Korea said it was ending talks with South Korea, and a confusing statement from the country's state news agency strongly suggested that the drills threatened the fate of the historic summit.

"The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities," North Korea's Korean Central News Agency said in a statement first reported by the Yonhap News Agency in South Korea.

“Intentional military provocation” is the term they’re using, as if this was a stick being poked directly into the eye of the Kim family.

When approached about the announcement out of North Korea, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert seemed to be unaware that there was a problem.

“We have not heard anything from [the North Korean government] or the government of South Korea to indicate that we would not continue conducting these exercises or that we would not continue planning for our meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un next month,” she said.

“What we have to go on is what Kim Jong Un had said before, that he understands and appreciates the importance to the United States of having these joint exercises.”

“We will continue to go ahead and plan the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.”

On the one hand, it’s no surprise that North Korea would have such a reaction to continued military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.

The Kim family operates on a hair trigger, as it is.

On the other hand, you wouldn’t be blamed for wondering if this was a deliberate attempt to test North Korea’s commitment to the unsteady peace being forged between them, their southern kin, and the U.S.

There’s some speculation that North Korea is attempting to bring an end to the exercises, even though they seemed ok with them, during those initial talks with South Korea and the U.S.

After a visit from new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, 3 Americans were released from North Korea detention. It looked as if the ice had been broken.

Pompeo stated they intended to go into the meetings with their eyes wide open.

“But we’re hopeful that this will be different, that we don’t do the traditional model, where they do something, and we give them a bunch of money, and then both sides walk away,” he added.

It’s not like they haven’t been pulling the same trick, over and over again.

We know the U.S. hopes to see North Korea completely dismantle their nuclear program. So what is North Korea’s motivation in all this?

In return, the U.S. would aid the North Korean economy by lifting sanctions and allowing private capital to flow into the country. Pompeo has emphasized that economic aid for North Korea would not come at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.

The meeting between North and South Korea was set for Wednesday, at a place called the Peace House, on the border between the two nations.

That’s not happening now.

It was meant to be a follow up to the April 27 meeting, where all the lovely photos of the two leaders stepping over the border were shot.

Where this goes from here may very well depend on Kim Jong Un’s hormone levels, from day to day.

Likely Kim got a report that there were some salvageable radioactive chunks from the recent mountain collapse on their nuclear test site, which made him shift gears away from conciliatory talk and go back to pretending he's in charge around here.

"Denuclearization" means two different things. To the US it means the dismantling of the supposed NK nuclear weapons. To the NK it means the withdrawal of US forces from the DMZ and the removal of the nuclear umbrella protecting SK and Japan. One of these things is not like the other. Kim is playing Trump for a fool.

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Kim is testing Trump. That's it. If he can get the exercises canceled, he'll know for sure that Trump (fresh off having killed the Iran deal) needs a win far more than he does.

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Look people, we have a lot of really smart people at the State Department who have been working these issues for decades, and we have the entire Republican foreign policy community who are on top of this as well.

No way Trump is just winging this. No way.

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If tha talks end or go on as planned. The fact still remains three Americans are home. We didn’t pay millions of dollars , or trade terrorist for them. That’s a win. If talks fail, sanctions continue and get tougher.

Seems logical. North Korea can end a already dead war, blow up a partially destroyed test site, and nothing will change.

Short of Kim stepping down and south Korea taking over I don't see how this could end well. Bolton's dream of a nuke free north Korea is a pipe dream.

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Let's hope for the best, and as Reagan said: "Trust but verify."

Now they are saying they won't give up their nuclear program. Now we will see if Trump's tough man act will work or if this will buckle like every other time someone tried talking with a Kim. I guess the secret is too offer a country a few billions dollars to postpone their nukes for a decade. At least that pathetic deal got approved.

Peace house was Trump's preferred option, because he loved the footage of S. Korea & N. Korea leaders holding hands and stepping onto each other's sides of the DMZ. But it was a security nightmare, so the talks next month are (still?) set to happen in Singapore.

As expected, NBC, ABC, Susan Wright, CBS, MSPMS, and the NYT have said "See, I told you so" as the never Trumpers get excited that the peace talks may fall flat. I just hope once Trump secures peace on the Korean Peninsula that all these naysayers will not print their retraction on page 132,298 but instead
post it as a headline on the front page.

A deeper look into what might be the glitches in this budding peace deal reveals a few more sour undercurrents than U.S. & South Korea going "boom-boom" in military exercises. The latest from NoKo government media calls out John Bolton by name. Specifically, his call on Fox for complete nuclear disarmament before we'll loosen one sanction. All stick, no carrot. Cool, right? Except Bolton said something on Fox about them abandoning all nuclear ambitions "like Libya". That has long been the Kim family's nightmare. Going nuke-less like Gaddafi and ending up dragged out of a drainage ditch hidey hole, beaten, sodomized with a bayonet, then shot a bunch of times while begging for his life.

You are right to say "I told ya so," because you were right when you first told us that Kim Jong Un can not be trusted. But then neither can Donald Trump. So I guess two birds of a feather flock together.

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Also, gas prices have been dropping in N. Korea lately. The only explanation can be China jumping over our sanctions wall, now ignored in Trump's obvious eagerness to fix the U.S./China agri-consequences of dueling tariff threats, and his over-eagerness for China's continued "help" in making the N. Korea summit happen. That's surely part of why we ignored a sure sanctions-breach (with pictures!) last month, when N. Korea, banned from receiving luxury gifts, visited China, where President Xi presented Kim with approx. $400,000 in jewelry, china (natch), silk, ornate vases/glassware, and booze(!). Perhaps Kim thinks that if the U.S. is so lax with China ("Too many jobs in China lost. President Xi and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast."), we might be "flexible" with him, too.

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!

I believe every reasonable person had doubts that KJU would actually fully abandon his nuclear ambitions, but it doesn't hurt to try and see whether or not he will follow through. Trump is not Obama and will not sign anything short of full compliance through thorough inspections.

@jcblount -- Maybe Susan can post it right next to her congratulations to Jared for bringing peace to the Middle East!

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Yeah, maybe

Two views on North Korea, continued mistrust, or trying to deny Trump another success. The majority of the American people are not in a position to get the facts. Nothing has been signed to end operations that have become common over many years. Twelve presidents that did not sign am official end to the Korean conflict. Trump appears to want a strong military for our own security and defense, not for meddling in the internal. Korea affairs of other countries. Korea proceed with caution and be able to verify. There is now a chance for change in North Korea..

North Korea is easier to understand if you simply observe the following math equation:

North Korea = China

Got that? North Korea will do whatever China says since they can turn on and turn off their supply line to the world at a moment's notice.

So try this out: when you read a news story that says, "North Korea is unhappy about xyz...", substitute the word, "China" in there.

So Trump handed a Chinese phone company many billions in concessions, and trashed our foreign policy stance with the world by granting them an exception to Iran sanctions, and changed the official US stance on China with regard to their human rights records... and then "suddenly" North Korea was ready to play nice for a while.

I wonder what North Korea, sorry, China will demand next in the negotiations...

You've got a point there.