Loading...
Sounds like the current crop of Democrat Presidential hopefuls is aiming to bring the rich folk down to our level. We...

No more concessions until Kim takes action

APTOPIX Trump Kim Summit-5

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island Tuesday, June 12, 2018 in Singapore.

Loading…

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Singapore summit was, without question, a triumph for Kim Jong Un and his North Korean regime. A dictator who has ordered the murder of his own family members, and who oversees a gulag comparable to those of Hitler and Stalin, was able to parade on the global stage as a legitimate statesman, praised by the president of the United States as "very talented" and worthy of trust.

President Donald Trump offered Kim a major concession, the suspension of U.S. military exercises with South Korea, and spoke of his wish to withdraw U.S. troops from the country. Kim, meanwhile, did not commit to the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization the United States has demanded — nor to any other change in his regime's criminal behavior.

The two leaders agreed to begin a diplomatic process to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." That is certainly preferable to the slide toward war that appeared to be underway last year, and it can be hoped that it will eventually lead to steps by North Korea to dismantle its arsenal.

But Trump has placed a large bet on a cruel and unpredictable ruler whose motives and aims are far from clear — and who has shown no sign of altering North Korea's commitment to nuclear weapons or its deceptive negotiating tactics.

By far the most substantive result of the summit was Trump's sudden announcement of a freeze on U.S.-South Korean military exercises — a concession that apparently took the South Korean government and the U.S. military by surprise. With backing from China and Russia, which seek to diminish U.S. strategic standing in Asia, North Korea has long sought an end to the exercises — and until Tuesday, this and previous U.S. administrations had flatly rejected the idea. Now, Trump has adopted it — and, remarkably, used Pyongyang's language in describing the "war games" as "provocative."

Trump portrayed his concession as an exchange for North Korea's destruction of a test site for missile engines. But that demolition took place before the summit — and is in no way comparable to the freezing of exercises, which could signal that the U.S.-South Korean security relationship is up for negotiation alongside North Korea's arsenal. Trump's further contention that stopping the maneuvers "will save us a tremendous amount of money" will deliver another shock to Asian and European countries that depend on the United States for defense.

Compared with that gift, North Korea's commitments at the summit look meager indeed. A joint statement said Kim "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." That language is actually weaker and less specific than what Pyongyang offered in several previous agreements — which it then flouted.

North Korea's definition of denuclearization, as laid out in numerous previous talks with U.S. officials, envisions a far-reaching U.S. strategic retreat, including the removal of the American defense umbrella from both South Korea and Japan. There was no mention in the statement of U.S. terms for disarmament: not a word about verification, or irreversibility, or timelines.

The diplomatic process that will now begin ought to be aimed at delivering tangible North Korean commitments and meaningful actions. The United States should be seeking a full declaration of the regime's arsenal and nuclear facilities, as a start; without it, showy demolitions of test sites are meaningless. And Trump should refrain from offering Kim any further unilateral concessions.

The Washington Post

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

May 20, 2019

Kim Strach, the executive director of the state Board of Elections, was doing a good job before she got fired Monday. She’d helped guide the board through the minefield of the 9th Congressional District election fraud scandal. She’d offered strong suggestions to lawmakers about…

Election 2018 North Carolina-6

May 19, 2019

All eyes were on Alabama on Tuesday as the State Senate debated then passed what could become the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Under the legislation, which Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed on Wednesday, women in Alabama would be forced to carry unwanted or nonviable pregnancies to…

Abortion Regulations Lawsuits-4

May 18, 2019

President Trump often cites the stock market as proof of his economic-policy success, so let’s hope he was watching the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday. The Dow fell 2.38 percent, and the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 fell even more, on the escalating tariff dispute between the U.S. and…

Financial Markets Wall Street

May 13, 2019

It was Nixon who went to China. And now the forces for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina have their own unlikely champion.

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson, a conservative firebrand best known for his controversial views on immigration, has lent his support to a bill, sponsored by Rep.…

StateLegislature

May 11, 2019

The Carolina Hurricanes are one playoff series away from the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, and they’re gathering up fans in the Triangle and across North Carolina.

Although this seems like a fun thing, it’s apparently not a great thing. At least according to legendary Canadian hockey…

Hurricanes Capitals Hockey

May 07, 2019

The bidding war for votes in the Democratic presidential primary escalated quickly this week with a proposal by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to wipe out student debt, courtesy of the taxpayers.

Warren’s proposal, put forward not in proposed legislation but in a blog post, would cancel…

Election 2020 Elizabeth Warren-2

May 07, 2019

As last week's massive teacher march and rally in Raleigh approached, lawmakers geared up for a crush of visitors advocating for public education. There were rope lines set up at the entrance of the Legislative Building, and many legislators put up welcoming signs in their offices offering snacks…

Colin Campbell

May 06, 2019

As Hurricane Matthew’s floodwaters receded and we began cleaning up the massive mess, it became apparent that we had some difficult challenges ahead. A changing climate was making hurricanes bigger, slower, wetter. We saw the need to prepare for the kind of flooding we encountered. A lot of…

Tropical Weather North Carolina-2

April 30, 2019

The notion of arming public school teachers has come around again, from some of the usual suspects in the General Assembly.

This idea was floated last year but got nowhere, even when Republicans had super-majorities in both houses of the legislature.

State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson, a…

Student Walkouts Gun Violence Colorado-5

April 29, 2019

While we are sympathetic to their cause, we are disappointed that enough teachers plan to miss school May 1 to attend a rally in Raleigh that several districts are cancelling classes.

We supported a similar tactic by teachers last year because a variety of legitimate needs seemed to be falling on…

Teacher Protests North Carolina
61 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 7
        Next Page»   Last Page»