Thursday, April 26, 2018

Kim Jong Un, Moon start historic summit in South Korea

ABC News has a detailed article with illustrations on the preparations for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and Moon on April 27, here.
Joshua Berlinger et al for CNN report that Kim crossed into South Korea and the summit has begun, story.  There probably will be some kind of treaty ending the Korean War officially. 

The New York Times (David Sanger et al) suggests that Trump may meet with Kim in Singapore in June.  No nation that has nuclear weapons have ever given them up.

Picture: Catherine Lee talks about her short film “9 at 38” at NYC Tribeca Film Festival (concerns a 2015 Beethoven 9 concert in the DMZ).

Saturday, April 21, 2018

ICE is separating children at the border, possibly creating a need for foster parents??

Emily Dickerson reports in the New York Times that ICE, under the Trump administration, has split up families resulting in at least 700 children in separate detention at the border.

The administration scaled back plans to build further separate detention but obviously wants to use the threat as a deterrent.

NGO’s apparently help run the shelters for the children.
Attempts are made to place the kids with relatives or “guardians”.  This would seem to be of major concern to childrens’ charities, like Save the Children, but I have not heard specifically about this.
You would expect drives for foster care or adoptive parents, but this would sound very risky.

Picture: actually, northeast Georgia (mine, recent)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kim Jong Un surprisingly appears ready to talk decnuclearization, and officially ending Korean war

In a surprising turn, Kim Jong Un has given a “nod” to denuclearization, as reported in the New York Times  in a story by Choe Sang-Hun, link here.     

A few news sites are starting to announce that North and South Korea are about to end the war officially, with CNBC  and Bloomberg .  Trump will claim credit for his deal on "denuking North Korea."

Mike Pompeo visited Kim Jong Un secretly about two weeks ago, multiple sources report.

Fareed Zakaria warns that North Korea probably will denuclearize only if the US completely quits defending South Korea.

But on April 19, CNN said this is false, and that DPRK will not necessarily expect the US to leave South Korea to denuclearize (according to Moon).

April 21:

North Korea says it has finished its missile testing for now, if the US will deal?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Trump announces air and cruise missile strikes against chemical weapons depots in Syria

President Donald Trump, in one of his more appropriate addresses, talked to the nation tonight at 9 PM Friday, an unusual time, where he announced air strikes against chemical weapons sites in Syria, especially near Damascus.

Britain and France participated.
Trump talked about the use of chemical weapons in World War I tonight.

The Russians did not fire back. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The insidious creep of Fascism in Hungary and Poland

Roger Cohen writes in the New York Times “How Democracy Became the Enemy: In Hungary and Poland, the liberal West used to be the Promised Land. Not anymore”. 

The article goes into the attack on George Soros, making him a target of Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party, in the Hungarian elections.

On the surface, no one is being rounded up.  But the impression of the “people” is that their civilization has become meaningless, with the sophists leaving out the common people, and with a reduction in the recognition of traditional family relationships in the past.

But no doubt it was the uncontrolled migrant crisis starting in Syria that has aggravated this process. 

I can remember back in 2007, while in Pittsburgh, noticing a news story about anti-gay rhetoric in Poland over the idea that gays took no responsibility for having their own children. 

Hungary and Poland are still in the EU as of now. 
The op-ed links to an op-ed from Madeleine Albright April 6 warning that Trump is exacerbating the drive to Fascism, with a dire phrase about recklessness over North Korea.

Monday, April 2, 2018

"The Right Way to Coerce North Korea"

Georgetown University Professor Victor Cha (whom Trump dropped from consideration for Ambassador to South Korea) and Katrin Fraser Katz have a detailed essay in Foreign Affairs (paywall), “The Right Way to Coerce NorthKorea: Ending the Threat Without Going to War”.
The authors believe that a “bloody nose” attack (upon failure of diplomacy and future April 27 talks) would not reduce the long term risk of nuclear attack on the U.S., which Chua believes may be possible after a few more tests. 
He also believe that severe sanctions alone may be viewed as an act of war and notes the decoupling problem that Kim could pressure the US to abandon South Korean defense. He talks about counterproliferation and deterrence.  He also effectively refers to American civilians, in the Korea-Japan region and possibly on the homeland, as bargaining chips.