sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, April 19, 2018

It's All-Theater Thursday

Comey Book Tour

Was/is James Comey just incompetent or is the whining weasel that we see flogging his book (sort of a preparatory move to the Stormy Daniels book tour) a sly, smug, self righteous calculator who was bent on destruction of President Trump? That's a loaded question because the Democrats feel that he betrayed Crooked Hillary Clinton.

I don't believe that I will buy his book, not even to use as a doorstop, or as kindling for the fireplace, what a whining, miserable punk, James Comey has proved himself to be. What a self-promoting (kiss and tell) goofball. First we have Comey on tour and then the whore, but whether Comey or Stormy is the bigger whore remains to be seen.

Two Koreas

Live broadcasts agreed for 27 April. The two Koreas on Wednesday agreed to broadcast live key events of the upcoming inter-Korean summit, South Korea’s presidential office said. 

Comment: According to Kwun Hyuk-ki, a member of South Korea’s delegation in Wednesday’s working level talks, the two sides are largely in agreement over issues concerning media coverage and protection for the two leaders.

North Korea will hold a plenary meeting of its ruling party's central committee on Friday (April 20), state media announced on 19 April.

The meeting has been convened to discuss and decide "policy issues of new stage" to meet the demands of the current "important historic period.” This is the meeting where Kim finally will inform the Party elite about his diplomacy.

     China Monitors

Xi’s forthcoming visit reciprocates Kim Jong Un’s visit to Beijing in late March, during which Xi accepted Kim’s invitation. The visit is timed so that he can get a first-hand report from Kim about the summit meeting with the US President.

Xi was serious when he made four proposals for improving ties with North Korea. Chinese leaders are allowing North Korean no opportunity to backslide from Kim’s acceptance of Xi’s proposals. The diligence of China’s follow-up with North Korea attests to the determination of Chinese leaders to not allow a callow North Korean youth to set the terms of security conditions in Northeast Asia.

     Meanwhile in the US

Democrats are condemning CIA Director Pompeo for meeting with Kim Jong Un and working out the details of the meeting. Which is weird because the meeting was about de-escelating the situation in Korea and the Norks dismantling their nuclear weapons with China as the broker for that portion of the deal and joint inspections to verify de-nuclearization with the US and China. Would the Democrats prefer a war? No, not really, they just hate President Trump.

     Back to China

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said:

First, we should stay committed to the general direction of denuclearization. The denuclearization of the Peninsula is the master key to resolving all the issues related to the Peninsula as well as the pathway that leads to the long-lasting peace and stability of the Peninsula. All relevant parties should unwaveringly stick to this general direction.

Second, we should stay committed to the "dual-track" approach, namely, striving to denuclearize the Peninsula and establish the peace regime in parallel. The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is closely related to the security threats facing all relevant parties, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), in particular, for a long time. When advancing denuclearization, addressing the legitimate security concerns of the DPRK is a reasonable requirement and a necessary step to achieve denuclearization.

Third, we should stay committed to seeking a package solution in stages and in a synchronized way. The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue has been there for long time and there is a lack of basic trust between relevant parties, especially between the DPRK and the US.”

As for North Korea, thus far we only know for certain that Kim is committed to discussing denuclearization. The US acceptance of talks about denuclearization implies US recognition of North Korea as a nuclear armed power, which is one of his major goals. Why else talk about denuclearization.

More importantly, we still do not know what denuclearization means as it applies to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and its existing strategic deterrent. With just over a week before the first summit, some more concrete notions of North Korean denuclearization should have emerged.

This whole situation has a long way to go to play out but so far, it looks promising.

China-Taiwan

There was a big drum beat over a PRC live fire exercise as a prelude to an invasion of Taiwan (ROC)

The exercise turned out to be underwhelming. Taiwan's Defense Ministry said the PRC drills involved only land-based artillery conducting "routine" gunnery practice. 
"China deliberately released fake information to exaggerate it, to make it sound huge when in fact it's small," Taiwan's Defense Ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi told the press.
The Chinese exercise failed to live up to its press buildup as a warning to Taiwan and as an intimidation exercise. It involved no naval or air phases. Taiwan held a counter-exercise that was larger than that of the Chinese.

Meanwhile in the South China Sea, the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning conducted a full range of exercises related to carrier warfare.