Some days, it’s hard to keep up with the news. There’s so much going on in the world, you are only mildly aware of the highlights. Local and even national news often only focus on domestic news, which is ok. But do you have any idea what’s happening in other parts of the world? Maybe you follow President Trump on Twitter, so you do have some idea of the childish games he’s playing with Kim Jong Un (and in general). But for the rest of you, peacefully ignorant (and I dont blame you) people, this is what is happening with North Korea.
North Korea threatens to launch missiles near Guam as early as mid-August
North Korea has made new threats, indicating that it’s drawing up plans to launch a missile that would land in the waters near Guam. ACcording to a statement by North Korea’s Army, the missile is supposed to be delivered by mid-August. Well, we are knee deep into the middle of August. So is this going to happen any day now? Or at all? We have seen statements coming out of North Korea in the past, but they haven’t really gone anywhere. Is this something we should believe? I think it’s something that we should be taking seriously, regardless, but it doesn’t appear that the President is looking at it that way. After all, he’s still on vacation.
Trump aides continue their own threats in response to North Korea
White house aide Sebastian Gorka went on Fox News the other night (and appeared on the BBC) to make the statement that Trumps administration was responding appropriately to North Korea. Gorka didn’t seem at all bothered by the tensions between the two countries. Does that make him a good actor? In a statement to the BBC, Gorka said “Donald Trump has been unequivocal. He will use any appropriate measures to protect the United States and her citizens”.
What is interesting, to me, about this, is that Trump keeps blaming the previous administration and President Obama for not doing enough to prevent this from happening. Gorka even took a shot at Obama during all of this.
Gorka also indicated that they aren’t going to “telegraph” their future scenarios on how they’re going to react. Which is maybe a good move from a national security perspective. But it could also just mean that they have no idea what they’re going to do. I understand how government runs enough to know that it’s hard to plan for every scenario. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. That being said, I would hope that these kinds of scenarios have been at least considered by the current administration.
Two aides to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley resign
Two aides to America’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, have suddenly resigned. Chief of Staff, Steven Groves and the head of communications Johnathan Watchel both left their jobs yesterday, but no one knows why. Haley has indicated that their resignation is related to recent “family concerns”. I too, would be concerned if my spouse knee deep into North Korean sanctions. So maybe that statement is true?
Ambassador Haley has been applauded for securing tough economic sanctions against North Korea on Saturday in a UN vote of 15-0. But there have also been concerns that the Trump administration is undermining diplomatic progress through unhinged statements. He is, after all, literally showing his cards via social media.
South Korea calls an emergency meeting of its National Security Council
South Korea has been pretty calm about everything going on in North Korea lately. But yesterday, South Korea called an emergency meeting of its National Security Council.
During the meeting the South Korean National Security Council strongly urged North Korea to immediately stop all provocations and return to the dialogue table, indicating that dialgoue was still possible should they wish to cooperate. South Korea has indicated that these would be bilateral talks (meaning, the U.S. wouldn’t be involved) and will strictly discuss bilateral and humanitarian issues, such as easing the military tension between the divided Koreas and holding reunions of familiies who have been separated since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
Is that even possible though? I think most of the issues that North Korea has are directed at the United States. But South Korea is an innocent by-stander that is going to find itself in a bad position if it doesn’t try to make thing work. President Trump isn’t helping their cause by any means.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is traveling to Japan, South Korea, and China
The chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff, Marine General Joseph Dunford, is reportedly going to be touring the region next week, making Japan his first stop on Sunday. The Pentagon hasn’t officially announced Dunford’s schedule, but South Korean media reports have indicated that he will make a stop in South Korea before heading to China. Will this help anything? Dunford has been considered one of the “adults” on Trump’s team, but he hasn’t been able to stop any of Trump’s childish behaviour so far.
US Navy destroyer sails through South China Sea in show of force
The U.S. Navy just sailed near one of China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea. They are calling it a “freedom of naviation operation”. Is this just adding fuel to the already imploding fire? Is this going to help bring China on board, or just get their attention. What’s the plan here, people?
In a statement from Reuters:
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals. China has territorial disputes with its neighbors over the area.
It was the third “freedom of navigation operation” or “fonop” conducted during Trump’s presidency. Neither China’s defense ministry nor its foreign ministry immediately responded to a request for comment.
Trump still on vacation
I mentioned it earlier, but it’s worth noting again – Trump is still on vacation. Does he not understand the severity of this situation? Or is he showing the country that he’s not at the helm? To make matters worse, Trump tweeted about replacing ObamaCare. Seriously? Is that giving the American people the confidence that you know what you’re doing as a leader? Some could argue that it’s a tactic to draw attention away from what’s happening in North Korea. But you could also make the argument that it’s a tactic to spread propaganda. Change the topic of conversation. I honestly don’t think he’s that intelligent. That’s just my opinion, and I suspect there will be a big back lash to my writing that. But, there isn’t any proof that he is intelligent.
Even if you don’t know what to do in this situation, you have to keep up appearances. I am not suggesting that I would know what to do, but come on. Cut your vacation short. Pretend like you know what you’re doing, at least.