The President’s view (2) 1

President Trump addresses the international press after his meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

He starts at 22.30 minutes.

We enjoy this triumphalist article by James Delingpole at Breitbart – and post it even though the certainty of triumph may be premature:

President Trump just became the Nobel Peace Prize committee’s worst nightmare.

As he didn’t neglect to remind us in his hilarious post North Korea summit press conference, President Trump just saved maybe 30 million people from nuclear annihilation. He did what his predecessors considered impossible and what the liberal media and all the “experts” continue to assure us can never be done: he brought peace to the region which up till now was considered the likeliest ground zero for World War III.

In other words, pretty much, President Trump just saved the world.

Beat that Barack Obama! Suck on this, all you liberal MSM and NeverTrumpers! Who’s the boss now, President Xi Ping of China? Remind me what your name was again, Prime Minister – Bieber, is it? – of Canada. How are you going to wriggle out of this one, all you buttoned up bien-pensants at the Nobel Prize academy?

These were just of the few things President Trump didn’t actually say at his hugely entertaining post-summit press conference in Singapore. But then he didn’t need to. Anyone watching could read the subtext for themselves.

“I’ll do whatever it take to make the world a better place,” said President Trump in the special, soften humble-brag voice he uses to wind up reporters from Time.

What he meant was: “You still think I’m not the greatest president you’re ever likely to see in your life time? Hold my beer…”

Looking bright and alert on virtually no sleep, Trump worked the event like an Olympic sprinter doing a victory lap of the track after smashing the world record. This was his moment – one to cherish with his friends and supporters; one to rub in the noses of his enemies – and he was in no mood to rush his time in the sun. To show us just how much he was enjoying it, he casual-ostentatiously asked his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders if she’d allow him an extension …

Goodness, it must have been annoying for his critics. If this had been Obama, the BBC and CNN would have been running replays 24/7 for months to come: this was a master at the very top of his game, winning new friends, confounding his enemies, reminding the world that he is by some margin its greatest, most charismatic leader.

This was a masterclass on how to be Leader of the Free World in the era of social media, reality TV and a global populist revolt against the staid, dishonest, sclerotic political class.

You bypass the media – treating them with a mix of jocular affection and amused contempt – and speak directly to the people in language they can understand.

There were so many choice moments that it sometimes felt more like a comedy set by an experienced stand up than the President of the USA. Trump has the same skill set: quick-witted, funny, thinks on his feet, even better on the ad libs than he is on the pre-prepared material.

I loved his line when asked about North Korea’s possible political and economic future. After explaining that it was really Kim Jong Un’s decision, not his, he couldn’t resist adding a helpful suggestion.

“They have great beaches. (You see that when they’re firing off their cannon). Think of that from a real estate perspective.”

See what he did there?

I’ll explain because I don’t want to sound like some David L Brooks character from the Obama era, hailing every presidential fart like it was the heavenly ambrosia which precedes the Second Coming.

No, Trump is not just impressive, but demonstrably brilliant at what he does.

So in those sentences I just quoted, he manages in the space of less than 30 seconds to move from economic policy outline to humorous mockery to self-aggrandising self-reference to his skills as a big swinging dick real estate player. Apart from being varied, interesting – keeping his listeners on their toes because they just never know what he’s going to say next – it also very clearly delineates US foreign policy objectives for North Korea. “Sure, you could go back to being a comedy, no-hope war-zone hell hole waiting to explode, like you were before,” Trump is telling Kim Jong-Un. “But don’t you think it would make so much sense, for all of us, if you became the hot new tourist resort for the enormous South Korean and Chinese markets instead?”

People who don’t get this – which of course still means the entirety of the liberal MSM and the Davos-going global elite  – don’t get it because they don’t want to get it.

They’ll continue to pontificate that President Trump is a vulgar, stupid, undignified, egotistical, hamfisted, troublemaking, divisive, dangerous braggart because that’s the only way they’re ever going to be able to deal with fact that he is so obviously #winning. Sure he might get the odd thing right, probably by accident – or, in the case of North Korea, because of all the amazing groundwork done by the genius Obama and by the arch deal-maker Dennis Rodman – but it’s all OK because in their heads they just know that Trump is the bad guy while they are all vastly his superior.

Meanwhile, every day, Trump is going to keep on reminding us that he is the greatest US president since Reagan, maybe even of our lifetimes. His second term is assured. As is his place in the pantheon.

Nice job, the Donald!

Posted under North Korea, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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A huge achievement 20

Splendid pageantry

What did President Trump say to Xi Jinping of China that persuaded Xi to say what to Kim Jong-un of North Korea who said what to Moon Jae-in of South Korea to bring about the reunification of Korea, the denuclearization of North Korea, talks between the US and North Korea … ?

It is a massive change, a huge development – an astonishing achievement. But whose?

We venture to say it is primarily President Donald Trump’s achievement.

From Breitbart:

The leaders of North and South Korea agreed Friday to pursue a permanent peace and the complete denuclearization of the divided peninsula, as they embraced after a historic summit laden with symbolism.

In a day of bonhomie including a highly symbolic handshake over the Military Demarcation Line that divides the two countries, the pair issued a declaration on “the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula”.

Upon signing the document, the two leaders shared a warm embrace, the culmination of a summit filled with smiles and displays of friendship in front of the world’s media.

They also agreed that they would this year seek a permanent end to the Korean War, 65 years after the hostilities ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

Moon would visit Pyongyang in “the fall”, the two leaders said, also agreeing to hold “regular meetings and direct telephone conversations”.

The so-called Panmunjom Declaration capped an extraordinary day unthinkable only months ago, as the nuclear-armed North carried out a series of missile launches and its sixth atomic blast.

Kim said he was “filled with emotion” after stepping over the concrete blocks into the South, making him the first North Korean leader to set foot there since the shooting stopped in the Korean War.

At Kim’s impromptu invitation the two men briefly crossed hand-in-hand into the North before walking to the Peace House building on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom for the summit — only the third of its kind since hostilities ceased in 1953.

“I came here determined to send a starting signal at the threshold of a new history,” said Kim.

After the summit, he pledged that the two Koreas will ensure they did not “repeat the unfortunate history in which past inter-Korea agreements … fizzled out after beginning”.

The two previous Korean summits in 2000 and 2007, both of them in Pyongyang, also ended with displays of affection and similar pledges, but the agreements ultimately came to naught.

With the North’s atomic arsenal high on the agenda, South Korean President Moon Jae-in responded that the North’s announced moratorium on nuclear testing and long-range missile launches was “very significant”.

It was the highest-level encounter yet in a whirlwind of nuclear diplomacy, and intended to pave the way for a much-anticipated encounter between Kim and US President Donald Trump. …

The White House said it hoped the summit would “achieve progress toward a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean Peninsula”.

Trump has demanded the North give up its weapons, and Washington is pressing for it to do so in a complete, verifiable and irreversible way.

When Kim visited the North’s key backer Beijing last month in only his first foreign trip as leader, China’s state media cited him as saying that the issue could be resolved, as long as Seoul and Washington take “progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace”.

Our guess is that Xi summoned Kim to give him stern orders, but allowed the visit to seem simply a ceremonial state occasion, with smiling faces and displays of mutual respect. But Kim was given no choice.

Okay, it wasn’t just something President Trump said to Xi Jinping that prompted him to persuade Kim Jong-un to seek glory in promoting peace and reconciliation rather than threatening nuclear war.

President Trump was ably assisted by the laws of physics:

Also from Breitbart:

When North Korea performed its most recent nuclear weapon test on September 3 of last year at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, seismologists outside North Korea detected an “earthquake” that followed the test itself. Concerns were expressed that the earthquake was actually a partial collapse of Mount Mantap, where the Punggye-ri site is located, and that nuclear radiation had been released. Unconfirmed reports later said that tunnel collapses had killed hundreds of North Korean workers. …

Chinese geologists [warned] North Korean nuclear scientists that further nuclear tests at Mount Mantap risked a nuclear catastrophe, if the mountain collapsed in an explosion, releasing large amounts of radiation that could contaminate large regions of North Korea and northeast China for decades to come.

Now, two groups of Chinese researchers – one from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei, and the second from the Jilin Earthquake Agency with the China Earthquake Administration in Changchun – have both reached similar conclusions: That Mount Mantap did in fact collapse after North Korea’s last nuclear weapons test on September 3 of last year.

Here’s the summary from China’s Earthquake Administration:

Seismology illuminates physical processes occurring during underground explosions, not all yet fully understood. The thus far strongest North Korean test of 3 September 2017 was followed by a moderate seismic event (mL 4.1) after 8.5 min. … North Korea detonated its strongest underground nuclear test in September 2017. It attracted the public interest worldwide not only due to its significant magnitude (6.3 mb) but also because it was followed 8.5 min later by a weaker event. Was the delayed shock a secondary explosion, an earthquake provoked by the shot, or something else? We answer these questions. … According to our model, the explosion created a cavity and a damaged “chimney” of rocks above it. The aftershock was neither a secondary explosion nor a triggered tectonic earthquake. It occurred due to a process comparable to a “mirror image” of the explosion, that is, a rock collapse, or compaction, for the first time documented in North Korea’s test site.

The USTC study is awaiting publication, but a summary says, “The occurrence of the collapse should deem the underground infrastructure beneath mountain Mantap not be used for any future nuclear tests.”

A Beijing-based analyst points out that another nuclear test at the site would destabilize not only Mount Mantap but also Changbai Mountain, the site of an active volcano at the China-Korea border. …

[So] North Korea promised [China in the first instance, presumably – ed] to end all nuclear and missile tests and shut down Punggye-ri, North Korea’s nuclear test site.

Shutting down the nuclear test site was particularly hailed by the international media that North Korea’s child dictator Kim Jong-un was turning into a nice guy, willing to compromise and all that. Now the laughable news emerges that the nuclear test site is being shut down because another test would risk a nuclear catastrophe, according to Chinese scientists. …

The collapse of Mantap Mountain represents a collapse of a major part of North Korea’s negotiating position.

With the approach of the forthcoming meeting between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, Trump has said repeatedly that he was demanding denuclearization – that the North destroy all its nuclear weapons. Kim had the threat of reopening the nuclear test site and performing more tests. But now that threat is gone, and even though the North can do further nuclear development, they can never be sure that their developments will work unless they test them.

And again from Breitbart:

President Donald Trump indicated he believed North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was sincere about pushing for peace and announcing his interest in denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.

“No. I don’t think he’s playing,” Trump said, praising the progress made in the North and South Korea peace process so far. …

Trump said he understood skepticism about Jong-un’s intentions, pointing to the history of American presidents failing to deliver lasting peace in the region.

“Yeah I agree, the United States has been played beautifully like a fiddle, because you’ve had a different kind of a leader,” he said. “We’re not going to be played O.K.? We’re going to hopefully make a deal, if we don’t that’s fine.”

Trump also praised China’s President Xi Jinping, calling him “extremely helpful to me” on the ongoing negations.

“This isn’t like past administrations – we don’t play games,” Trump said.

And that is why, if the reunification of Korea and the denuclearization of North Korea does come about, it is President Trump who will deserve the world’s gratitude.

 

Update:

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha credits President Trump for the progress being made. “Clearly credit goes to President Trump. He’s been determined to come to grips with this from day one,” Kyung-wha said.

That frozen hell, those flying pigs … and all hail, great chief! 4

Hell has frozen over, and a flight of pigs unprecedented in number is crossing and recrossing the skies over America. CNN – that polluted source of fake news, plain lies (so shameless they could be called “hillaries”), and simmering insurrection against President Trump’s government – has actually declared the truth that President Donald Trump could justly be called a “great president”.  

Thursday on CNN’s Outfront, host Erin Burnett acknowledged in the wake of the announcement President Donald Trump would meet with North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un that if Trump were to defuse the North Korea nuclear situation, he would go down as a “great president”.

Her actual words:

Just an extraordinary evening and, of course, opening the door to the big question — if President Trump could truly solve this problem, that would be going down as a great president. There is no way around that. That is the reality here.

We have esteemed him as a great president for some time now. In the post we link to, we quote an article at American Thinker by Karin McQuillan, in which she writes:

Thanks to his fearless and clear-sighted character, we finally have a president who will not allow North Korea or Iran to have nuclear weapons.  Those of us who see that this is vital for national security are deeply grateful … 

It remains to be seen if North Korea can be “denuclearized”. North Korea has made many promises and broken them all.

If anyone can make it happen, President Trump can.

Posted under media, North Korea, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, March 9, 2018

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Charity: a weapon of mass destruction 4

… and a means of enrichment for the charitable.  

The splendid columnist Daniel Greenfield has exposed new revelations about how personnel from Doctors Without Borders have been sexually exploiting the most vulnerable people, including children, in the poorest and frailest societies they go to “help”.

In another article he looks back at how, in the name of “helping”, the UN killed hundreds of thousands in Haiti, and the Clintons found a way to grow richer out of both the natural and the man-made disasters.

He writes at Front Page:

When an earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, everyone who was anyone in the international community quickly showed up.

It was the “IN” place to be that year. For the virtue-signaling Olympics.

Bill Clinton had been appointed as the UN Special Envoy for Haiti a year earlier where he had touted the “unique opportunities for public and private investment” in Haiti. The earthquake opened up those opportunities to Clinton Foundation donors.

A year later, Bill Clinton was touting a $45 million new hotel owned by an Irish cell phone tycoon [Denis O’Brien] who was a close pal as the only thing a country with a million homeless needed. A CNN puff piece claimed that the hotel would house “aid workers, potential investors and other visitors”. …

Haiti was a gold mine for the Clintons. LiterallyHillary’s brother was added to the board of a small company that got a gold mining permit at half the standard rates with a 25 year renewal option. Tony, Hillary’s brother, is a college dropout who had worked as a repo man and a prison guard.

The Clintons not only turned a disaster into a slush fund, but even got Hillary’s idiot brother a gig.

But inflicting the Clintons on Haiti wasn’t the worst thing that the United Nations did to the impoverished island. The worst thing that the UN can do to any country is send in the blue helmets.

Before the UN peacekeeping mission arrived, Haiti was a disaster. After it left, it was a disaster with cholera. The UN peacekeepers brought the disease with them and spread it around, killing 10,000 people and infecting at least 800,000 others. None of them could get into a Clinton luxury hotel.

Before the UN showed up, Haiti had 99,000 problems, but cholera wasn’t one of them. Then UN peacekeepers spread their multinational fecal matter into the Artibonite River. Soon the UN was trying to raise $400 million to clean up the national disaster that it created on top of an existing national disaster. It asked its staff for money and those donations added up to $6K or a week in the Presidential Suite of the Royal Oasis, Haiti’s first 5-star hotel, with financing from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

But say what you will about the Clintons, unlike the UN, they’ve never given anyone cholera. (That we know of.) So far the UN has only come up with a few million. And everyone is demanding that the United States pay for the cholera that the United Nations spread even though we are already a cholera importer, bringing in top grade cholera from Latin American outbreaks to New York, Kansas and Virginia.

But that’s globalization for you. In a flattening world, Nepalese peacekeepers bring an exotic strain of cholera to Haiti. Refugees from Haiti bring it to America. Hillary Clinton’s brother tries to get in on a gold mine. And a horse breeder in Kentucky and a plumber in Michigan have to pay for the UN’s cholera.

But it would be a slow day at the United Nations if all it did was start a cholera epidemic that infected hundreds of thousands of people, lie about it for years, then pretend to take responsibility, refuse to actually pay for it, and then try to blame the whole thing on Trump who had been hosting Season 10 of The Apprentice back then. Unlike the UN, The Apprentice never infected 800,000 people with cholera.

Since it was the UN, it also had to sexually abuse children to give Haiti the full multilateral experience.

“One boy was gang raped in 2011 by peacekeepers who disgustingly filmed it on a cell phone. What do we say to these kids?” UN Ambassador Nikki Haley asked.

Those were the Uruguayans. The Sri Lankans had their own child sex ring of some 134 peacekeepers paying children 75 cents to abuse them and the Nepalese gave most of the country cholera.

That’s the international community for you. If it doesn’t get you one way, it’ll get you another way.

It’s hard not to look at that and conclude that the United Nations is its own war crime and that the best possible punishment is to put everyone involved on trial in one of the UN’s patented multi-generational war crimes tribunals that only end when everyone dies of old age. After 11 years, the Cambodia tribunal managed three convictions. Two others died of old age. That’s how the UN coddles those monsters it wants to punish. Haiti is an example of how it treats those victims it claims to want to help.

The UN might be more effective the other way around. Just imagine if North Korea’s Kim Jong Un had to worry about being “helped” and “protected” by sex-crazed and cholera-infected UN peacekeepers.

Ah, yes! If only the UN, and the operatives of the Western charities, especially the Clintons, could be let loose in the same spirit on North Korea! No need for war. No need for nukes. Charity is the arme du jour. The country would soon be brought to its knees. Devastation guaranteed. 

And then there is Oxfam:  

But it wasn’t just the Clintons and the United Nations living it up in Haiti.

The latest scandal has hit Oxfam. The leftist alliance claims to want to fight poverty, but it spends more time denouncing the rich. Its global inequality report is a staple of leftist talking points. Its Even It Up campaign is a blatant call for wealth redistribution. …

Oxfam’s Haiti director was using the villa rented by the charity to host prostitutes. Senior Oxfam aid workers had exploited women and possibly even children. Oxfam had covered up the scandal in 2011 and tried sweeping it under the rug. And now it’s offering awkwardly unconvincing apologies. …

An Oxfam spokesfiend explained that the cops hadn’t been called because it was “extremely unlikely that reporting these incidents to the police would lead to any action being taken”. Fear that the police will do nothing is generally why organizations don’t report crimes committed by their members to the authorities. That and a deep concern that their donors will stop subsidizing their child rape villas.

“I don’t think it was in anyone’s best interest to be describing the details of the behaviour in a way that was actually going to draw extreme attention to it,” Oxfam’s boss said.

It certainly wasn’t in Oxfam’s interest, but it might have been in the interest of the Haitians it was claiming to help. … But it was never really about the Haitians. It was about the gold mines, child sex rings and villa orgies. It was about the Clinton Foundation, the UN budget and all the money to be made from promising to save the world. …

The lefty politicians and professional activists who rushed to Haiti were as enthusiastic about helping the Haitians as the Congressional Black Caucus is about lowering black unemployment. … When [the Left]  shows up to help, there are going to be luxury hotels, villas and sex rings involved.

And the people it claims to be helping will be even worse off than they were before.

And then there is this  documentary which we first posted on July 27, 2017. It bears repeating.

It is derived from Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash, and is narrated by him. It is long but it rewards attention. It demonstrates in detail how the Clintons have enriched themselves by exploiting – but never ameliorating – the desperate plight of the poorest of the poor, in the name of Charity.

Perhaps the worst of all the heart-searing accounts of their cold-blooded venality indulged in at the cost of massive and intense human suffering, is that of their activities in Haiti. The telling of this appalling story extends from 16.43 minutes to 29.43 minutes. But don’t miss the rest.

 

The UN must be destroyed!

A gold for tyranny 20

Who is Kim Yo Jong ? “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics”, declared a CNN.com headline. This princess of Pyongyang received a royal welcome from South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in. He seated her in his VIP box, near Vice President Mike Pence, for the opening ceremony. He hosted her for lunch at the presidential Blue House, where she delivered him an invitation for a summit with Mr. Kim. The resulting Reuters headline: “North Korea heading for diplomacy gold medal at the Olympics.”

Yes, the traitorous Left-biased press reporters of the free world were (all too predictably) delighted with Kim Yo Jong, who smiled for them at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Claudia Rosett (a perceptive writer and the most reliable authority on the iniquitous United Nations), writing at the Wall Street Journal (February 13, 2018), makes “this princess of Pyongyang” better known for what she really is:

[Kim Yo Jong]  holds a key post in Pyongyang’s fearsome and brutal Propaganda and Agitation Department. …

Missing from most of the media coverage was any detail about Ms. Kim’s day job in Pyongyang. In North Korea this kid sister has served under Big Brother as a deputy director of the powerful and omnipresent Propaganda and Agitation Department. She has apparently racked up a record so stellar that last year the U.S. Treasury blacklisted her as a top North Korean official tied to “notorious abuses of human right”. Mr. Kim gave her an alternate seat on his politburo.

In blacklisting Ms. Kim, the Treasury specified that her department “controls all media in the country, which the government uses to control the public”. That’s an understatement. The Propaganda and Agitation Department’s mission is to control not only media but minds — to indoctrinate all North Koreans, at all levels, in the absolute supremacy of Kim Jong Un and his Workers’ Party. … That entails a pervasive normalization of evil. Any deviation is suppressed via imprisonment, torture and execution. … 

In a detailed report published last year by the Washington-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, Robert Collins and Amanda Mortwedt Oh described the Propaganda and Agitation Department as playing “a key role in justifying Kim family rule through domestic and external propaganda.” They added that entire families may be punished if one member is suspected of dissent. The aim is to ensure the survival, glorification and total power of the Kim regime and its hereditary tyrant.

That’s the training and family tradition behind Ms. Kim’s visit to South Korea. Her delegation included plenty of backup, such as Choe Hwi, a vice director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department who has been blacklisted by the US [and even the UN] for human-rights abuses. The Treasury noted that Mr. Choe “has reportedly been responsible for maintaining ideological purity“.  Currently he is chairman of North Korea’s National Sports Guidance Committee.

Ms. Kim, with her freckles and enigmatic smile, is a trained and trusted royal brainwasher for a family regime whose court is built on totalitarian lies. Her admirers in the media ought to be impressed by the professionalism with which she snookered them.

Nothing to Envy,* a book by Barbara Demick about North Korea in the time of Kim Jong Un’s Father, Kim Jong Il, reveals that much of the population went hungry much of the time.

Here is a quotation, describing, as a common event, the death of a prisoner who has been worked and slowly starved to death. Prisoners are needed to work as slaves in the mines and other industries, so people are arrested on flimsy excuses:

[The prisoners were] mostly “economic criminals” who’d gotten in trouble at the border or the market. The actual thieves among them had stolen nothing more than food. One of them was a forty-year old rancher who had worked on a collective farm raising cattle. His crime was that he had failed to report the birth of a dead calf, instead taking the stillborn home to feed his wife and two young children. By the time Hyuck [who relates this story to the author] met him, he had served five years of a ten-year term. … The rancher was gentle and soft-spoken, but one of the senior guards took a strong dislike to him. His wife and children came twice to visit, but were not allowed in to see him or to send gifts of food, privileges allowed some of the more favored prisoners.

The rancher died of starvation. It happened quietly; he went to sleep and didn’t wake up. It was a common occurrence that somebody would die in the night. Often it was obvious in the close sleeping-quarters, because the dying man would evacuate his bladder and tiny bubbles would appear on his lips as fluid seeped out of the body.  

As in all collectivist systems, the community of North Korea is organized for slavery, want, and death.

A few more extracts from Nothing to Envy:

In North Korea …. all staples are grown on collective farms. The state confiscates the entire harvest and then gives a portion back to the farmer… [As famine intensified] the North Korean government offered a variety of explanations, from the patently absurd to the barely plausible. People were told … that the United States had instituted a blockade against North Korea that was keeping out food …

Enduring hunger became part of one’s patriotic duty. …

Chongjin was always prone to epidemics because its sewage system … spilled untreated feces into the streams where women often did the laundry. With the electricity blinking on and off, running water became unreliable. Usually electricity and water worked for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening, People stored water in big vats at home, which turned into breeding grounds for bacteria. Nobody had soap. Typhoid is easily treated by antibiotics, which by 1994 were almost entirely unavailable. …

How do you tell a mother her child needs more food when there is nothing more to give? [A doctor] would write out a slip admitting the child to the hospital, knowing she had no cure for this condition. The hospital didn’t have any food either …

Over the years the hospital provided less and less. The furnace in the basement went out after it ran out of coal, so the hospital had no heat. When the running water went off, nobody could properly mop the floors. Even in the day it was so dark in the interior of the building that that doctors had to stand by windows to write up their reports. Patients brought their own food, their own blankets. Since bandages were scarce, they would cut up bedding to make them. The hospital was still able to manufacture intravenous fluid, but they didn’t have bottles for it. The patients had to bring their own …

[Many] victims of the North Korean famine … did not go passively to their deaths. When the public distribution system was cut off, they were forced to tap their deepest wells of creativity to feed themselves. They devised traps out of buckets and string to catch small animal in the field, draped nets over their balconies to snare sparrows. They educated themselves in the nutritive properties of plants. … They stripped the sweet inner bark of pine trees to grind into a fine powder that could be used in place of flour. They pounded acorns into a gelatinous paste that could be molded into cubes that practically melted in your mouth. …

If you got out to the mountains, you could maybe find dandelion or other weeds so tasty that people ate them even in good times. Occasionally, Mrs Song [one of the author’s informants] would find rotten cabbage leaves that had been discarded by a farmer. She would take the day’s pickings home and mix it with whatever food she had enough money to buy. Usually it was ground cornmeal – the cheap kind made from the husks and cobs. If she couldn’t afford that, she would buy a still cheaper powder made out of the ground inner bark of the pine, sometimes extended with a little sawdust.

No talent in the kitchen could disguise the god-awful taste. She had to pound away and chop endlessly to get the grasses and the barks into a soft-enough pulp to be digestible. … All she could make was a porridge that was flavorless and textureless. … a porridge mad out of bean and corn stalks … was bitter and dry, and stuck in the throat like the twigs of a bird’s nest…

In the year after Kim Il Sung’s death the only animal product she consumed was frog … North Korea’s frog population would soon be wiped out by overhunting. …

The killer [starvation] has a natural progression. It goes first for the most vulnerable – children under five. They come down with a cold and it turns into pneumonia; diarrhea turns into dysentery. Before the parents even think about getting help, the child is dead. Next the killer turns to the aged … then makes its way through people in the prime of their lives. Men, because they have less body fat, usually perish before women. …

By 1998, an estimated 600,000 people had died as a result of the famine, as much as 10 percent of the population. … Exact figures would be nearly impossible to tally since North Korean hospitals could not report starvation as a cause of death. …

Between 1996 and 2005, North Korea would receive $2.4 billion worth of food aid, much of it from the United States … The relief was off-loaded into trucks by the military and driven away. Some food reached orphanages and kindergartens, but much of it ended up in military stockpiles or sold on the black market. …

By the end of 1998, the worst of the famine was over, not necessarily because anything had improved but … because there were fewer mouths to feed.

Kim Jong-Il had taken an even harder line against individual enterprise than his father. “In a socialist society, even the food problem should be solved in a socialist way. Telling people to solve the food problems on their own creates egotism among people,” he said in a December 1996 speech, one of the few in which he acknowledged the food crisis. … Food was not to be sold on the market. To sell rice or any other grain was strictly forbidden. [It was] considered illegal and immoral, a stab in the heart of Communist ideology. Any private endeavor fell under the rubric of “economic crime” …  In 1997, notices went up … warning that people who stole, hoarded, or sold grains were “stifling our style of socialism” and could be subject to execution. …

Then again, death was a virtual certainty for people who didn’t show some private initiative. A human being needs at least 500 calories per day on average to survive; a person subsisting on a diet of what could be foraged in the woods would not survive more than three months. …

Among the homeless population, a disproportionate number were children or teenagers. In some cases, their parents had gone off in search of jobs or food. But there was another, even stranger, explanation. Facing a food shortage, many North Koreans families conducted a brutal triage of their own households – they denied themselves and often elderly grandparents food in order to keep the younger generation alive. That strategy produced an unusual number of orphans, as the children were often the last ones left of entire families that had perished…

In the first years of the food shortage, the children at the train station survived by begging food, but before long there were simply too many of them and too few people with food to spare…

When begging failed, the children … formed themselves into gangs to steal together …

It was a dangerous life… There were strange stories going around about adults who … would drug children, kill them, and butcher them for meat. Behind the station near the railroad tracks were vendors who cooked soup and noodles over small burners, and it was said that the grey chunks of meat floating in the broth were human flesh. …

People … spoke of the large number of bodies scattered around the station and on the trains. At the station, employees from the cleaning staff regularly made rounds through the public areas, loading bodies onto a wooden handcart. Some days they removed as many as thirty bodies from the station.

Fox News reports that there have been changes for the better in North Korea since the time of Kim Jong Il. (He died in 2011 and was succeeded by his son, the present dictator, Kim Jong Un, who is threatening to nuke the US.) Conditions could hardly have changed for the worse!  According to the Fox report (derived from AP), one of the changes has been an improvement in living standards for at least some of the people.

Probably more out of pragmatic necessity than anything else, Kim Jong Un has allowed capitalist-style markets and entrepreneurialism to expand, invigorating the domestic economy and creating new revenue streams for the government, which profits by either taking a cut or by directly supporting such enterprises. Changes in farming policy that let individuals personally benefit from bigger harvests have boosted agricultural output. The relatively affluent capital of Pyongyang — home to the North’s most fortunate — has seen a significant increase in everything from taxis to coffee shops and streets stalls. But the rise of the “cash masters”, an empowered middle class more open to capitalist ideals, or just more determined to acquire material wealth, could prove to be a problem for Kim down the road.

He is unlikely to let them be a problem for him. More likely he will be a problem for them. One is reminded how Stalin allowed the Russian kulaks to “boost output” – and then he destroyed them.

 

*Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick, Spiegel & Grau, New York, 2009

Posted under North Korea by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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… Or if war is not coming 9

Victor Davis Hanson, writing at Townhall, discusses what might happen in response to the North Korean threat of nuclear war. He includes this, the last of four possible scenarios:

Preemption. Barring the “peaceful” options of defanging nuclear North Korea, the U.S. and its Japanese and South Korean allies would have to disable the missiles through military force.

Such a nightmarish action would not be limited to “surgical strikes”. Instead, it would have to include massive attacks on North Korean missile sites, command and control centers, artillery and missile platforms, military bases and WMD repositories.

Such preemption would quickly escalate to a general-theater war – or worse.

But would it necessarily? And what would be worse?

Last-gasp North Korean nukes might escape preemptive bombing and be launched at Japan, South Korea, America’s Pacific bases and the U.S. West Coast.

A tottering North Korea could order a full-fledged artillery pounding of Seoul, chemical and cyber attacks, and a conventional ground invasion of South Korea.

The U.S. and its allies would win such a war. But the cost could be catastrophic and prompt global recession.

Why would it precipitate a global recession?

No one knows what China would do in such an exigency. Would it merely cry crocodile tears while its troublesome patron disappeared? Or to save its last communist client, would China send troops into the peninsula as it did in the fall of 1950?

One thing is always certain. The naive architects of appeasement who watch as monsters grow always win short-term praise for avoiding immediate war. Their realist successors, who are forced to cage or destroy such full-grown beasts, are usually labeled as war mongers. 

Yes, and in these days of civilizational despair, labels terrify people more than death. 

It may well be the case that the Western mind is now so set against war, against the killing it involves, that it will not defend itself. Not, anyway, by a preemptive strike.

What then? No one offers scenarios or prophecies of what will happen if Kim Jong-un is not disarmed.

Posted under China, North Korea, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Thursday, January 4, 2018

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War is coming 5

Soon there will be war with North Korea. Unless its dictator has a sudden change of mind and voluntarily gives up his nuclear warheads and the ballistic missiles that can deliver them, they will need to be taken from him by force. The likelihood of the change of mind is very small. So the chance of war is very high.

In the war, a lot of people will die. They will probably be mostly North Koreans. There could be many deaths among South Koreans. There may be deaths of civilians in the United States.

Why is China rushing troops to its border with North Korea? It’s a reasonable speculation that they will shoot down radioactive North Koreans attempting to flee nuclear attack. China is not likely to risk war with the United States over North Korea. Nor is Russia.

The Daily Star reports:

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces are said to have been moving by night towards China’s river border with the North.

And Chinese commanders are reported to have recently conducted the so-called “war ceremony” – urging their troops to be ready to fight.

Columns of PLA trucks have been pictured on the move near Yanji City which is close to the triple border between China, Russia and North Korea.

Wars fears have spilled over into the New Year as Kim Jong-un warned the “nuclear button” is on his desk .

China is North Korea’s only traditional ally and has been coming under pressure to tackle Kim Jong-un from the US.

Sources cited in Chinese media claimed the PLA are “preparing for war on the Korean Peninsula” .

China would be expected to use its military forces to help quell a flood of refugees should the US attack North Korea.

There will be deaths among the US military. But that is what soldiers always face. An army exists to kill, and every soldier in it risks being killed. There is no point in pretending otherwise.

Obama tried to turn the army into a social service. That was a huge waste of tax-payers’ money.

If members of the Libertarian Party, or the Green Party, or the Bernie Sanders musty movement, or some pacifist church, or the Leftist media, or the deep state, or the Democratic Party don’t want war to happen – what is their alternative?

The army will fight, as it did in World War II. It will fight to win under the command of President Trump and General Mattis.

And the war will be fought by men. Not by women, or transgenders, or pacifists, or  Communists, or snowflakes, or social justice warriors, or professors, or lawyers, or play-play “resisters” like the Antifa thugs.

Men will fight it, men will kill in it, men will win it, and men will die in it.

And a rogue nation will be deprived of the power to do far greater damage and kill far more people.

Posted under China, North Korea, Russia, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

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Kim Jong-un’s weapons of mass sickness 1

North Korea’s hydrogen bomb – which is powerful enough to destroy a city – sparked a powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake amid an “escalating” nuclear crisis when it was detonated on Sunday [two days ago, November 5, 2017].

The terrifying tremor was detected in the northeast of the country where the Punggye-ri test site is located – but was so strong that it shook buildings in China and Russia.

But the raw power of the bomb – which has a 100 kiloton yield, around five times bigger than that dropped on Nagasaki – isn’t the only threat it presents to the US. For the first time, North Korea specifically mentioned the possibility of an EMP, or electro-magnetic pulse, attack on the US following Sunday’s test.

North Korea’s state news agency warned that the weapon “is a multifunctional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack”.

So the Daily Mail reports.

It goes on:

North Korea has specifically threatened an EMP attack on the US for the first time.

Nuclear blasts generate high-intensity radio waves that can disrupt electronics.

These EMP blasts travel along line-of-sight, which means the effects extend only to the visual horizon.

A powerful enough blast at an altitude of 249 miles could impact most of the continental US.

North Korea has already demonstrated its ability to reach this altitude with two satellite launches, in 2012 and 2016, which some experts believe were secret tests of an EMP launch trajectory. …

A nuclear bomb detonated high in the atmosphere could knock out the power grid across a swathe of the continental US – or even all of it.

That would leave hospitals without power, civilian and government agencies unable to coordinate, and the fabric of society unraveling fast.

Would China or Russia object to such an attack on the US? Possibly.

China … “resolutely opposes” and “strongly condemns” the test while urging the rogue state to “stop taking wrong actions”.

Russia urged calm and warned Pyongyang to “refrain from any actions that lead to a further escalation of tension” .

According to Business Insider, which describes in horrific detail what would happen in a US war with North Korea, there would need to be US troops on the ground:

US special operations forces, after North Korea’s air defenses have been destroyed, would parachute in with the goal of destroying or deactivating mobile launchers and other offensive equipment.

[They] would face a big challenge in trying to hunt down some 200 missile launchers throughout North Korea, some of which have treads to enter very difficult terrain where US recon planes would struggle to spot them.

US special forces would establish themselves at key logistical junctures, observe the North Koreans’ movements, and then relay that to US air assets.

But if this report in The Sun is true, US soldiers could face another sort of weapon which would be harder to protect against. Yet it is a sort of weapon which makes an immediate strike on North Korea to eliminate the Kim Jong-un regime not only justified but urgently necessary.

Kim Jong-un is feared to be secretly mass producing biological weapons to unleash nightmarish plagues …

Under the cover of a farm lab, it is claimed North Korean chemists could be weaponizing some the world’s deadliest diseases such as smallpox, Black Death and cholera which could lay waste to millions of people if an epidemic was sparked.

Radio Free Asia cited a report released by Belfer Centre of Harvard University’s Kennedy School, which says the rogue state already has biological weapons. …

The chilling report states that the highly infectious diseases could be spread via a missile, drones, planes and sprayers.

North Korea’s 200,000 special forces could also unleash the bio-weapons.

The report states: “While nuclear programs can be monitored by the number of nuclear tests and the success of missile tests … cultivated pathogens can stay invisible behind closed doors.”

Of course if Kim Jong-un releases smallpox, Black Death and cholera over his own country, a vast number of North Koreans would die. That wouldn’t trouble the little dictator in the least. He is happy  to let them die of starvation anyway.

He could release them over South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Guam, Hawaii, and even the US mainland.

If Kim Jong-un has such weapons he will use them in war without compunction.

And it seems fairly certain that he does have them.

Can the US move against him fast enough, soon enough, and decisively enough?

Posted under North Korea, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, November 7, 2017

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A major diplomatic victory 2

President Trump may have actually persuaded China to stop all financial transactions with North Korea.

According to the Washington Times –

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin called the head of China’s central bank very early Thursday to alert him that Mr. Trump was preparing an executive order to sanction any financial institutions doing business with North Korea.  He asked for the cooperation of China, the main source of North Korea’s cash. Hours later, the People’s Bank of China announced it was directing all other banks in China to halt financial transactions with North Korea.

China is complying with US demands?

Will it really happen? Will the freeze last as long as it needs to?

Mnuchin said the sanctions will be more effective than previous efforts because Treasury now has the authority to “freeze or block any transactions, with any financial institution, anywhere in the world”. 

If the US Treasury now has that power and uses it fully, then this is, as the Washington Times report says, “a major diplomatic victory” for President Trump.

It will surely be impossible for Kim Jong-un’s totalitarian Communist regime to survive such sanctions. The regime has been almost wholly dependent on China, and only able to fund its missile and nuke arsenals because China supported it.

So this is an enormously important – as well as extremely dramatic – development in world affairs. Not only because it can defeat Kim Jong-un, but perhaps even more importantly, because it has brought China into compliance with America’s wishes.

If it really happens, it is a towering achievement of President Trump. 

Posted under China, North Korea, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, September 22, 2017

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North Korea & Iran 1

What will President Trump do now to stop North Korean aggression?

The Daily Mail declares that –

South Korea and the US are now planning “military action” to be taken against North Korea “as soon as possible”, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Are the words “military action” and “as soon as possible” in quotation marks to indicate authenticity, or that they are said but not fully believed?

The hydrogen bomb [detonated in a test yesterday] – which is powerful enough to destroy a city – sparked a powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake amid an “escalating” nuclear crisis. …

Or maybe not escalating?

The terrifying tremor was detected in the northeast of the country where the Punggye-ri test site is located – but was so strong that it shook buildings in China and Russia.

But the raw power of the bomb – which has a 100 kiloton yield, around five times bigger than that dropped on Nagasaki – isn’t the only threat it [presents] to the US.

North Korea’s state news agency warned that the weapon “is a multifunctional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack“. …

An EMP – electro-magnetic pulse – is a wave emitted from nuclear explosions that scrambles electronics, much like a sudden power surge can overload a power outlet.

But an EMP is far, far worse; a nuclear bomb detonated high in the atmosphere could knock out the power grid across a swathe of the continental US – or even all of it.

North Korea has threatened an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the US. A nuke detonated high above the ground could produce an EMP that would knock out all electrics within a vast radius – the higher the detonation, the wider the effect. (The miles on the map are measurements of height.)

That would leave hospitals without power, civilian and government agencies unable to coordinate, and the fabric of society unraveling fast. …

The regime frequently flaunts its intercontinental ballistic missile technology and has repeatedly tested hydrogen bombs – but has so far been unable to combine the two into a lethal weapon.

However, Jong-un claims the latest explosive – which seismologists calculated to be eight times as damaging as the Hiroshima nuclear bomb dropped by the US in World War II – could be packed into a warhead and fired towards US territory.

We would say – not keeping calm at all – that if US military intelligence knows (and surely it does!) where the nuclear and missile facilities are in that nasty little country, bomb them now.

And it seems President Trump is thinking along those lines:

He has threatened Kim Jong-un with “fire and fury, such as the world has never seen”. The world needs to see it now.

To wait is to let the danger become far worse.

If Kim Jog-un, the chubby little dictator of North Korea, has these lethal weapons to play with, it won’t be long before the mullahs who rule Iran have them too.

Iran has the money to buy them – thanks to Barack Obama.

The two regimes are already in alliance:

Last month North Korea’s nominal “president” Kim Yong Nam whose official title is Chairman of the People’s Assembly was given red carpet treatment during a 10-day visit to Tehran at the head a 30-man military and political delegation. He was granted a rare two-hours long audience with Khamenei. During his stay, he inaugurated North Korea’s new embassy which includes an expanded military cooperation section.

From Gatestone, by Amir Taheri:

Seen by Khomeinists, who pretend to be sole custodians of “The Only True Religion”, the Kimists, who regard religion as “confused mumbo-jumbo”, must be regarded as adversaries if not outright enemies. And, yet, such is their mutual attraction that the little matter of religion seems to have had no effect on their love fest. The Kimists have even allowed the Khomeinists to set up a mosque in Pyongyang provided they do not try to convert North Koreans.

In the spring of 1979, Kim Il Sung, the founder of the dynasty and grandfather of the present Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, was among the first to congratulate Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini on the seizure of power by mullahs.

A few weeks later, Khomeini, then stationed in Qom, broke his rule of not talking to foreign emissaries by receiving North Korean Ambassador Chabeong Uk for a long session during which the ayatollah dictated a message of friendship to Kim Il Sung, in which, he invited “the masses of Korea” to expel the Americans from the peninsula.

When Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in September 1980, Kim Il Sung was the first to offer assistance to the Islamic Republic by supplying its version of the Soviet SCUD missiles. In January 1981, invited by Iran, the North Koreans set up a military advisory mission in Tehran to help the newly created Islamic Revolutionary Guard Crops (IRGC) develop tactics and strategies in the war against Iraq.

One tactic quickly adopted by the Iranians was the sue of “swarm attacks” by masses of teenagers sent to clear Iraqi minefields at the cost of thousands of lives, a tactic that Kim Il Sung had developed in the Korean War against the Americans.

North Korea became one of only two nations to sign a military pact of sorts, including joint staff conversations, with Iran. (The other is  Syria which signed in 2007.)

Iran’s top contact man with the North Korean military mission was Khamenei, then a mid-ranking mullah operating as Deputy Defense Minister. The new friends started “military cooperation” in 1982 with special emphasis on helping Iran develop a range of missiles.

Getting to know the North Koreans, Khamenei developed a profound admiration for their “discipline and readiness to sacrifice for their struggle”. But it was not until six years later that Khamenei, by that time named President of the Islamic Republic, could express that admiration directly in a state visit to Pyongyang.

According to those who accompanied Khamenei in the visit, the future “Supreme Guide” saw North Korea as the “ideal state” that only lacked religious faith.

“Khamenei was impressed by how everything (in North Korea) worked like the clockwork,” says Hassan Nami, a member of the entourage. “The fact that in North Korea the individual was dissolved in the collective symbolized by the Supreme Leader overwhelmed Khamenei.”

“Overwhelmed” him with admiration, is implied.

Khamenei’s visit to North Korea, in May 1989, was the first to give him the feeling that he was the rising leader of a rising new power on the world scene. The North Koreans declared a holiday for schools and factories to mobilize a million people to line the streets to greet Khamenei. In a rare gesture, Kim Il Sung himself went to the airport to greet the visitor. The North Korean despot then chaired a special session of the People’s Assembly to hear Khamenei’s speech which included a thinly disguised invitation to Koreans to return to religious belief.

In the end, however, the North Koreans adopted nothing from Khomeinism while Khamenei adopted much of Kim Il Sung’s ideology.

What did the Muslim learn from the Communist?

Kim’s “juche” (self-reliance) shibboleth became Khamenei “eqtesad muqawemati” (Resistance Economics). Khamenei also adopted Kim’s reliance on missiles, caused by the fact that North Korean had no access to modern warplanes, as the main plank of his defense doctrine. The revival of the Shah’s nuclear program, scrapped by Khomeini but revived under Khamenei, was also inspired by Kim who believed a weaker nation enhances its position by owning “the ultimate weapon“.

When it comes to Khamenei’s rejection of compromise with domestic or foreign adversaries, again Kim was the teacher.

Reports of the Kims’ manner of dealing with “domestic adversaries” reaches the West from to time, and “ruthless” describes it. They have them killed.

Kim preached “absolute independence” which meant total disregard for international law, something that Khamenei has made an article of faith for the Islamic Republic.

Going down the list of Khamenei’s beliefs, including his reliance on the military for the survival of the regime, one could see that in many cases the real teacher was Kim Il Sung, not Khomeini.

And now there is open military co-operation between the two regimes.

If ever the might of the American superpower was needed to be brought to bear on an axis of evil while there was yet time to crush it, it is surely now.

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