TRUMP TO MEET SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT AMID GROWING FRUSTATION WITH CHINA ON NORTH KOREA

The article originally appeared on India Today.

US President Donald Trump is scheduled to host South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on June 29 and 30. It is the first bilateral summit between two close allies after both countries got new presidents. Trump took oath in January while Moon was elected only last month after mid-term polls necessitated by the impeachment of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

The meeting is expected to be eclipsed by three issues, North Korea, China and the deployment of US missile defense system in South Korea.

If the Trump administration had termed the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to America in April historic, the expectation that China will exert its influence to rein in North Korea was one of the major factors apart from some trade deals signed that Trump said would help American businesses and would create jobs. China is the only big market for North Korea and it accounts for over two-thirds of total North Korean trade.

But that expectation has become frustration in just two months. Donald Trump has realized that China will not help in reining in North Korea which reflected in his tweet last week, “While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi and China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!” But what belies this line that “he knows that China at least tried” is the fact* that out of growing frustration over the Chinese inaction on North Korea and bilateral ties, Trump is thinking to take punitive action by imposing tariff on imports like Chinese steel.

North Korea has already conducted almost a dozen missile tests this year and is preparing to conduct another nuclear test aimed at producing nuclear weapons. The threat from the rogue state has reached to new heights under the present dictator Kim Jong-un so much so that the US had to deploy its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile defense system, inviting strong Chinese protests which sees the presence of the system on the Korean peninsula, in its backyard, breach of its sovereignty and a security threat. China has been lashing out at the US and South Korea for it.

And the optics of its deployment has also been a thorny issue for Trump as well as for Moon. While Trump has demanded South Korea pay $1 billion for THAAD deployment, Moon has termed the system which went live last month a total failure of democracy.

While campaigning, Moon who is seen as a liberal having soft approach towards China, South Korea’s largest trading partner, and having a conciliatory tone towards North Korea, had promised to review the THAAD agreement by his predecessor. Moon, in fact, ordered a probe last month after it emerged that four more missile launchers were added to the THAAD system in South Korea. South Korea maintains that the US asked only for land and support infrastructure for THAAD deployment and all other cost was to be borne by the US only.

©SantoshChaubey

NORTH KOREAN PATIENCE TESTED..YET AGAIN?

North Korea, ratcheting up its already ratcheted up rhetoric, has SENT OUT yet another clear warning that it will be full scale war on any given day if the US and South Korea continue with their audacity of disturbing the North Korean poise.

Now we should appreciate this poise by North Korea.

After all, despite having sent so many feelers, so many stern messages and so many clear warnings FOR DECADES, the great North Korean leaders, so far, have desisted (and RESISTED) from embarking on even a small military skirmish..except firing some artillery shells or cross-border shots, except allegedly sinking South Korean naval vessels, except laying landmines in the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone between North Korea and South Korea) that keeps on wounding South Korean soldiers and except violating South Korean territorial waters.

Shouldn’t it have been difficult for North Korea to calm its nerves so as to remain the world let in the green zone of no war in the region?

But for how long can their patience be tested?

Whenever such times come, we see a prompt warning from the quiet leaders of the hermit kingdom who believe in living an isolationist, quarantined way of life, away from the materialist creations that a modern, technology driven society brings. The North Korean leaders have consciously shunned the materialist advances of a consumerist world to stay close to nature. So even if the world has moved to 5G smartphones, North Korea is jolly happy to savour the luxury of video cassette and CD players in the country. And they are a prized possession. Only few in the country has the outreach to possess these, the tech antiquities of the modern day world.

And now, the times have created yet another instance when the Kim nation has been FORCED to issue a stern warning to the world. Like every sovereign nation believes, the North Koreans, too, believe that they have the sovereign rights to develop the warfare that can keep their way of life safe from the worldly intervention. SO WHAT if the world doesn’t believe that the North Korean missile or nuclear programme is not peaeful and aimed at self-defense.

©SantoshChaubey

KIM NATION’S MISSILE JACK FOR A TRUMP HACK

The ‘Kim Nation’ under the efficient leadership of the third Kim, Kim Jong-un, extending the legacies of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung and father, Kim Jong-il, has fired another shot at its arch-enemy, the United States of America, with the successful test of ‘a cutting edge’ missile, details of which are not out yet. (Okay, this was the scene also in February 2015 when North Korea had conducted a missile test, though that an ‘intelligent, cutting-edge missile.)

On February 8 that year, the elite nation of the elite ‘Rogue League’ of the selected world nations, test fired an ‘ultra-precision’ anti-ship missile of highest technological sophistication (as it claimed). As was said, the third Kim was personally monitoring the exercise, timed before the annual joint military exercise of South Korea and the US, and commended his team for the ‘zero error’ technological expertise, and thus for sending a befitting warning to his rivals.

Then, it was a clear cut warning signal to the world under the leadership of the world’s most powerful person, Barack Obama, the US President since 2009, who had become an eyesore for the dear plump leader.

Now, it is to give a message, again to the most powerful person on the Earth, again the US President, but a different one, Barack Obama’s successor, who doesn’t believe in playing the world’s leader’s role. (Irrespective of the fact that his credentials to prove is leadership role back home look thrown in some perpetual crisis, thanks to his life and lifestyle.) Anyway volumes have been written on him and much more is to come.

As expected (as happens every time), the Sunday morning test launch by the ‘elite rogue’ is already a global headline, pushing the international media including the US into an overdrive, aimed at undermining the North Korean achievement by spinning stories on ‘design, effectiveness and technical details’ of the missile.

Weeks after the February 2015 test (and every time), reports and analyses kept outpouring. It always extends celebrations of these so-called supreme achievement in the hermit kingdom. The North Korean elite believe any sustained negative international media coverage is acceptance of their country’s increasing might. At the same time, the North Koreans also find the hollow rhetoric of the frustrated global forces including the US a good source of funny points to laugh over.

Hitting on the jack provided by this yet another lethal addition in the North Korean arsenal, the official North Korean media had then, in the February 2015, declared that Barack Obama was feeling so low with the beaming images of Kim Jong-un that he tried to hide his irritation by indulging in a senseless and gaudy ‘selfie act’.

KCNA, the North Korean state media had reported, “Though the partisan US and international media are publicizing the exercise as a promotional event for Obamacare, a health programme, the always credible North Korean intelligence sources say it was a diversion prescribed by Obama’s psychiatrist seeing his heightened level of frustration over the latest North Korean achievement. Now, as the US has no might to take on the supreme forces of North Korea militarily, its leaders are indulging in propaganda acts like this, where they vent their frustration by making gestures as if they are targeting out Supreme Leader, the Commander of the all powerful North Korean forces. Pity them.”

Obama’s successor, who sounds like arch-enemy and has vowed to undo everything ‘Obama-esque’, especially the Obamacare, has reacted on this North Korean act (or bravado, as the sense goes), in his trademark business sense, saying he is 100% behind Japan (South Korea, too, would be expecting some reassuring words). But there is no harsh rhetoric yet. The White House, like it likes to say, has said that it is aware of the missile test and is closely monitoring the situation.

It is being widely analysed and reported that it was a North Korean warning for Donald Trump and also an exercise to gauge how the next White House administration to be when it comes to dealing with the elite of the ‘Rogue League’. Let’s see how it plays out – like a ‘jack’ or a ‘hack’.

©SantoshChaubey

KIM NATION’S INTELLIGENT MISSILE JACK AFTER THE SONY HACK

The ‘Kim Nation’ under the efficient leadership of the third Kim, Kim Jong-un, extending the legacies of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung and father, Kim Jong-il, has fired another shot at its arch-enemy, the United States of America, with the successful test of ‘an intelligent cutting edge’ missile.

On February 8, the elite nation of the elite ‘Rogue League’ of the selected world nations, North Korea, test fired an ‘ultra-precision’ anti-ship missile of highest technological sophistication. The third Kim was personally monitoring the exercise, timed before the annual joint military exercise of South Korea and the US, and commended his team for the ‘zero error’ technological expertise, and thus for sending a befitting warning to his rivals.

As expected, it pushed the international media including the US into an overdrive, aimed at undermining the North Korean achievement by spinning stories on the ‘Russian design’ of the missile.

Almost two weeks now, reports and analyses are still continuing, carrying pictures of a beaming Kim Jong-un after the successful test. It has extended the celebrations of the achievement in the hermit kingdom. The North Korean elite believe any sustained negative international media coverage is acceptance of their country’s increasing might. At the same time, the North Koreans also find the hollow rhetoric of the frustrated global forces including the US a good source of funny points to laugh over.

Hitting on the jack provided by this yet another lethal addition in the North Korean arsenal, the official North Korean media declared that Barack Obama was feeling so low with the beaming images of Kim Jong-un that he tried to hide his irritation by indulging in a senseless and gaudy ‘selfie act’.

KCNA, the North Korean state media reported, “Though the partisan US and international media are publicizing the exercise as a promotional event for Obamacare, a health programme, the always credible North Korean intelligence sources say it was a diversion prescribed by Obama’s psychiatrist seeing his heightened level of frustration over the latest North Korean achievement. Now, as the US has no might to take on the supreme forces of North Korea militarily, its leaders are indulging in propaganda acts like this, where they vent their frustration by making gestures as if they are targeting out Supreme Leader, the Commander of the all powerful North Korean forces. Pity them.”

Kim3-Missile-KCNA Obama-BuzzFeed4-620x362A beaming Kim Jong-un after the anti-ship missile test (image credit: KCNA)
Barack Obama in his ‘selfie act’ (image credit: Buzz Feed)

The next success of the mighty third Dear Leader comes soon after the spectacularly successful blitzkrieg of the ‘Sony Hack’ saga, believed to be a North Korean design. The November 24, 2014 cyber-attack on the Sony Pictures had forced the company to pull out ‘The Interview’, a satirical movie on the third supreme ‘Kim’.

‘Sony Hack’ had become a prestige point for the US forcing Barack Obama, John Kerry and Pentagon to react. But beyond browbeating, like they always do, they failed to achieve anything. In fact, as a face-saving exercise, the US forced the company to release the movie later.

And here also, the ‘Kim effect’ proved effective, earning brilliant collections for a movie that was panned by the critics for a being a dumb product. The critics were unanimous that had it not been for the ‘Sony Hack’, the movie would have bombed at the box office.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey–https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

AFTER WATCHING ‘THE INTERVIEW’, KIM JONG-UN SENDS ‘GUARDIANS OF PEACE’ TO HIS MISSILE DEATH SQUAD

After watching ‘The Interview’, Kim Jong-un has decided to send ‘Guardians of Peace’ to his missile death squad for adding to the movie’s publicity.

Los Angeles Times – ‘The Interview’: Farce doesn’t live up to fuss, reviews say
Bloomberg Businessweek – The Interview Review: Much Less Compelling Than the Events It Inspired
The Independent – The Interview film review: Controversial gross-out satire is broad, bawdy and bad – but undeniably entertaining
The Sydney Morning Herald – The Interview review: Contentious topic bogged down in clumsy humour
The Washington Post – Review: ‘The Interview’ has some laughs and makes some points but isn’t as edgy as its reputation suggests
A. O. Scott, The New York Times – My colleague Mike Hale, who saw the movie at an advance screening and wrote about it after Sony’s initial decision to pull it from theaters, mused that “the only real mystery is how something this ordinary could have caused so much agitation.”

Enough is enough, shouted Kim Jong-un, while self-styling his hair in his cosy room of Ryongyong Residence and reading through the reviews of the Sony Pictures movie, ‘The Interview’, the movie allegedly made to caricaturize the personality and the assassination of the 3rd Kim of the ‘Kim’ nation, North Korea.

Was this the movie that forced the ‘1st Hermit’ to tell the world that his lot existed (and mightily existed) in the cyberworld as well – Kim Jong-un asked so in a fit of rage?

While ordering ‘Sony Hack’, a damaging cyberassault on ‘Sony Pictures’ by his ‘Guardians of Peace’ for coming with ‘The Interview, so as to force the company to take it off from different platforms and to teach America, Barack Obama, Sony and the world about ‘exclusivity’ of Kim Jong-un’s interview, the 3rd Kim had decided he would also not watch the movie.

But after such reviews, that apart from lambasting the clumsiness of the film, also lacerated it for not living up to the expectations in the light of the ‘Sony Hack’ episode, he could not resist the urge to watch it, in order to set the further course of action.

The central theme of reviews was – ‘The Interview’ didn’t deserve this much attention at all and the controversy in the aftermath of ‘Sony Hack’ would only help the movie commercially as the release could not be pushed further after Barack Obama, the US President, made it a ‘prestige issue’ and went public about its release putting pressure on ‘Sony Pictures’.

Also, the 2004 release, to be re-released in place of ‘The Interview’, ‘Team America: World Police’, that tried to do the same with 3rd Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, was much better than ‘The Interview’ on ‘cohabiting parameters’, but the 2nd Kim didn’t react on it, or didn’t go hyper about it.

Kim Jong-un is feeling flummoxed by all this, feeling being letdown by his own lot, by his own ‘hermits’. What he thought would tell the world about his ‘cyber might’ has made him a laughing stock once again. And his money helped in it, in giving ‘The Interview’ free publicity worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

According to the reports from credible sources from inside the country, watching it only through halfway took his anger out of gear and he, then and there, on-the-spot, ordered the team of Unit 121 (the North Korean hackers, as the world knows them) behind ‘Sony Hack’ to be sent to his newly constituted ‘missile death squad’ that was successfully launched with the execution of Kim’s uncle Jang Song-thaek in December 2013.

But that is not it. Before that, every member of the team has to watch ‘The Interview’ 100 times unstopped.

Now, that can only be the style of someone like Kim Jong-un, the baby-face, tenderly chubby, Dennis Rodman loving ‘hermit’, who also orders entire families to be killed, entire communities to be starved to death.

Idiosyncrasies – after all, they are at their ‘raging’ best – they have their greatest manifestation in ‘greats’ like Kim Jong-un.

And a team of North Korean hackers is facing his wrath now – for something that was done in America. Their fault is that they could not hack the Sony systems to the extent to steal ‘The Interview’ and watch it before they reported it to their Supreme Leader/Dear Leader.

And now, it is going to cost them dear.

The ‘Guardians of Peace’ now need a guardian to save their lives but who can save them in North Korea, or even in the Chinese hotel, from where they operate, when the 1st Kim created the world and the 2nd Kim controlled weathers thr 3rd Kim has ‘elements’ of both. Such is the might of the ‘topmost hermits’ of the ‘hermit kingdom’.

Kim Collage 2Image courtesy: Collage prepared from images sourced from Newsweek, NBC News, The Blaze, CTRIP

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

FROM ‘AN ACT OF WAR’ TO ‘CYBERVANDALISM’: ‘KIM’ NATION PUTS US ‘ON THE JOB’

Now, this is what we call a punch, a solid punch with return in real time, a move that produces result quickly.

If the matter is a hotly debated international issue, involving two countries, who have been historical opponents, a response, that talks of a ‘sort’ of resolution, within 24 hours, should be seen as a quick enough result.

That is exactly the situation of ties between the United States of America and North Korea, the two sworn enemies of decades, in the context of the escalating tension between the two nations, two extremes, with ‘Sony Hack’, the cyber-assault on Sony that forced the company to pull ‘The Interview’, a satirical movie on the third supreme ‘Kim’ of the ‘Kim’ nation, out of the market as the theatre owners chickened out.

See the words and the tone of Barack Obama on December 19: “Imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended. That’s not what America is about. We’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose. It’s not something that I will announce here today at a press conference.”

The North Korean response was swift and framed menacingly.

On December 20, The Independent quoted statement of an official of the North Korean Foreign Ministry that says: “As the United States is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation with it into this incident. We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as what the CIA does. The US should bear in mind that it will face serious consequences in case it rejects our proposal for joint investigation and presses for what it called countermeasures while finding fault with.”

And see the change after it, within a day, in just 24 hours. Yesterday, Barack Obama had to come out and clarify that ‘Sony Hack’ was not ‘an act of war’ after John McCain, the next chief the Senate Armed Services Committee, declared so.

Yesterday, Barack Obama said it was not an ‘act of war’. He termed it a costly act of ‘cybervandalism’. Clearly, he was trying to play around with words saying he was exploring options to see if North Korea could be put again on the list of nations sponsoring terrorism but such decisions could not be based on ‘just news of the day’. He said in a CNN interview: “We’ve got very clear criteria as to what it means for a state to sponsor terrorism. And we don’t make those judgments just based on the news of the day. We look systematically at what’s been done and based on those facts, we’ll make those determinations in the future.”

From ‘an act of war’ and ‘we’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose’ to ‘ we don’t make those judgments just based on the news of the day’ – it seems the wind has swiftly realized its ‘northward’ course.

Now, it may take time for the US to review the ‘list’ for North Korea and even may not happen at all, but, North Korea has effectively put America on the job.

But even this didn’t make the third supreme ‘Kim’ happy as the follow-up developments indicated, vocally.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

SONY HACK: ‘KIM’ NATION’S STERN WARNING TO US, ‘GRAVE CONSEQUENCES’ OFFERED!

In the latest development in the ongoing ‘The Interview Demise’ saga, escalating even more the tension between the United States and North Korea, the elite nation of the elite ‘Rogue League’ of the selected world nations has proposed a joint investigation into the November 24 cyberattack, popularly known as ‘Sony Hack’, a crippling attack on the global electronics giant Sony with major presence in the entertainment industry with ‘Sony Pictures’, that according to the estimates, can cost the company some half a billion US dollars. ‘Sony Hack’ has become a prestige point for the US now.

Seeing the panic in the US, that forced even Barack Obama to intervene and issue statement, as part of the ongoing damage control exercise to look confronting the might of the North Korean cyber-warriors and fans (hackers) of the regime and Kim Jong-un spread across the world and in China, the elitists of the elite rogue nation have offered Uncle Sam a proposition, an offer, a window of opportunity, that the US lawmakers would feel trapped in accepting or rejecting.

A North Korean official yesterday proposed the joint investigation. But it doesn’t mean it was like extending an olive branch. It doesn’t mean the ‘Kim’ nation is adopting, of late, any soft or humanitarian approach towards its detractor of decades.

Disguised brilliantly as ‘an offer to help’, the offer comes with a rider – it is for the US to decide on and accept the offer and carry on the investigation jointly with North Korea – if Uncle Sam has to get results out of the damage control exercise – and that has to be done, the decision, in time – and if the US doesn’t do so, the consequences will be grave.

The Independent yesterday quoted statement of an official of the North Korean Foreign Ministry that says: “As the United States is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation with it into this incident. We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as what the CIA does. The US should bear in mind that it will face serious consequences in case it rejects our proposal for joint investigation and presses for what it called countermeasures while finding fault with.”

See, it is so direct and serious!

It seems the North Koreans have smelled an opportunity here to launch the next crippling cyberattack on the US on this pretext because they know the world has got the message that it was indeed the North Korean cyber-expertise even if the official line says it was not. After all, deception and lies have been the most important tools of North Korean government under the ‘Kims’.

So, beware the world and the United States! The problem is more serious for the US here, because the North Koreans chose to begin with a US product, The Interview, a movie, caricaturizing the great, limping, oversized Supreme Leader. Now, it was not new for North Korea and Kim Jong-un. It happens with all great people initially. But, it certainly gave the North Koreans an opportunity to test-launch their next ‘rogue’ tool and they cashed it well.

But, for the US, the condition is of being in a state of indecision, deep dilemma, hanging in the zone between Scylla and Charybdis. They cannot accept the offer as the US cannot be seen working jointly with North Korea in this ‘prestige war’ given its geopolitical stakes in the world affairs and its long history with North Korea that is indeed a ‘history of hostilities’. After all, extending a helping hand even to an enemy can only be expected from the greats and the greats-in-making like Kim Jong-un. But rejecting the offer has the rider of ‘grave consequences’ ready.

Sources say the top US leadership is meeting in the White House at the earliest to discuss this latest and ‘dangerous’ twist in the ‘Sony Hack’ saga. But, at the time of writing this, there was no update on the high-level meeting.

While the Kim’s wrath-making machinery is busy curating its next step from the outcomes so far in the ‘Sony Hack’ opportunity.

God save America!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/