sunday brei


Apologies for the lack of morning briefing. Familial duties summoned my attention.  Let's see if any change in the situation has presented itself in the last 18-20 hours....

It is 10:38 AM on Monday in Pyongyang.

38 North reports that Russia is providing a new peering Internet link out of North Korea. This is a serious move that will increase the NK resilience. Note that there was a emissary to Russia from North Korea sent last week.

Trump rhetorically shoots Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State, in the back. Why would anyone trust Mr. Tillerson to be backed up by Trump now?  Will the Kushners be the actual ambassadors, or other Trump princelings? Truly amazing.  Mr. Tillerson is an adult and probably figures that he can help manage the children in the room; but it's very much resignation material.

In which a commentator argues that Mr. Kim is not crazy, and Americans are almost incapable of recognizing that they have a peer in Asia. I would concur.  I would note that Mr. Kim is famously good at lethal displays of power. There is a persistent thread of thought on the hawk Twitter accounts that North Korea is backwards and we'd roll right over them. I would suggest looking at some videos from North Korea of their mountains and contemplating mountain fighting with a dedicated and angry populace. (exhibit A for mountain fighting is always Afghanistan) Or, e.g., fighting in Seoul or Pyongyang. It'd be a brutal military campaign, and a long one, unless something really effective happened in the first few hours. Between you and me: ain't gonna happen. "A short victorious war" is an idea that got shot dead in Verdun and the Somme, and its zombie needs its head chopped off. This is particularly relevant in the face of the fact that effective information flows from the outside world don't happen in North Korea. So the populace is unprepared to surrender. Anyway. Consider contacting your House representative and pressing for impeachment.

The Washington Post remarks that the North Koreans are engaged in a brisk trade selling communist bloc spec weapons to countries and private armies around the globe. 

A US deputy secretary of state, Mr. Sullivan, will travel to South Korea later this month. Will Trump stand by any diplomatic achievments he makes? That is the question that will be on the side of everyone's minds as they talk with him.

The Wall Street Journal continues the anti-NK narrative. Interesting story, though!


Twitter accounts are calling purveyors of nuance and care leftist sympathizers.

The Department of State spokeslady, Ms. Nuart is taking a lot of flak for stating that North Korea can not have the bomb. It is a statement of fact that they do. 

As a side note,  I would also encourage contacting your US House member (If you are American) and pressuring them to move forward on HR 669 ). HR 669 finds that being the first person in a conflict to use nuclear weapons and requires Congressional authorization for starting a war using nuclear weapons. The United States system is designed around checks and balances; there is no check or balance on the use of nuclear weapons by the US President. 

Summary: Trump is significantly damaging diplomatic efforts.  North Korea has gained a substantial improvement in their communication ability. The United States Government public party line appears to be "Denial".

Tags: #DPRK #trumpenwar #north korea #trump