11 June 2019   Leave a comment

The Wall Street Journal reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong Nam, who was assassinated in 2017, was an informant for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In an extraordinary statement, US President Trump said “I saw the information about the CIA, with respect to his brother, or half-brother. And I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices.” It is highly unusual for a governmental leader to admit that any foreign national worked with the national intelligence agency. And it is even more unusual for a leader to publicly eschew the ability to spy on an adversary. President Trump celebrates his unorthodox and disruptive style, but it is hard to figure out why he would cozy up to Kim Jong-un by giving up so much for so little in return. Indeed, President Trump continues to believe, despite all the available evidence, that he can work with leader Kim. The Washington Post quotes Mr. Trump today:

“President Trump said he received a ‘beautiful letter’ from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a note he said portended progress for his administration’s stalled denuclearization talks with the rogue regime.

“Trump, speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, said Kim’s letter came Monday.

“’I can’t show you the letter obviously, but it was a very personal, very warm, very nice letter,’ Trump said. ‘North Korea has tremendous potential, and he’ll be there. Under his leadership . . . And the one that feels that more than anybody is [Kim]. He gets it. He totally gets it.’”

It is hard not to conclude that Mr. Trump has let his hopes get far too high with respect to Kim.

US President Trump waved around a document today that he said was the agreement between the US and Mexico on Mexico’s response to the flow of migrants through its territory to the US. Mr. Trump refused to divulge the contents of the agreement, but a Washington Post photographer took photos of the document and then blew up the images to reveal a great deal of the agreement. The images raise many questions about the agreement, including the legal status of the agreement since it was not signed by either President Trump or Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. There are real questions about Mr. Trump’s claims about the agreement. He claimed that Mexico promised to buy more US agricultural products, a claim denied by Mexico. The New York Times has reported that much of the purported agreement was actually made last December, a report that the White House denies. The entire episode has a surreal atmosphere, and it is difficult to determine what was actually decided.

Posted June 11, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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