Trump Puts Kim in a Do-or-Die Situation
President Trump made his first appearance at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.
I used to think that the previous president's speeches were unparalleled in their pomposity and emptiness. Remember how Obama claimed that the USA promoted peace and prosperity globally? Remember how he promoted America's 'exceptionalism' and spoke about America's global domination as a necessity for humanity?
— Some may disagree, but I believe America is exceptional. In part because we have shown a willingness through the sacrifice of blood and treasure to stand up not only for our own narrow self-interests but for the interests of all.
Now, President Trump is singing even higher notes, confidently outdoing his predecessor in many ways. The US president's speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday was full of self-admiration, America's infallibility, and unprecedented threats.
Take North Korea for instance. He threatened to destroy it completely.
— The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.
This is exactly what Sergey Lavrov later called “military hysteria”. After all, not a single UN member state leader, in his address to the General Assembly, has ever threatened to completely annihilate another UN member state. Yes, Trump seemed to have a condition: “If America is forced to defend itself”, but who knows when Trump will think that America is being forced to defend itself? Moreover, he constantly repeats that a military solution to the North Korean problem is not off the table. Now he claims to be ready to completely destroy a country with a population of 25 million people.
Not surprisingly, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called Trump's outtakes “the barking of a scared dog”. Strikingly, Trump obviously misperceives the cause-effect relationship. It seems that his every word on North Korea and every unilateral action taken by the USA only accelerate the nuclear missile program, leaving Kim Jong-un no other choice.
— Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of war in history, saying that he would destroy the DPRK, we will seriously consider responding using the strongest hard-line countermeasures in history. I will tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire. He's not a politician, but a rogue and a gangster.
Trump puts Kim Jong-un in a do-or-die situation. In March, the US withdrew from the six-party talks on North Korea, and now Trump is building a pyramid of verbal threats, with each subsequent one being more terrible than the previous one.
In fact, the US is driving itself into a corner, limiting the possibilities for any maneuvering. The probability of a nuclear war breaking out in the region is starting to become much higher.
It's not surprising that Kim Jong-un calls Trump a “political layman”, adding: Instead of frightening or stopping me, Trump's remarks show that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow all the way.
Meanwhile, there is a strong feeling that the entire structure of international relations is becoming more fragile. At the UN General Assembly, Trump spoke with rapture about his $700 billion military budget and the fact that the American military will be the strongest. His dream is understandable, but at the same time, the alienation between the US and its traditional allies is growing.
In response to Trump's bloodthirstiness, German leader Angela Merkel bluntly states: A military solution is absolutely unacceptable, we put a premium on diplomatic efforts.
That was matter-of-fact but ineffective. What would these “diplomatic efforts” look like, when Trump, on behalf of the West, has made Kim Jong-un frantic, continuing to provoke him? Is there any space left for diplomatic efforts on the part of Merkel?
Merkel refers to the successful experience of negotiations with Iran. But, while addressing the General Assembly, Trump called this deal a “shame”, saying that he “can't fulfill it”, as he believes that Iran uses it as a screen to create nuclear weapons.
In response, Iranian President Rouhani claims that Washington's refusal to deal would open a way for Tehran to take “any action”. All this horrified the head of European diplomacy, Italy's Federica Mogherini. She reminded Trump that the implementation of the agreement with Iran is being monitored not by the US, but the IAEA, with no violations having been recorded.
So, there is neither a reason for new negotiations nor for changing the treaty. I fully agree with Mogherini and German Foreign Minister Gabriel. In his view, canceling the nuclear deal with Iran would send the wrong signal to North Korea, too. Sergey Lavrov shared this stance at the final press conference in New York.
— If the agreement on the Iran nuclear problem fails, then North Korea would wonder why it should negotiate with us if we are unable to be reasoned with, if we go back on what was not only promised but already done. It seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? I hope that it won't set an example to follow.
All in all, at the UN General Assembly in New York, Russia defended civilization, in all of its diversity. The main thing today is to prevent the atrocities of war.
— Today, for these ends, we desperately need to restore the culture of diplomacy and dialogue — finding a balance of interests as opposed to making rash, instinctual responses that seek to “punish the disobedient”. In essence, it's about saving humanity in all its richness and diversity.
The revival of the culture of diplomacy is of particular importance, bearing in mind that US Vice President Mike Pence and Ukrainian leader Pyotr Poroshenko ostentatiously left during Sergey Lavrov's speech at the UN Security Council. Although the topic was rather relevant to Ukraine.
Poroshenko himself insists on introducing international peacekeepers to Donbass, with the Americans being in favor and Russia having its own initiative in this direction. But, as he is known to do so, Pence sank to Poroshenko's level.
Such diplomacy cannot resolve anything. Lavrov stressed the need to revive the culture of the profession.
But what did Poroshenko and Pence, who joined him, prefer not to hear from Lavrov? Probably the fact that if someone wants to deploy blue helmets to Donbass, it will happen only with the consent of both parties to the conflict. Actually, it's the basic principle of UN peacekeeping.
And, of course, Lavrov recalled the second pillar of peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the UN: Blue helmets must be impartial. They cannot take sides. Poroshenko and Pence don't seem to be entirely happy with such peacekeeping principles.