Best Of The Web
“The denuclearization process with North Korea is going nowhere fast. Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said the U.S. has no plans to suspend any more major military exercises with South Korea. Mattis also said that smaller-scale exercises in the South would continue, lending credence to the North’s accusation that a nuclear submarine recently dropped off a fresh contingent of U.S. special operations forces at the Jinhae naval base for training. Halting these kinds of exercises was Washington’s portion of the tacit “freeze for freeze” agreement the United States and North Korea appeared to have reached a few months ago.
Also last week, U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly canceled a long-planned visit to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, just days after Pompeo finally named a special envoy to spearhead working-level negotiations with the North. Trump’s decision was reportedly motivated by a letter he received the same day from Kim Jong Un’s spy chief, Kim Yong Chol, who warned that negotiations may fall apart if the White House fails to take steps toward negotiating a peace treaty with the North.
There’s no reason to believe North Korea is holding up its end of the bargain either. Most available evidence suggests Pyongyang continues to develop its ballistic missiles and its enrichment capabilities.
North Korea never pledged to denuclearize on the timeline the White House said it would, of course, and since Singapore, it has stymied the diplomatic process over largely symbolic issues. The two sides are at an impasse over how to move forward. The White House wants full denuclearization. Full denuclearization is a non-starter for Pyongyang. Surrendering its nuclear program would only invite an attack. A partial handover is possible, but the U.S. won’t abide by an agreement that simply allows the North to rebuild what it just gave away. A peace treaty is possible, but the North would demand that the U.S. withdraw its 28,000 troops from the peninsula – a nonstarter without full denuclearization. And even if Washington signed a peace treaty, it would be sacrificing its one source of leverage over the North.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."
"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."
"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."
"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."
"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."
"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."
"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."
"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."
"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."
"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."
"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."
"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."