23 August, 2019

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Kim Jong Un’s Game Is Going To Plan

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Trump scores own-goal against G7 Allies, Canada, Mexico and China; Kim Jong Un’s game is going to plan

Events are unfolding, spot on as foreseen in this column six weeks ago (Kim Jong Un’s Game-Plan Is Pretty Clear). I attributed to wily Kim short-term, medium and long term strategies; first make an American military strike impossible and secure his regime, second ease sanctions and enhance economic ties with the South (SK) and China, and third reunification of the Peninsula on terms that ensure his and his cronies survival. Here is an extract from that column. 

1. (a) Defuse all possibility of a US first-strike and secure the import of fuels and consumer goods. (b) Fish for capital injection, albeit on a limited scale, from the South and China to support a mini-Deng Xiao Ping (mini-DXP) initiatives.

2. Campaign for the lifting of sanctions in exchange for “complete denuclearisation; a complete nuclear free Korean Peninsula” to which Kim and Moon Jae-in committed in the Panmunjom Declaration of 27 April 2018.

3. Secure reunification of the Peninsula on a formula that will guarantee the regime, its principal functionaries and the military, safety for say 50 years – One Country Two Systems but very different from Hong Kong-China or East-West Germany.

The omission in my piece was to overlook Russia. The quintet that will count in the economic game in the Far East in coming years will be China, Japan, two Koreas and Russia. The US will be marginalised in the economic game; it cannot contribute much – it is broke, Trump envisages sucking investment back home not driving it abroad, and high tech is not important for North Korea (NK) yet.

The operative portion of the Kim-Trump declaration reads:- 

“Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

  • The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
  • The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
  • Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
  • The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified”.

How will the three strategic perspectives I attributed to Kim pan out? He has achieved his crucial objective; preventing military action and open regime-change efforts. Of course both sides will subvert any clause in the declaration that does not align with their real intentions, but that’s different; let’s work with the declaration and official statements. Kim has given away nothing, zilch, zero! He did commit to complete denuclearization of the “Korean Peninsula,” (sic!) but said nothing on what will be done and given no timetable for verification or destruction of the arsenal. Crucially nothing was said about NK’s missile capability. “Fire and Fury” and wiping NK off the face of the earth, all this is passé. All Trump got was bland agreement to “mutual confidence building (which) promotes denuclearisation”; he has reconciled America to a nuclear North Korea for the foreseeable future.

A nuclear North Korea is ok with me; a nuclear US is far more dangerous than a nuclear-any-other-country. America is the only country that has used nuclear weapons in war and killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in so doing. Nevertheless I do agree that Kim and Trump talking to each other and the relaxation of tensions overall is an excellent state of play.

Kim’s next stage

Having scored an innings victory in the First Test, Kim now faces a more daunting Second. He needs a NK-SK-China-Russia-Jap sanctions busting and investment strategy. China, Russia and SK can now legitimately ask the Security Council “Why sanctions any longer when Trump is drooling all over Kim over Singapore like a sugar daddy?” Here are tweets that have got American media (Fox News included) and the GoP establishment flustered. “I trust Kim; the US press is the enemy”; “NK is no longer a nuclear threat”; “Kim loves his people; his people love him”; “I will stop the War Games (military exercises with Japan and SK); they are provocative and expensive”.  What a love fest!

I am in USA at the moment and the media (pro and anti-Trump), the establishment and folks in general are perplexed. Everyone knew that Trump was a hare-brained crackpot and no one could say what he would say next or in what direction stagger; but now it has gone surreal. However, one must grant that Trump’s surreal diplomacy, outlandish threats and Security Council sanctions prodded NK to the negotiating table. 

Meanwhile ultra-right pro-Trump candidates are pulling ahead in GoP Senate and House primaries but for that very reason are likely to lose in November. Meanwhile, in Sri Lankan Trump cultists claim the summit was: “A massive victory for the President on many fronts. He promised to pull the US military out in exchange for ‘denuking’ and brought NK to a neutral position and possibly a future ally. He is the first US leader to push back powerful military lobbies and despite his cowboy image a statesman who treated Kim as an equal”. This is formidable support from a former leftist. 

Trump cannot resolve US trade deficit

I will explain why the US trade deficit imbroglio is unsolvable. The deficit is linked to an overarching financial bubble, high returns to capital, and production costs not matched by high enough productivity. Unfair trade practices is not the deeper cause. The US cannot reverse its escalating trade deficit under free-trade, which it championed for decades when it suited America to do so. Why? The lifestyle of the elite and living standards of the people make US manufactured goods price uncompetitive against global rivals. Hence consumers, mainly American consumers rush to buy Mexican durables, Japanese cars and just about everything made in China.  

US trade deficits began in the mid-1970s with the downturn in global capitalism. (See graph of monthly trade deficits; multiply by 12 for annual). The downturn was controlled till the mid-1990s by a vicious neo-liberal attack on welfare and wages. However the 1991 recession, the 1990s dot.com crash and the early 2000s belly-up of global capitalism pushed the trade deficit up again culminating in the 2008 crash. There was a technical rally at the end of the crash which could not be sustained. A picture is worth a thousand words and the graph saves me the thousand words. The deficit is endemic, it is organic and pertains to returns on capital, synthetic financing and higher living standards than can be sustained by higher productivity. America can’t compete; its technology though superior does not confer sufficient advantage.

Trump upended two days of economic diplomacy refusing to sign a joint statement with allies committing to free-trade. This has escalated into a trade war with the G7, Canada and Mexico. He mocked Canada’s prime minister as “very dishonest and weak” and his trade adviser Peter Navarro promised Justin Trudeau a “special place in hell”. Outraged Canadians are calling for a consumer boycott of US goods. Canada is the most important market for US goods, importing US$300 billion worth a year and taking 18% of its exports, ahead of Mexico and China last year – food, entertainment (films and music), iPhones and Nikes. The US is the top destination for Canadian tourists – 42 million trips compared to Canada’s population of 36 million.

In parallel, Trump decided to impose 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, accusing it, correctly, of intellectual property theft. Tariffs will first affect $34bn in annual trade; $16 billion will follow. The final list includes 1,100 items focused on its “Made-In-China-2025” plans to become dominant in high-tech. China responded with a list of 550 products, also covering about $34 billion to be subject to an additional 25% tariff. The list includes soybeans, corn, wheat, beef, pork, poultry and vehicles. A second list set to begin later covers coal, crude oil and gasoline. A head-on Pacific trade war that America cannot win is in full swing.

Allegations that China forces unfair transfer of US technology, steals intellectual property and refuses to give US companies fair market access are all true. Reducing technology theft and giving the US greater access to Chinese markets will narrow the $350 to $400 billion annual bilateral trade deficit with China, but not enough to reverse the US annual global trade deficit of $800 billion.

US tariffs have met fierce criticism from domestic companies and US farmers fearful of retaliation. They have had a mixed political reaction, winning praise from Democrats and opposition from Republicans who typically favour free trade. The IMF says Trump’s trade policies will hurt the US economy and undermine the world trade. While the IMF expects the trade dispute to have limited economic effect – slowing global GDP by less than one percent – it is concerned about how the fight would affect sentiment. “What is more critical and more difficult to factor in at the moment is the impact on confidence” declares the IMF. Global stock-markets have not crashed – not yet!

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Other web sites have discussed the KIM and TRUMP meeting in other angles. One story was USA tried to bomb North Korea probably to say this was the Meeting that I expected. Becasue, China kept it’s fastest bombing jets on alert. I heard those were preparing for a long distance travel. They say they can reach US in less than two hours. There are more about what TRUMP does and what does not.
    Anyway, UK had gone banrupt in 1850. but, they stopped instigating foreign wars only after the SUEZ canal Debacle. with the same measuring stick, USA decided not to involve in foriegn direct wars only after the vietnam war. I think that is after 1975. North Korea is doing business with China and NK is not a country as we say. there are articles and photographs shwojg what North Korea is. different countries have different objectives when they say development. TRUMP worked for his country’s interest. I think south Korea knew that and that is why they, even before the Summit, started reunification talks with North Korea. More steps were taken at the summit to strenghten it.

  • 4
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    Kim Jong Un is definitely doing well. Without any fake leftists and without any astrologers and most of all without any political advisers like Professor David what else can he do, except to do well?

    • 0
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      Very realistic talk.

      I think American consultants may be advising to President Trump that this round is for Kim and Trump should show patience. Trump’s victory is only if he complete the negotiation, but Kim’s victory started to drip in soon as he started the negotiation.

  • 3
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    I wonder what Prof AKD has to say about the fact that much of the intellectual property to which the US lays claim has been generated by intellectuals stolen from other countries, mostly Asia.
    Brain drain is the worst form of intellectual property theft.
    Should not the US pay back the countries that produced the producers of the IP wealth of the US.

    • 0
      0

      Brain drain is the worst form of intellectual property theft.
      The worst stupid comment ever appeared in any website. An outrageously foolish talk. The comment indicates even could not parse the meaning for “Brain Drain”

      Does this imbecile person know the meaning of English words “Property” and theft “?

      When USSR collapsed out from the Stalin made iron curtain, many Russian intellectuals migrated to USA. There are areas in USA now known as Russian Colonies. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn moved to USA when USSR lived; he moved back to Russia when USSR collapsed.

      Copy right is not a law just to apply across the borders. It equally applies within the borders too.

      Further, what Prof. Kumar is not getting of Kim is he gathered his economics knowledge from Western Europe, where the modern democracy and competition is born. None of this is coming from Russia or China. Many who go study West, as soon as they drop in there, start to look for a job, instead first to collect the knowledge. So when they return back to their country, they show the empty jealous, i.e. not collected Western knowledge, nor was success in getting their dream job in the West. Kim didn’t have that suffering. He learned in his learning time, using the parents’ money. So now he has pretty good idea of whether to adopt his parents’ family Pappa Momma store trade or go Multinational quoted share Company.

      • 2
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        Mallung
        Don’t get worked up. You are no part of the brain drain.

        • 0
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          You are right; EPDPs are not accepted as refugees in the West. Further, I never steal anybody else property or even jobs like EPDPs and run away. So when I left Lankawe, no property theft took place too. So under your definition of Brain Drain, you are safe and you did not lose any property.

          (Don’t repeat lousy quips without knowing what does it means by brain drain. Brian Darin applies to a country which has university like higher education facilities and set up to spend money & time to train higher skilled or professional grade employees. A country has UoJ doesn’t experience brain drain. )

        • 1
          1

          May be he is a part of the ‘brain drain’ in the sense that everything that comes out from his brain should go in to the drain.

          • 0
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            We thoguht you would have been taken away by Rajapakshe the most abusive killers in the country today.

            Edwin, please go ahead with Rajapakshe promotion, but you will never know how you will find your end.

            THings can work for you too, easier than you think. This I feel when considering all the hidden agendas of murderous unpredictable Rajapakshes.

            You guys have been abused as human shields. you are a naive person. From what you add to this aother post, we read your mind. So please take good care of you.

            • 0
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              A Change of Policy: My initial policy was to comment without reading the article. Now my policy has been extended to cover the comments. (i.e.) I comment on comments without reading what the hell the comments are about.

              .
              They call it ‘Kana Ballan Gehima’. A blind man hitting dogs. The sons of German Shepherds should not get offended by the word ‘dogs’ because I mean dogs in general – not specifically as individual ones writing comments and insulting other commenters.

              So, ‘Lanken’ – sounds non Sinhalese – please note that I don’t know what you are bar…. – sorry – commenting about. But I wish Theruwan Saranai to you.

          • 0
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            Front Admirable,

            “comes out from his brain should go in to the drain”

            Kerala Badu probably confusing you with the scene of Bahrain maids washes it off in bathrooms when they take bath.

        • 0
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          SJ what a masterly put-down.

        • 1
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          SJ

          “Mallung
          Don’t get worked up. You are no part of the brain drain.”

          Send him to China where head transplant will be available in couple of years.

          World’s first head transplant to be performed in China soon, says ‘radical’ US surgeon
          http://www.scmp.com/news/world/europe/
          article/2120503/worlds-first-head-transplant
          -be-performed-china-soon-says-radical

          • 1
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            Send him to China where head transplant will be available in couple of years.

            I am sure you are doing the research already with plans of getting one done for yourself. ;)

            • 0
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              Retarded. Loony Shameless Perera

              I am only helping others.
              I will let you know head transplant unit is up and running.
              I don’t mind booking you a place. Do you think its worth transplanting a fresh head at your age?
              There will be no refund policy attached to the agreement.

              • 0
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                Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera, the Kalavedda does not have a brain to start with. That is why he is only helping others who have a brain.

    • 0
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

      • 0
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        SJ the master of put-downs.

    • 0
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      Why is there a brain drain? Thinking of Sri Lanka, there was a time when most if not all Sri Lankans who went to the West for postgraduate training returned to serve in Sri Lanka. Maybe small in number so the system locally could absorb them and treat them well with decent salaries (they could all afford cars), accommodation and, to some extent, freedom of thought and expression. What changed? The war, yes, but is that all? What can be done to retain more of the brains in SL? What can be done to encourage some of the brains that drained Westwards to return? To engage? China seems to have done well recently — many senior Chinese scholars in the West are actively engaged back in China. Please, some constructive thoughts, rather than simply stating the West stole our brains, would be useful.

      • 0
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        “treat them well with decent salaries”

        I don’t think this is simply a case of remuneration ……… the opportunities offered by some countries to pursue their intellectual “interests” – especially in science and technology – are vastly superior to what a poor country can offer; the facilities and the intellectual “atmosphere” is simply not there. …….Perhaps someone can name a “returnee” who has made a worthwhile contribution in research ……….I can’t think of any

        But in countries like India – and perhaps China too – some “returnees” have made great fortunes and boosted the economy by applying the knowledge they have gained in the West. I suppose SL market is too small for that.

  • 0
    0

    Prof. David, the reality is that after the armistice, there is a change for the better. The anti-American rhetoric, banners, TV and radio broadcasting has all stopped. I am surprised that, being in the U.S., you have not seen the news (Of course, CNN wont say anything nice about Trump. Check Fox, Drudge etc). Trump also stopped the war games, N.Korea is removing their artillery from the area where these guns were pointed at the South Korean capital. Kim has also released bodies of U.S soldiers who died in the war, ceased research on rockets and nuclear devices. It is a START, professor a start after decades of uncertain and dangerous living.. Yes, the North and the South will commence trade and investments, may even re-unify. Trump is NOT a fool. He is also NOT a politician. But many dislike him because of this very reason.The U.S will pull out the troops in S.Korea eventually and we can HOPE and PRAY for peace.

  • 0
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    Donald Trump has a Master’s Degree from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. He took over his family real estate operations and became a billionaire. His popularity, according to Rassmussen is better than most previous presidents at this point. He is certainly not a “hare-brained crackpot”, as you claim. And your hypothesis of the “trade imbalance” is also totally misleading.

  • 0
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    NK’s nuclear program isn’t going to go away too fast, if ever. It doesn’t need to. If NK fires a long-range missile, the US has the capability of intercepting it very fast. (Iran is a different problem. In their case god’s own people, the Jews, are at stake, and the Christians will preserve them at any cost (even if they holocausted them whilst on their own soil) – no mistakes must occur in this region; not where are bunch of Muslimans are concerned (historical religious contexts)).
    *
    No,……. the idea of becoming bbf’s with North Korea is like the splitting of the atom – well, more like the combining of the atomic nucleus : all good trade deals will burst forth for America. Now US can sit atop NK, and survey the whole region with the ability to counterbalance and rearrange the US dollar’s worth. How cleaver is our Trump!

  • 0
    0

    I think Prof KD is writing this looking for an specific answer. I am still thinking TRUMP is successful. IF Hilary was elected, USA may have gone to a war and that would make them bankrupt for the end.

  • 1
    0

    Kim Jong-un was very well prepared, Trump had only the “The Apprentice” preparation. Trump has this “you’re fired” advantage. The media is painting the alcoholic style walk a virtue.
    The drama is yet to begin Kumar David.
    Right now Kim has left us confused. Is he a patriot or a narcissist?

  • 0
    0

    The final answer to the Korean peninsula saga is the reunification of Korea. What are the terms? Is it to perpetuate the Kim dynasty and its repressive ways and to enjoy all the economic benefits? It is like blowing hot blowing cold. At this point of time there is no chosen successor to Kim. The man is ill and it is reported that he is not looking after himself with respect to health. A semi-reunification, one country two or several systems or whatever so that the Kim will have his say as long as he lives and before his children are old enough to be named successor and Kim in the mean time passes away seems acceptable to the South so that the entire Korea would be like the present South Korea. Thanks Prof Kum for providing an article of a different subject.

    • 0
      0

      He looks fat. His face doesn’t have sick look. Then everything about health can be sorted out.

      America can give him a Marcos deal and persuade him to conduct a general election. He may cooperate for General Election, but would take Marcos deal. That means outburst of Democracy in NK is not in the menu, yet.

  • 0
    2

    Advice: If a woman is going to be raped, the advice given is, don’t resist because that is going to make things worse. In any case you are going to be screwed. Lie down and enjoy it.

    .
    I have a similar advice for all those who are against a Rajapaksa family member, a faithful or even Rajapaksa coming to power. Don’t try to go against the wave. You are going to be screwed anyway. Lie down and enjoy it.

    • 2
      0

      edwin rodrigo

      ” In any case you are going to be screwed. Lie down and enjoy it.”

      Will you give the same free advice to
      your partner (if you have one),
      daughters (if they listen to you),
      mother (if she hadn’t given you for adoption),
      grandmas,
      great grandmas,
      your sisters (if they haven’t runaway from you),
      your grand daughters, great grand daughters (if you are allowed to go near them)
      your Nieces
      your aunts,
      ………
      ………..?

      Taraki
      here is your necro give him a cuddle and a kiss for his wisdom.

    • 0
      0

      Front Admirable,

      Tell me something, if so, and then is Wijeya’s grandma is Proud one or Prostitute?

      Your advise is not for NV and not for the boys goes to Sunday Schools too? Is that right?

      It appears your advice can undo the misdirection set by Buddha to the women and Children to be get caught in lonely places with the name of faith.

  • 1
    1

    I wouldn’t have to give the first advice to you because there is absolutely no chance that you would ever find yourself in that position because of your horrible stink. I may give that advice to a stinking corpse that has been dead for 7 days. But not to you. OK? So you may go on playing games inside ceilings without any fear of being s…d.

    Similarly, I would not waste time giving you the second advice because only humans have voting rights. If and when we decide to give that right to monkeys, Urulevas, Hothambuwas (in that order) then and only then we may consider your case. But I am not making any promises.

    Now go back to wherever you came from – and you know where it is. Just follow your own smell.

  • 0
    0

    CT, some issues and articles are of grave importance to us and we wish to know the views of, intelligent and unbiased views of people. The exchanges between some in this and some other articles are meaningless and misleading.

  • 0
    0

    It is a very good paper excellent in parts like the parson’s egg. Hope Kumar is wrong. Bensen

  • 0
    0

    I am so glad. He wont be starting a war then.

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