January 01, 2020

What Kim Jong Uns Latest Threats Say About His Trump Strategy
SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, has long threatened to "find a new way" if the United States persists with sanctions. And when North Korea announced his "revolutionary" new way Wednesday, the strategy revealed both a defiance and a deep caution in confronting President Donald Trump.Kim vowed, in a lengthy policy statement, to expand his country's nuclear force, making vague threats to show off a "new strategic weapon" in the near future​ and "shift to a shocking actual action." He warned that North Korea would not be bound by a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range ballistic missile tests.But he also moderated those threats by leaving out the specifics. Kim did not explicitly say that he was formally lifting the test moratorium or that he was terminating diplomacy. Instead, he said his efforts to expand his nuclear weapons capabilities could be adjusted "depending on the U.S. future attitude."It's a wait-and-see approach that leaves room for more negotiations.Analysts say that Kim is making a calculation against the backdrop of the political uncertainty in the United States, where Trump faces both a Senate impeachment trial and an election. The North Korean leader, they said, does not necessarily want to rush to strike a deal that could be overturned if Trump does not win a second term."Kim Jong Un continues to hedge his bets," said Jean H. Lee, a North Korea expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. "I think we'll see Kim continue to find ways to provoke Washington as a way to gain the upper hand in future nuclear negotiations without directly challenging President Trump.​"As he waits, Kim can continue to play the role of tough guy, increasing the stakes in his nuclear brinkmanship. North Korea can expand its nuclear arsenal, produce more bomb fuel, build more nuclear warheads and improve its missile capabilities.Less predictable is whether or when Kim might deliver an infuriating message to Trump by testing a nuclear weapon or intercontinental ballistic missile.Such a test could precipitate another "fire and fury" response from Trump. When Kim last conducted such tests, in 2017, Trump threatened to "totally destroy North Korea," inciting fears of possible war.Tensions eased after North Korea declared a test moratorium in April 2018. And after Trump met with Kim in Singapore later that year, the president said the two "fell in love."That moratorium remains the best outcome Trump can cite from his on-and-off diplomacy with Kim -- one that the North Korean leader may be wary of yanking away too soon.By treading carefully, Pyongyang also avoids more economic pain. Launching a long-range missile would set off another round of United Nations sanctions, and such tests could also provoke China and Russia at a time when Kim strongly needs their help to blunt the pain of current internationals measures.Those sanctions required China, Russia and other countries to send North Korean workers home by late last month, depriving Kim's government of a key source of hard currency. North Korea also increasingly depends on Chinese tourists as an alternative source of income, and Kim has recently built a number of tourist zones to attract them.In his policy report this week, Kim acknowledged that his country's efforts at economic reform faced "grave problems" and were "not making visible progress," according to the state news media. He also reported "evil practices and stagnation" in key industries and criticized his economic officials for "merely shouting the slogan of self-reliance" while lacking leadership and "responsibility" to revamp the economy.Kim also indicated that he was preparing for a "protracted" standoff with Washington, exhorting North Koreans to accept it as "a fait accompli that we have to live under the sanctions." After 18 months of faltering diplomacy, he said he was convinced that his country should stick to "self-reliance" rather than embracing the "brilliant transformation" of its economy that Trump promised if Pyongyang abandoned its nuclear weapons.Kim also called on his people "never to barter the security and dignity" that the North's nuclear deterrent provided, "even though we tighten our belts."With that, he was essentially admitting that his previous approach with Washington has failed.In 2012, in his first public speech as the country's leader, Kim had promised that North Koreans would "never have to tighten their belts again." When he convened the party's Central Committee the following year, he declared the parallel pursuit of economic growth and a nuclear arsenal. And in an April 2018 committee meeting, Kim said that he had completed his nuclear force and could therefore now halt nuclear and ICBM tests and focus entirely on economic growth.Kim met Trump in Singapore two months later. But talks between the two broke down last February in Vietnam, and the two leaders failed to reach a denuclearization deal. Kim returned home empty-handed, without the sanctions relief that his country badly needed to achieve economic growth.That stasis led to the deadline set by Kim, who warned that the United States had until the end of 2019 to offer concessions. Pyongyang promised a "Christmas gift" if Washington did not make progress on lifting sanctions, making an implicit threat that North Korea might return to its old ways and end the self-imposed moratorium.But the deadline also showed how desperately Kim wanted economic relief. By shifting to a harder line, Kim was juggling an increasingly tricky balancing act."​Kim's long buildup to his New Year message has inadvertently made North Korea look constrained," said professor Leif-Eric Easley at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. "He tries to use China and Russia for financial benefit, but doesn't want to appear dependent or beholden. He pushes his military engineers to develop more sophisticated weapons, but has to consider the risks of tests failing. He wants to increase diplomatic pressure on South Korea and the United States, but knows a major provocation is likely to bring more sanctions upon his regime."On New Year's Day, Kim did not face his people with a nationally televised speech as he had done in previous years. Instead, the state news media carried his policy statement, which came after a four-day meeting of the Workers' Party's Central Committee, North Korea's highest decision-making body.Kim's new guidelines meant that "North Korea will give up denuclearization talks with the United States, accept a prolonged standoff and sanctions as reality, and strengthen its self-empowerment, including its nuclear and missile capabilities," said Cheong Seong-chang, a senior analyst at South Korea's Sejong Institute.And Kim does appear to be giving the hard-line military a more prominent role in his government, even if it is unclear when and whether he will test an ICBM.North Korea's state news media recently reported that he was expediting the development of new weapons technologies, such as solid-fuel missiles that are harder to intercept and a new submarine-launched ballistic missile."We should expect that elements of the regime favor tests of several new systems, which likely include new solid-fuel and intercontinental-range missiles, as well as new warhead designs," said Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington."As talks stalled," Mount said, "these elements will have steadily gained in influence."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
COVID Outbreak at Swingers Convention in New Orleans | TMZ TV
December 03, 2020
rRCrSAXQr_E
Ciara Celebrates Russell Wilson’s Birthday With Romantic Dinner Date | TMZ TV
December 02, 2020
iIrAZDxUAUM
South Korea Passes BTS Friendly Law for Mandatory Military Service | TMZ TV
December 02, 2020
YXAjAxkbBNY
‘RHOC’ star Braunwyn Windham-Burke reveals she is gay | Page Six Celebrity News
December 03, 2020
cat8sO88vP0
See the 'Jersey Shore' cast then and now | Page Six Celebrity News
December 03, 2020
CEUbfz2YGKU
John Mulaney: Secret Service investigated me for my ‘SNL’ joke | Page Six Celebrity News
December 03, 2020
om9B-vJ4VDg
BTS Army's Big Birthday Plans for Jin | E! News
December 03, 2020
vhh47EeqdCA
Justin Bieber, Addison Rae & More Get Pranked By Kardashians | E! News
December 03, 2020
iy_xkx0Np4g
Chrishell Stause & Keo Motsepe Fuel Romance Rumors | E! News
December 03, 2020
GQ529g89CAc
Hitmakers 2020 - Harry Styles, Blackpink, The Weeknd & More
December 03, 2020
2iJ3yqpzt_I
'Small Axe' Star Letitia Wright on Working With John Boyega, Recreating the Mangrove Nine Story
December 03, 2020
D66Oqt4wSp4
The Head and the Heart - Live from My Den
November 30, 2020
L0YrtwPIe44
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
02
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Swansea City
02
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Watford
02
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Millwall
02
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Luton - Norwich City
02
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Wycombe Wanderers - Stoke City
02
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Reading
01
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Preston NE
01
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
QPR - Bristol City
01
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Coventry
01
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Barnsley
01
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Brentford
01
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Cardiff City - Huddersfield
30
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Aston Villa
30
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Fulham
30
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Eibar
30
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Parma
30
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Sampdoria
29
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Tottenham Hotspur
29
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Roma
29
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Wolves
29
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Southampton - Manchester United
29
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
29
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Osasuna
29
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Swansea City
29
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Hertha Berlin
29
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Hoffenheim
29
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Villarreal
29
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Celta Vigo - Granada CF
29
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Spezia
29
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Athletic Bilbao
29
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Crotone
29
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Udinese
28
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Bayern Munich
28
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Koln
28
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Alaves
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Liverpool
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Burnley
28
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Juventus
28
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Inter Milan
28
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Atletico Madrid
28
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - Schalke
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Sheffield United
28
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Verona
28
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Leeds
28
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Huesca - Sevilla
25
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group B
Inter Milan - Real Madrid
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - AC Milan
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Leicester City
22
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Arsenal
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Torino
22
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Parma
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.