More Visible Dots The Media Ignore In Trump’s Strategy Against North Korea…

Hours before the Trump administration briefed 100 senators today on the issues surrounding North Korea, a more consequential announcement was made.

The jaw dropping announcement (hidden by U.S. media) appears to show just how long President Trump has been putting the North Korea strategy together.  However, before discussing that aspect, we review the Senate Briefing at the White House:

Today Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presided over a meeting meeting to brief Senators.

The details of that meeting have not been made public because of their classification and sensitivity.  The meeting lasted about one hour and discussed various financial and military options available for pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear program. (link)

Here’s where it gets really interesting.

For months the media have, at random, ridiculed President Trump for not distancing himself from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.  President Duterte has been cracking down on Filipino drug gangs in his country and his approach has been severe and extremely tough.  Indeed Duterte’s zero tolerance approach has been brutal.

However, shortly after his election, December 3rd 2016, President Trump chose not to refute Duterte for his approach toward confronting the Filipino drug gangs and drug epidemic.  The media were apoplectic.   Duterte responded by calling President Trump “a deep thinker“. Duterte said he was greatly pleased with the “rapport” he has established with the newly elected U.S. president.

Instead of President Trump calling out President Duterte for the severity of his approach, President Trump moderated any criticism and said he understood that Duterte was confronting the problem the best way he knew how for his country.

That was in December of 2016.

Well, guess who is now the rotating (every year) Chairman of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)?

Yup, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

And just yesterday, after a visit last week from Vice-President Pence, ASEAN announced:

Southeast Asian nations would adopt a softer than usual tone about South China Sea disputes at a leaders’ summit on Saturday in Manila, and exclude references to militarization or island-building, according to a draft of the chairman’s statement.

Although some Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders will express “serious concern” over the “escalation of activities” in the disputed sea, ASEAN will drop references, or even allusions, to China’s construction of artificial islands and the military hardware it has placed on them, according excerpts of the draft seen by Reuters. (link)

China has been expanding its seven man-made islands in the Spratlys (South China Sea) for several years, and the action has been a considerable point of angst for the region and for U.S. geo-political strategists in the former Obama administration.

However, despite the activity, and despite the protestations by the Obama White House and Obama State Department, the general consensus has been there’s nothing any nation can do about it because China exerts tremendous economic leverage in the entire region.  Additionally, the man-made Islands are too far along for any substantive international efforts to thwart them. 

The horse giant panda is now fully out of the barn.

There’s no President Trump policy capable of reversing the position of China in this action.  Done is done.  However, the international view of legitimacy around these islands still carries some major political leverage if applied toward a greater regional need of similar consequence.

Enter the need for the international community, and ASEAN specifically, to see North Korea pull-back from their doomsday nuclear ambitions…. and President Trump understanding that given the nature of entire issue – it all comes down to leveraging China, using complex terms of political currency, valuation and international legitimacy, against North Korea.

The Giant Panda can eliminate the problem that is Kim Jong Un.

ASEAN Chairman, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, modifying the confrontational tone of Asian nations toward China is yet another useful carrot by U.S. President Trump to stimulate China’s increased pressure upon North Korea.

That’s a really big ‘get’ for President Xi Jinping.

“Complicated business folks, ….Complicated business”…  

Again, a review of the activity timeline reveals a long-term strategic approach: 

♦February 10th – President Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Abe at the White House and at Mar-a-Lago, w/both spouses, to discuss regional issues (including N-Korea).

February 27th – President Trump and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi meet in the White House Oval Office to discuss regional issues (including N-Korea).

March 15th – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Japan, South Korea and China to follow up on February’s conversations and discuss the forward path (including N-Korea).

April 6th and 7th – President Trump hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago where they discussed all of the critical bilateral and regional issues (including N-Korea).  President Trump seeded the background by appointing Ambassador Terry Branstad, a 30-year personal friend of President Xi Jinping.

April 8th – Secretary Rex Tillerson debriefs the media<– CRITICAL READ

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

  • For the first time ever, China did not support Russia in a U.N. Security Council veto vote surrounding Syria.   China abstained.
  • China turned around 12 fully loaded cargo ships laden with imported coal from North Korea.  400,000 metric tonnes refused unloading.   China begins an embargo against North Korean coal.  China begins importing coking coal for steel-making from the U.S. coal mines.
  • Additionally, in furtherance of economic sanctions – China halts oil exports to North Korea.
  • Additionally, in furtherance of political isolation – China halts direct flights between Beijing, China and Pyongyang, North Korea.
  • And in the most stunning seismic shift of geo-political alliances, China says it is now open to discussions of a denuclearized North Korea, meaning getting rid of N-Korean nukes, WITHOUT N-Korea being included in the talks. Hello?  China, the United States, Japan, Russia and South Korea discussing how to de-nuke North Korea.  (A new Marshal Plan of sorts)

♦April 14th – President Trump announces policy directive to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin that there’s no need to label China as a currency manipulator.

April 15th – Vice President Pence arrived in Asia for a ten day visit (South Korea, Japan, China, Indonesia, Australia); positioned as the steady, stable and reliable administration policy closer (including N-Korea).

April 23rd – President Trump followed up on Pence’s visit with personal phone calls to China’s President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; again, the topic was North Korea.

April 24th – U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley brings the U.N. Security Council to the White House for lunch with President Trump.  The President spoke of the need for the U.N. to fulfill its original charter.

♦April 25th – ASEAN (Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte – rotating ASEAN Chairman) releases policy statement saying Southeast Asian nations agree to go easy on Beijing over South China Sea dispute.

Although some Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders will express “serious concern” over the “escalation of activities” in the disputed sea, ASEAN will drop references, or even allusions, to China’s construction of artificial islands and the military hardware it has placed on them, according excerpts of the draft seen by Reuters.

April 26th – President Trump invites all U.S. Senators to the White House for a classified briefing on North Korea.

April 28th – (THIS FRIDAY) U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be traveling to the U.N. to speak to the Security Council personally.

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196 Responses to More Visible Dots The Media Ignore In Trump’s Strategy Against North Korea…

  1. jeans2nd says:

    Pres Duerte is an Economic Diplomacy guy, wants to return power to local governance, rejects TPP, and who, after feuding with Obama and turning to China and Russia, has been invited by Pres Trump to the White House.

    13 May 2016 “Duterte published an “eight-point plan” of economic proposals, which contained a number of business-friendly proposals designed to reassure investors…has called for a constitutional referendum within two years, with the aim of establishing a federal system that would transfer more powers and greater funding to local authorities. ”
    http://thediplomat.com/2016/05/philippines-president-elect-duterte-prompts-concern-over-economic-policy/

    2 Dec 2016 “After a ugly quarrel with President Obama in which he called the leader of the free world a ‘son of a whore’, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is heading for a White House visit next year at the invitation of President-elect Donald Trump.”
    http://www.reuters.com/video/2016/12/02/trump-invites-duterte-to-white-house-for?videoId=370620846

    13 Dec 2016 “Duterte rejects TPP, praises Trump for dumping it”
    http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/12/13/16/duterte-rejects-tpp-praises-trump-for-dumping-it

    After eight years of jaw-dropping incompetence and Fake Media fawning of said, it is no wonder the psycho-pseudojournalists have gone schizoid over our POTUS.

    Liked by 6 people

    • mike says:

      Obama…‘son of a whore’
      “son of a bitch” would have been the common translation. However provocative the press was being to create hostility in Obama, I think the “whore” version was actually more accurate with respect to BHO.

      Duterte struck gold with reducing the drug problem in the midst of an ongoing emergency.

      Liked by 4 people

    • M33 says:

      Great stuff.

      You know who will crap a brick?
      John Oliver of Last Week Tonight.

      Fool tried his damndest from seeing Duterte meeting President Trump at Whitehouse.

      Love how this stuff just keep blowing up in their faces like a Wiley Coyote cartoon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Renegade says:

    How refreshing it is o see American ingenuity on display once again. Cunning, brilliant grownup chess. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Renegade says:

    How refreshing it is to see American ingenuity on display once again. Cunning, brilliant grownup chess. Love it.

    Like

  4. If anyone hasn’t been watching the news the last 100 days, we now have a new President. Actually, we now HAVE a President, and not just any run of the mill President. He, unlike so many past presidents, has never learned to think like others in our illustrious government. Why, that’s horrible, you say? Why yes, yes it is, says me.

    It’s horrible for those who enjoy the fruits of our labor and resources. It’s horrible for those who would rather engage in stalemate than resolution. Its horrible for those who would profit on the status quo at the expense of peace and security. Sounds pretty heady there, LS. So what’s your point? (You’ll have to excuse me folks, I talk to myself sometimes.)

    My point is this, how many more decades must we invest in an armistice? What investment, you ask? A pretty hefty one, my concerned friend. Permit me to get out the white board and cipher up some numbers….let’s see, thousands of US troops, thousands more of support personnel, billions in military equipment, multiple military bases….and that’s before I multiply the whole mess by a factor of 2.5, a mathematical step necessary to offset my conservative margin of error. Got a headache yet? I know I do.

    So what’s a guy to do? Well, he can go with the flow and watch the good old USA slowly waste away while our fair weather friends in China sit in the balcony eating fresh popcorn laughing with each other about how they really don’t give a panda’s flop.

    But, I think our guy may have other plans. I believe Mr. Trump wants a better deal, an art of the deal if I may. He wants what’s best for the USA here at home, and that may involve returning a lot of the USA here at home. You see folks, a peaceful region is a happy region. Imagine a country full of people discovering that money can buy things other than nuclear warheads for the Dear Leader. But I digress. We’ll save that one for the unicorns and rainbows. Besides, we may have to wait for a President Donald Trump Jr. to tackle that possibility since so much needs fixing.

    So, in conclusion (I’m sure you’re glad to hear that one even though it sounds like I’m skipping ahead), Trump must and probably will change the course of the stalemate, throw the ball in China’s court, and wait for Kim Jug Head Um to have a glorious screw up and get himself in hot Sake with his neighbors.

    Remember Kimmy Boy, the tsunami is coming and if I were you, I’d be a running. Your world is fixing to change and no amount of electricity for your starving grid will help. You’ll find yourself crying for big brother China to help and I hope that by then, their ears will be full of fried rice. Heck, Kimbo, you may even lose the upcoming war. Wow, imagine that. There will no more generals with the huge hats and chests full of medals to hold accountable for your loss. You will be Un done.

    Like

  5. Please says:

    President Trump is acting very un-politician-like. He is solving problems. Politicians allow problems to continue so they have an issue to campaign with and ‘promise’ to solve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ej says:

      It never ceases to amaze me at how adept CEO types are at solving problems. On several occasions, I have presented detailed and complicated problems to a CEO only to have him hit me with a very direct and narrow question. The question may seem odd, but indicates that he gets the problem. Then a bulb goes off in my head, because the answer to the question is related to the most simple and direct solution, but like a confirming detail. Literally, they can sit and listen for a few minutes, absorb all the information, clearly assess (formulate a solution in their brain) and then start asking questions because they want to sharpen the solution. It makes one feel clumsy sometimes.

      Trump is superior at this. He sees past all the flak and hones in on a solution. He then evaluates his solution and moves quickly once he has confirmed that solution. All this happens while everyone else is like “I don’t get it”. LOL. I love it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • JBrickley says:

        Well there are plenty of exceptions such as Marissa Mayer CEO of Yahoo! who is taking a golden parachute after the sale of Yahoo! While being responsible for running it into the ground. Or the CEO of HP, Carly Fiorina who ultimately failed but is still praised by some except those in the tech sector that know better. A lot of the startups have zero business plan and burn through cash on frivolous things and pivot 5 times before they implode or are bought out by some guardian angel bigger startup.

        But I get what you mean, a talented successful CEO can be amazing! The trouble is so many failed CEOs tend to get ousted, take a huge severance due to a contract and move from company to company screwing things up until they amass enough wealth to retire comfortably. Then float around on various boards potentially screwing things up further.

        Like anything else, there are good and bad CEO’s. Seems The Donald is among the cream of the crop. He is absolutely brilliant and he’s picked the best people. His media savvy is outstanding, he has them wrapped around his little finger. They still don’t get how big they have lost. I find him charismatic and I am very happy he’s POTUS.

        Like

  6. ej says:

    Trump is also an extrovert. They process information out in the environment. Whereas introverts process information internally. Sometimes he will say things which are not going to be the direction he will head. But they are his way of essentially speaking out loud. Sometimes I wonder how much is intentional v how much is really him processing information. So when people say he flip flops, they may be correct in saying that he has made inconsistent statements, but that is likely because he is feeling through the solution externally and has not made up his mind. I think this is very effective in leveraging situations. He basically sends his leverage externally to process and then the environment reacts to him and the solution presents itself. It’s very effective.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. JBrickley says:

    My wife is Filipino and Duterte is crazy popular. He won in a massive landslide victory. Politics is difficult to follow because of the many factions and long cultural history. Corruption in the Philippines is extreme from the top down everyone is grafting and bribing, etc. Many politicians were funding their fortunes in the drug trade as well as Federal, State, and Local Police. The Filipino Press is Left leaning and against Duterte and it’s getting vicious but the people whole heartedly support what he is doing. Crystal Meth (Shabbat) is rampant and Chinese mafia (possibly Chinese military & intelligence as well) is manufacturing it offshore on ships in international waters and smuggling it into the country in enormous quantities. Obviously there is cooperation due to corruption. It’s a multi-billion business. The enormity of the drug problem cannot be overstated. Marijuana is the other big illegal drug and with the tropical climate it grows easily everywhere. The southern half of the islands are mostly Islamic separatists and terrorists (Al Queda / ISIS affiliated) as well as Communist guerilla’s are profiting on the drug trade as well as kidnapping. There was a state police commando massacre after they raided a known bomb makers home in an Islamic area but didn’t get out fast enough before all the neighbors started an ambush. 44 Police Commando’s were slaughtered in 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamasapano_clash

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laura Wesselmann says:

    Thank God Trump is commander-in-chief. As far as Berkeley goes, the normal people need to step up and resist these thugs. Don’t expect the California government to do S—.

    Like

  9. Ploni says:

    Excellent, this.

    Thank you, Sundance.

    Like

  10. lubyankafh says:

    The ‘interesting historical question in the back of my mind is “When was the last President who was an adept CEO before becoming President?”

    My suspicion is that we’ll have to go back to “The Founders” generation in other words a time in American History before the Constitution was Amended and Ratified.

    Like

  11. Bailey02 says:

    President Trump invited Philippines’ President Duterte to the White House is a good foreign policy. Enemy of my enemy is my friend, Duterte called Obama ‘son of a whore’ or S.O.B.- and stated a few things that Obama caused the damage through out the world, which is correct. I like him and I agreed that he did the best for his country under the present circumstances. Obama not even dare to response…LOL to Son of a whore – Obama..

    Like

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