The Singapore Summit may be first victim of the trade war.
The last time we visited the Korean Peninsula, South Korean officials firmly stated that they want the U.S. and China to declare a formal end to the Korean War, and the two Koreas seem to be moving forward on a peace-first approach.
However, like two kids caught up in a messy squabble between parents, their plans have been impeded by further political drama between their senior partners.
In a move to send a message to China, who has been chaffing at the threats of a trade war, President Trump criticized the nation while calling off Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned visit to Pyongyang.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he has directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to delay a planned trip to North Korea, citing insufficient progress on denuclearization.
Trump put some blame on Beijing, saying he does not believe China is helping ”because of our much tougher Trading stance.”
….Trump laid unspecified blame on China, North Korea’s leading trade partner, which is widely believed to hold the greatest sway over Kim’s government.
The U.S. and China have been locked in a trade dispute for months, with each side ratcheting up tariffs on imports from the other country in what may be the opening salvos of a trade war.
Trump does not appear to be unhappy with Chairman Kim Jong Un.
…Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved. In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2018
China has been making several bold moves militarily, and it is likely in response to the move by the Trump Administration to place American interests first. Perhaps one of the most unsettling is the recent Pentagon report that the Chinese plans to intervene using North Korean instability as an excuse.
“China’s priority is maintaining stability on the Korean peninsula, which includes preventing a [North Korean] collapse and preventing a military conflict on the peninsula,” the report said.
China’s government has issued strident statements regarding North Korea, including suggestions the [People’s Liberation Army} PLA will be used to respond to a Korean crisis.
Perhaps the Chinese are considering an intervention to replace Kim with another North Korean leader who would continue the status quo on the peninsula?
Next, there is news the Chinese will be war-gaming with the Russians. This move could be unsettling to North Korea, as it shares a border with both countries, and is possibly being made to send a message to President Trump about how these two powers can disrupt the goals of the Singapore Summit.
The Chinese military will send about 3,200 troops to take part in Russia’s biggest war games in more than 35 years, putting their combat-readiness to the test after a massive overhaul of the People’s Liberation Army.
…The ministry said that the involvement was meant to strengthen cooperation between the two armed forces and improve their ability to deal jointly with security threats.
Additionally, the Pentagon report also indicates that China is”likely” training its pilots for missions targeting the U.S.
“Over the last three years, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against US and allied targets,” the report said.
This year’s report also claims that China is pursuing a nuclear capability on its long-range bombers, saying the Chinese air force “has been re-assigned a nuclear mission.”
Recently, the Philippines has sounded the alarm over an increasing number of Chinese radio messages warning Philippine aircraft and ships to stay away from newly fortified islands and other territories in the South China Sea claimed by both countries.
A Philippine government report showed that in the second half of last year alone, Philippine military aircraft received such Chinese radio warnings at least 46 times while patrolling near artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea’s Spratly archipelago.
American pilots have recently been treated to the same tactics:
Aboard a US Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane, CNN got a view from 16,500 feet of low-lying coral reefs turned into garrisons with five-story buildings, large radar installations, power plants and runways sturdy enough to carry large military aircraft.
During the flight the crew received six separate warnings from the Chinese military, telling them they were inside Chinese territory and urging them to leave.
“Leave immediately and keep out to avoid any misunderstanding,” a voice said.
Top diplomats of South Korea and the United States are currently working to maintain the momentum for dialogue with North Korea after the cancellation of Pompeo’s visit. Hopefully, the Singapore Summit won’t be first victim of the trade war.DONATE
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