Pence: Kim Jong Un wants to talk because Trump stood firm

By Ryan Pickrell

Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s offer to meet with President Donald Trump is clear evidence that the president’s North Korea strategy is achieving results.

“North Korea’s desire to meet to discuss denuclearization—while suspending all ballistic missile and nuclear testing—is evidence that President Trump’s strategy to isolate the Kim regime is working,” Pence said in an official statement.

Praising the president’s leadership, South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-Yong, who recently led a delegation to Pyongyang for talks with senior North Korean leadership, revealed Thursday evening that Kim is eager to meet “Trump as soon as possible.”

“President Trump greatly appreciates the nice words of the South Korean delegation and President Moon [Jae-in],” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded in an official statement. “He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined. We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”

Pence emphasized that “the North Koreans are coming to the table despite the United States making zero concessions,” as past U.S. presidents have done to appease the Kim regime. Instead of concessions, the U.S. has continued to ratchet up the pressure on North Korea, urging it to pursue a path of peace instead of destruction.

The elevation of Kim’s status to a nuclear-armed equal could be considered a type of concession. However, the U.S. is committed to maintaining its maximum pressure campaign until North Korea denuclearizes.

“Our resolve is undeterred and our police remains the same,” Pence explained, adding, “All sanctions remain in place and the maximum pressure campaign will continue until North Korea takes concrete, permanent, and verifiable steps to end their nuclear program.”

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3 thoughts on “Pence: Kim Jong Un wants to talk because Trump stood firm

  1. Some US allies are claiming they are entitled to have trade surpluses with the US, because they (pretend) to be on our side, even though they do not pay their AGREED share of NATO expenses. Rich Germany manages about 1% of GDP for NATO, after agreeing to 2%.

    These allies are trade predators: They want to make NO concessions to the US to reduce big US trade deficits by voluntarily selling less to the US, AND buying more from the US.

    End Result of US Policies and Trade Negotiations: The US went from a $6.8 billion trade surplus in goods in 1964 (the last surplus) to an $810 billion deficit in goods in 2017; the deficits are mostly with industrialized nations. Each $1 billion in goods deficit means about 8000 less goods-producing jobs in the US. Foreign entities earned about 10%, or $81 billion on their export surplus in 2017.

    US budget deficits are mostly financed by foreign entities. They obtained the funds from 1) the earnings on their trade surpluses with the US and from 2) the earnings of their US assets. This and other factors changed the US from being the largest creditor nation in the world to the largest debtor nation in the world. The 50 years of growing US budget deficits and trade deficits led to the value of US assets held by foreign entities becoming about $8.3 trillion greater than the value of overseas assets held by US entities by end 2016, a very large percentage of US GDP. The US was a creditor nation from 1910 to 1988. Foreign entities earned about 5%, or $415 billion on their net assets in 2016.

    The A to Z Value Chain: For decades, the EU, Japan, Korea, etc., have invested to build up the skills of their technical personnel to develop, design and operate complex facilities to manufacture products and systems for their own markets and for export. That is the front end of the A to Z value chain, which is the most profitable part. It pays good profits to owners, good wages and benefits to workers and taxes to home governments. It is the real wealth builder of an economy. Those countries develop, design, build and own the ships to transport products and systems all over the world. Those countries own parts-making and assembly plants all over the world.

    The assembly of parts and sub-assemblies into end products, such as cars, is the less valuable part of the value chain. Usually it pays good profits to owners, but pays mediocre wages and benefits to workers. Clever transfer pricing avoids or minimizes paying taxes to host governments.

    Here is an example of a crew-up trade agreement. The US (Obama) was taken for a ride by South Koreans.

    US-Korea Trade Agreement, signed by Obama in 2012, enabled Korea to increase its exports to the US, whereas US exports to Korea were stagnant. See table 2A. Tens of thousands of jobs were created in Korea, whereas near zero jobs were created in the US.

    US exports of motor vehicles and parts to Korea increased by less than $1 billion between 2011 and 2015, but U.S. imports from Korea increased $10.6 billion. As a result, the trade deficit in vehicles and parts increased $9.6 billion in the first four years.

    The growth of the vehicles and parts deficit was responsible for 85% of the increase in the US-Korea manufacturing trade deficit, and nearly 63.7% of the increase in the total US-Korea trade deficit between 2011 and 2015.

    Alarmingly, the agreement has not taken full effect and there still retain some important US tariffs that protect our domestic auto industry. When they expire in 2021, our trade deficit with Korea will undoubtedly worsen.

    It is utterly astounding, after decades of negotiating trade agreements, US/Obama negotiators again were completely outsmarted by Koreans, or they deliberately compromised US commercial interests, which borders on treason.

    At 10,000 jobs per billion dollars of exports, Korea gained about 150,000 jobs, mostly in manufacturing, the more lucrative part of the value chain. The US further reorganized its economy to distribute, sell and service foreign goods, likely with no net gain in jobs.

    Trump and others call it a horrible agreement for the US. In reality, it is much worse. It is completely abhorrent and unacceptable. It should be immediately renegotiated.

    Table 2A 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
    Korea 56.7 58.9 62.4 69.5 71.8
    US 43.5 43.3 41.7 44.5 43.5
    Deficit 13.2 16.6 20.7 25.0 28.3

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