한국정치 노트 Notes on the Politics of Korea


May 22 at 8:14am · 



이런 분위기 띄우는 기념 주화 만들 작정이었으면, 평양에서 제 1차 회담할 것이지, 왠 생뚱맞은 Singapore 였냐? 글쎄 !


 김정은 트럼프 정상회담 기념주화를 백악관에서 만들었다. 잭 뷰챔프 기자가 나름 불만 표출했다. 회담도 열리지 않았는데 벌써 만들었냐. 그리고 미국이 정치 수용소를 만들어 반체제 인사를 감금하고 있는 북한을 인권탄압국이라고 비난해놓고 김정은을 supreme leader 최고 지도자 라고 기념주화에 새겼냐 등. 불만이다.


- 트럼프는 북한 카드를 활용해 반트럼프 세력들의 코를 납작하게 해 주려고 하고 있다. 반트럼프 미국 주류 언론들이나 친민주당 언론들도 북미회담에 대해 반신반의하고 있거나, '거 봐라 북한 못믿는다니까' 논조가 많다. 


한국의 역할이 다시 중요해지고 있다.





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The US military made a coin with Trump’s and Kim Jong Un’s faces on it

There’s actually a serious problem here.


The US government has issued an official commemorative coin for President Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un — a summit that has not happened yet. The coin, pictured above, is more than a little troubling.


The US military has long issued so-called “challenge coins” — metal disks roughly the size of a poker chip that commemorate specific events or accomplishments. The tradition, which began as a way of rewarding soldiers for particularly impressive feats, has now been popularized and even spread to civilian parts of the government.


 A military detachment that works directly with the White House, called the White House Communications Agency, has been issuing them regularly when the president travels abroad.


So while it’s weird that Trump is minting a government coin with his face on it, it’s not uniquely bad in and of itself. This particular coin, however, is.


Part of the problem is the design. An official American coin with a likeness of Kim Jong Un on it that refers to him as “Supreme Leader” feels off, to say the least, given that his government is currently holding at least 120,000 of its own people in vicious camps designed specifically to hold and punish political prisoners. 


The coin also depicts Trump and Kim looking at each other eye to eye, as if they’re on equal footing — exactly the kind of status boost that the pariah regime in Pyongyang wants to achieve in this summit.


But the most fundamental issue with the coin is that the summit has not yet taken place.Trump is preemptively celebrating the summit itself as a major accomplishment, making it harder for him to walk away and declare failure if North Korea isn’t as cooperative as he expects.


This kind of pageantry makes the president’s personal reputation contingent on the summit being a success, when, in fact, most North Korea experts believe North Korea won’t give Trump what he wants.


The basic issue is that North Korea has said it will never give up its nuclear weapons, but Trump insists that it must as a condition of any deal. This gap seems unlikely to be bridged before the meeting, which is scheduled for June 12 in Singapore. North Korea is already threatening to walk away from the talks if the US won’t recognize that nuclear disarmament is off the table.


It’s hard to imagine this issue being resolved in a face-to-face sit-down between Trump and Kim, to put it mildly. So then the problem becomes: If the talks are a failure, and their failure makes Trump look like a fool given how much he’s touted them, how does Trump react?


Do we return to the cycle of threats of war that brought us frighteningly close to violence last year?


The coin itself is trivial and silly. But what it represents is a White House that’s taking a victory lap on the North well before they’ve actually accomplished anything — a level of investment that could potentially have dangerous consequences down the line.

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