The missile came on the heels of an olive branch tendered by the Trump Administration. A week ago, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the world,
"I think it is worth noting, we have had no missile launches or provocative acts on the part of, or provocative actions, on the part of North Korea since unanimous adoption of the UN Security Council resolution" [on August 5]. I am pleased to see that the regime in Pyongyang has demonstrated restraint, We hope this is the signal we have been looking for, that they are ready to restrain provocative acts. And perhaps we are seeing a pathway in the near future to having some dialogue."
North Korea responded three days later by firing thee missiles into the sea. The missile shot over Japan was a super-sized exclamation point heard around the world.
Why didn´t Kim accept Washington´s olive branch?
Our prior post gave the answer:
"Here is something that neither Kissinger nor Trump [nor Tillerson] understands. Ultimately, he who controls the definition of the situation controls the situation.
Kim and/or the people around him seem to be keenly aware of that reality. To cover up the fact he backed down on the missile launch near Guam, Kim said he is waiting to see what the ´foolish Yankees´ do next."
Restraint, no provocative acts; signal; pathway; dialogue: in Kim´s book, Tillerson was trying to define the situation.
Kim was not going to let him get away with it. In more ways than words can ever tell, with the missile launches Kim took back control of the definition of the situation, hence, of the situation.
Kim´s language is the language of power. Grammar, syntax and vocabulary, it has not varied for millennia. Given that context -- and in international affairs all of us all given it, like it or not -- Tillerson´s olive branch is viewed at best as neurotic, at worse as a symptom of Ganser syndrome, i.e., nonsensical or wrong answers to questions or doing things incorrectly. (Example: "What time is it?" Answer: "Thursday.")
Given where he is coming from, why should it seem strange that Kim thinks Trump is "weird," that American conduct is "foolish and stupid"?
Our prior post gave the non-nuclear solution to the North Korean crisis. The language of JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis, it is the language of power everywhere.
The White House needs to find somebody who speaks it -- fast.
Footnote: August 29, 1:30 p.m. The White House issued this formal response to North Korea´s missile over Japan:
"The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior.
Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table."
That reply is not appropriate. It continues to relate directly to Kim instead of bypassing him entirely and confronting President Xi of China about the missile launch.
Trump, Tillerson et al just don´t get it.
Update: August 30. This item just came in.
Kim announced the missile that flew over Japan was “the first step of the military operation of the Korean People’s Army in the Pacific and a meaningful prelude to containing Guam.” He added there would be “more ballistic rocket launching drills with the Pacific as a target in the future,” but claimed he would watch “U.S. demeanours” before deciding on future actions.
By now it should be clear that Tillerson´s and Trump´s statements praising Kim´s "restraint" over not testing missiles after the heightened UN sanctions and "very wise and well-reasoned decision" not to fire missiles at Guam only invited the very thing they were intended to prevent: heightened North Korean aggression in words and deeds.
Worst of all -- possibly fatal -- was Trump´s assertion that Kim is "starting to respect us" (August 23). Let´s say it again:
(1) What a puppet thinks one way or another is of no importance. A slave always thinks with the brain of his master.
(2) In Kim´s book, Trump was trying to define the situation: Kim feels this; Kim thinks that. In order to show he and not Trump controls definitions, Kim was forced to show otherwise. Thus, Trump unwittingly encouraged the very behavior he opposes.
What is to be done? There is an alternative to nuclear war:
1. Enact the JFK-derived Belvedere Doctrine discussed in the prior post.
It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from North Korea against any ally of the United States as an attack by China on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon China.
That Doctrine would make -- not suggest, request or beg -- China the Puppet Master responsible for its puppet.
2. Given that doctrine, the appropriate response to the missile over Japan would have been: if a North Korean missile enters the airspace of Japan or other ally of America, it will be regarded by the United States as an attack by China on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon China.
You would see North Korea´s rocket drills magically evaporate within hours.
There you have it -- the language of power.
Caution: for reasons given in our prior post, The Belvedere Doctrine will not -- cannot -- be implemented. For that reason, it is opinion, not advice.