State Department picture of Kim Jon Un and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in North Korea in an article on the Old School Patriot by Allen West

Do Not Trust, and Certainly Verify

In Foreign Policy, Front Page, National Security by Allen WestLeave a Comment

I recently wrote a post about the folks in the Middle East paying attention to our midterm election results. I really focused on Islamic jihadists such as Hamas. If you have noticed, they have indeed ramped up their rocket attacks into southern Israel leading up to, and after the midterms. I assess that these chuckleheads believe that there is an opportunity, a perceived weakness, to exploit having the Democrats taking over the US House of Representatives.

The left’s new darling, Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is certainly anti-Israel. That also goes for Minnesota Congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar who has openly asserted her support to cutting funding to Israel.

But, further away, I believe someone else was “hedging” their bets going into the midterm elections.

As reported by The Guardian:

“North Korea is maintaining more than a dozen missile launch sites, according to new research, in a further sign that the summit diplomacy pursued by Kim Jong-un has not led to any significant disarmament. 

Donald Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, have portrayed the US president’s June summit with Kim in Singapore as an unprecedented breakthrough and pointed to the partial dismantling of a nuclear test site and a missile engine test area as signs of progress towards North Korean disarmament. 

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) thinktank in Washington, however, has published satellite photographs of a short-range ballistic missile operating base near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) capable of accommodating medium-range missiles and threatening US forces in the region. The CSIS researchers said the base was still being maintained and improved, and was one of 13 it had identified out of an estimated 20 in total. The existence of the bases does not represent a violation of the agreement Kim made with Trump at the summit, which involved vaguely worded pledges on the “denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” which Pyongyang interprets as a gradual, staged and reciprocal process of disarmament. 

“The CSIS report does a great job identifying missile operating bases that analysts have long suspected. The fact that they have been maintained and improved, however, does not mean North Korea is cheating or deceiving the United States – Kim said he would mass-produce ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads in his New Year’s Day speech this year, and that is exactly what he is doing,” said Vipin Narang, an expert on the North Korean nuclear programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

On Monday, state-controlled media said that small-scale military drills by a few hundred US Marines and South Korean forces represented a violation of a summit agreement between Kim and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in. 

North Korea abruptly pulled out of planned talks with Pompeo in New York last week, and have so far not sent a delegation to talk to the newly appointed US envoy for North Korean talks, Stephen Biegun. Pyongyang said however that it is still interested in pursuing talks and describes Trump as being a more amenable interlocutor than other US officials.”

Yes, it was historic that an American president sat with a North Korean dictator. It is true that we have not heard about any missile launches. But, I do not trust this silence to mean acquiescence. I do embrace the notion that Kim Jong-un is very calculating, laying in wait. He will be watching to see what happens with the litany of investigations and hearings that certainly seem to be coming, and that are sure to plague the Trump White House.

What Lil’ Kim wants is for the trials, tribulations, and travails of President Trump to be distractions from the pressing issue of North Korea. Yes, the sanctions are in place, but Kim is holding on for dear life hoping that President Trump will be swept from office in two years. And, folks, two years can go by really fast.

If there is one definitive Achilles heel for the United States it is that we lack a long-term strategic vision when it comes to our politics. Everything in America is done via election cycles and in this currently volatile political atmosphere, it is hard to assess where this nation will be in 10-20 years. We face vicious pendulum swings while our adversaries maintain a certain steady state. This is the reason why China will try to play coy for as long as is possible.

Now, a Trump reelection would assuredly throw a monkey wrench (can I say that without being accused of racism?) into their immediate schemes, such as the Chinese “One Belt, One Road” strategy . . . ask yourselves, do we have a 25-year plan in America?

The news coming out of North Korea about these sites should alert us to the fact that we cannot get played by North Korea. We must remain vigilant and focused. Oh, yeah, that is what Kim Jong-un is banking on, a lack of focus from the progressive socialist left in the US House of Representatives. The days of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being able to hop a flight and head off to far hinterlands, such as North Korea may be ending soon. He, like the President, will be incessantly called to testify on Capitol Hill on everything including the color of his shoes.

And while all of that is happening, Lil’ Kim will be playing with his toys.

[My latest book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and retailers nationwide!]

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Old School Patriots Allen B. West

During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.

In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.

He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, published October 16, 2018, from Brown Books Publishing Group.