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Trump Needs Obama For Dealing With North Korea, Said Jon Wolfsthal

Obama advised Trump to pursue the pressure option

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During a meeting regarding the transition, former President Barack Obama presented President-elect Donald Trump with two options for dealing with North Korea, said Jon Wolfsthal, a close Obama aide who served as senior director at the National Security Council for arms control and nonproliferation during the Obama administration.

The two options: Seek a freeze on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs through direct engagement, or increase pressure on North Korea through China.

Obama advised Trump to pursue the pressure option, according to Wolfsthal. He specifically advised Trump to push for greater Chinese support to rein in the North’s nuclear development, he added.

“Making it clear to China that their continued protection of North Korea was beginning to undermine American security interests and that we would increasingly have to take steps to protect our interests in a way that might undermine China’s own security was a strategy that we believed was going to bear fruit,” Wolfsthal said during an interview with VOA Korean in February 2017, shortly after his departure from the Obama administration.

President Donald Trump talks with Kim Yong Chol, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, as they walk from their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, June 1, 2018.
President Donald Trump talks with Kim Yong Chol, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un’s closest aides, as they walk from their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, June 1, 2018. VOA

Pressure and engagement

Despite his repeated criticism of Obama for failing to stop North Korea’s nuclear development, Trump took Obama’s advice and employed it in his strategy. Pressuring China is a key element of Trump’s strategy on North Korea.

What makes Trump’s strategy different from Obama’s is it eventually pursues dialogue with North Korea.

Unlike Obama, who showed little interest in talks with North Korea, Trump is pursuing a dual strategy of pressure and engagement. He is using pressure and engagement in sequence: put pressure first and try engagement.

The purpose of Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” is to press North Korea to return to dialogue and produce desirable outcomes from talks.

President Donald Trump talks with Kim Yong Chol, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, as they walk from their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, June 1, 2018.
President Donald Trump talks with Kim Yong Chol, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un’s closest aides, as they walk from their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, June 1, 2018. VOA

Trump’s strategy is a clear departure from the Obama administration’s, but it’s not unprecedented. A similar strategy was tried by William Perry, who served as secretary of defense from 1994-1997 under former President Bill Clinton. Perry advocated the so-called “coercive diplomacy,” that is, diplomacy backed up with a credible military threat.

US promises, silence on human rights

Trump sent a clear message to Pyongyang that his strategy is different from that of the previous administration: seeking dialogue while keeping sanctions in place.

In a bid to bring North Korea to the table and allay the North’s security concerns, the Trump administration laid out four actions the U.S. would not take against North Korea.

In August 2017, as tensions were rising rapidly after North Korea’s second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson assured North Korea that the U.S. “will not seek a regime change, a collapse of the regime, an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, or an excuse to send military north of the 38th parallel.”

No previous U.S. administration had ever made such promises to North Korea in this way.

People watch a TV screen showing file footage of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, May 16, 2018.
People watch a TV screen showing file footage of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, May 16, 2018. VOA

Trump has also been relatively subdued in his criticism of North Korea’s human rights violations compared with previous administrations, a stance that has drawn criticism from some members of Congress and human rights groups. Trump’s supporters, however, say his efforts to engage North Korea would not be productive if the administration raised the human rights issue strongly.

Top-down approach

Trump may soon to be the first sitting U.S. president to meet with a North Korean leader, with the upcoming summit in Singapore. His top-down approach has had its ups and downs, however.

Supporters say Trump has made far more progress in diplomacy with North Korea than any of his predecessors. The dramatic shift from a possible military confrontation to a flurry of high-level diplomacy in less than six months was only possible because of Trump’s full support, they say.

Supporters argue Trump’s commitment to dialogue contributed to the North Korean regime’s decision to return to talks, saying Pyongyang has been seeking a summit with a U.S. president for many years.

Critics argue Trump should not start the discussions, but that his involvement should be the carrot at the end of the process.

They also argue allowing a North Korean leader to have a face-to-face meeting with a sitting U.S. president alone is a huge concession to North Korea. Such a meeting gives legitimacy to the North Korean regime, which it badly needs, without offering the U.S. anything in return.

Some critics also suggest the summit helps Kim shift his image from that of a “brutal dictator” who executed his uncle and ordered the assassination of his half brother to a “skillful leader.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a long- and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang, Aug. 30, 2017.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a long- and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang, Aug. 30, 2017. VOA

Fate of dual strategy

The Trump administration has said it will keep sanctions in place against Pyongyang until a complete denuclearization of North Korea is achieved. It believes maintaining sanctions will give the U.S. the upper hand in negotiations with North Korea.

It has also vowed to increase sanctions and international pressure against North Korea if talks fail.

Critics warn, however, that Trump’s pressure campaign will lose momentum once talks are under way.

Trump’s critics say the consequences of failed talks are great, and that it would be difficult for the administration to revive diplomatic efforts for sanctions if talks collapse at the summit.

Also read: Moon meet Trump North Korea summit

They caution it is unrealistic to unilaterally demand North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons, saying North Korea is likely to demand corresponding action from the United States.(VOA)

 

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Top-Tier Facets Of a Lucrative Filmmaker

A Great Filmmaker usually has Confidence in pursuit, Clarity of vision and Master Plan approach

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Filmmaker
A Great Filmmaker usually has Confidence in pursuit, Clarity of vision and Master Plan approach. Inordinate filmmakers intend to make films and work on stories which entice them and are Unique in their own Aesthetic. Pixabay

-By Kashish Rai

 “I want to Direct what I feel is interesting, not what is supposed to be my Zone. This is what defines me as a Filmmaker” – Imtiaz Ali

 Movies have become an integral part of our lives. As lovers of good cinema we seek good films. Some films usually leave such a strong impact on our minds that we remember them for years to come and the person who spares tremendous efforts to make a movie so special for us is a Filmmaker.

All the greatest filmmakers have managed to get decent flicks from time to time. People usually say that it takes Courage, Talent, Creativity, Passion and Hard Work to make a Film – INDEED IT IS TRUE! But there are a lot more things which define a Successful Filmmaker who is praised by many. Have a Look at the Top facets of a Successful Filmmaker in this Article.

  1. Embracing PERFECTIONISM Through INVENTIVENESS

 The topmost quality that discerns legendary Filmmakers from mediocre ones is their propensity to fabricate excellent movies with a sense of creativity along with sheer consistency. A Great Filmmaker usually has Confidence in pursuit, Clarity of vision and Master Plan approach. Inordinate filmmakers intend to make films and work on stories which entice them and are Unique in their own Aesthetic.

  1. Working with a LIBERAL APPROACH

 All the greatest Filmmakers are broad-minded in the sense that they know about certain ideas to present a story without a Bias or Judgement. They readily accept various addendums and consider not just one bit various points of view regarding their story.

  1. Possessing VIRTUOUS COMMUNICATION SKILLS

 Communication plays an important role to express one’s Thoughts and Ideas. A Filmmaker should have good Communication Skills to Articulate their production goals and work along with the crew to accomplish these goals.

  1. Being PATIENT and ASTUTE To Tackle Immense Pressure

 Issues arise any and every time! As a leader of the whole production unit the A Filmmaker needs to be calm and composed to handle situations with ease. Great Directors should take firm decisions with patience to ensure that the production doesn’t go Off-Track. Greatest Filmmakers serve grace under pressure.

Filmmaker
The person who spares tremendous efforts to make a movie so special for us is a Filmmaker. Pixabay
  1. AUDACITY to TAKE CRITICISMS and EMBRACING THE CRITIQUE

 Constructive and healthy criticisms help a Filmmaker to analyse where they went wrong or what can be done to improve the quality of the work. Last but not the least- A Filmmaker must possess this quality of being open to criticism and Suggestions. No one ever does anything with sole perfection,  so listening to others’ point of view is equally important.

ALSO READ: Health Researchers may Start Testing Vaccine Against Coronavirus

“Pick up a Camera. Shoot something. No matter how small. No matter how cheesy. No matter whether your friends and you sister star in it. Put you name on it as a Director. Now You’re a Director.” – James Cameron

 All the ambitious and budding filmmakers should consider these qualities to emerge as Lucrative Filmmakers – As it will be the variance between springing up to eminence or stagnating in nonentity.