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Trump’s Grand Tour: Day 3 South Korea

As part of Liberty Nation’s deep dive analysis of President Donald Trump’s tour of Asia, we’ll be examining what events take place, the significance of them, and most importantly, how the media are spinning it. Here’s a summation of Day 3 of the Grand Tour:

Hot off the heels of a Japan visit that by all measures must be considered a success, President Trump has landed in South Korea to have security and trade talks with newly elected President Moon Jae-in. The two leaders will have a hard look at diplomatic solutions to both issues. You can read about day two of the president’s Japan visit here on LN.

The Background

The U.S. has a military presence in South Korea totaling around 30,000 troops, which is one of the main defense options available to the country. President Trump has spoken often about dealing with the “neighbor to the North,” but has not always had the full, open support for his rhetoric from the South Korean government.

Recent events put President Moon in a more welcoming mood, but it is still fears of war rather than hopes for diplomacy that appear to be driving the two nations’ relations.

The Events

The day began with a visit to Camp Humphreys, a joint U.S.-South Korean base and one of the most prominent features of the U.S. military involvement with South Korea. The president took photos, ate food, and chatted with military personnel in an effort to highlight the deep cooperation the countries share.

Presidents Moon Jae-in and Trump shared a press conference after closed-door meetings to discuss the mostly agreed upon actions for dealing with North Korea.

The Expectations

President Trump will be hoping for two positive outcomes from his South Korea visit. The first involves getting a strong diplomatic message across to Kim Jong Un that his Southern neighbors have powerful friends, whilst at the same time asking for the North Korean dictator to “come to the table” for talks. The second will be for a concession regarding KORUS (the U.S.-South Korean free trade agreement), which Trump says has been a major imbalance for the last 70 years.

President Moon Jae-in will be looking for President Trump to tone down the rhetoric on dealing with North Korea, yet at the same time, ask the U.S. president to use his global power to bring others – most likely Russia – into the fold of a diplomatic solution.

The Spin

For once, it seems the leftist media have been unable to call out the president on any of his actions, and many have admitted (grudgingly) that Trump had toned down his talk on North Korea and seems to be considering a deal that leaves all sides better off.

The presidential attitude didn’t stop one CBS reporter, Ali Vitali, from attempting to embarrass the president during his joint Q&A. She asked if he would consider extreme vetting for people to purchase a gun. The president responded calmly with:

“Well you’re bringing up a situation that probably shouldn’t be discussed too much right now,” Trump said. “We could probably let a little time go by, but it’s okay if you feel that’s an appropriate question even though we are in the heart of South Korea.”

Behind the Curtain

This is a big day for behind the curtain talks and events. On the surface, it would appear it’s just another state visit, but in reality, key talks have been taking place.

After the president’s Japan visit, it is highly likely that Japan’s Shinzo Abe has asked the Donald to step in and try and build a firmer relationship between Japan and South Korea. President Trump’s closeness with President Abe puts him in a unique position in terms of being a “matchmaker.”

There has been talk on getting both China and Russia to help deal with Kim Jong Un; the basis of which being that sanctions only work if everyone is applying them. South Korea has asked for support from these nations before, but have been met with only cool responses.

It is highly likely that military cooperation between Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. will have been discussed. It seems realistic that the leaders will have decided on an operational policy whereby troops and munitions can be called upon through a unified field command.

Check back in with Liberty Nation tomorrow to get more on this historic Grand Tour.

 

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