Oct 9, 2017

Trump: U.S. "getting nothing" out of North Korea

Soldiers applaud yesterday in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the election of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Photo: Jon Chol Jin / AP

Trump called out American efforts to deal with the North Korean threat Monday morning on Twitter, noting the U.S. has been "getting nothing" out of it for 25 years.

Why it matters: This follows Trump's weekend tweet noting "only one thing will work" with North Korea, which his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, clarified was a reference to military options.

Although diplomacy appears to be gaining steam — now, following more than a year of efforts from the U.S. State Department, more than 20 nations have pared back diplomatic or business operations with North Korea, per the WSJ's Paul Sonne and Felicia Schwartz — the endgame of getting Kim Jong-un to disarm since it comes at such a high cost may not work.

  • No "amount of pressure would convince Mr. Kim to disarm because the North Korean leader sees the nuclear and missile program as his regime's ticket to survival," Sen. Bob Corker said at a recent hearing.
  • The quiet successes are "a contrast to the heated exchanges between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Mr. Trump," they write.

How it's happening: "U.S. officials have asked countries to shut down businesses owned by the North Korean government, remove North Korean vessels from ship registries, end flights by the country's national air carrier and expel its ambassadors."

Go deeper

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

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The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.