The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Air Date: 
May 09, 2018

Photo:  Stephen Yates, CEO of D.C. International Advisory, former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, and candidate for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Idaho.
Co-host: Gordon Chang, Daily Beast
Hour One
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 1, Block A:  Tara O, adjunct Fellow, Pacific Forum CSIS and Fellow at the Institute for Corean-American Studies, in re:  the latest on the Korean peninsula.  Washington confirms that the Trump-Kim meeting will be in Singapore.  Koreans are in a euphoric mood about peace and a peaceful reunification (“Now we can take a train through North Korea and go to Europe!”). South Koreans now trust Kim at a polling rate of 77%.  . . .  A lot of young Koreans have decided on the spur of the moment that all-Korea is one. Just before the Moon-Kim mtg, the “free” South Korean press was instructed what to cover and what to say — “almost like a threat.” . . . In a supposedly democratic state, freedoms are [gravely] abrogated by governmental control. 
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 1, Block B:  Peter Huessy, director of Strategic Deterrent Studies, Mitchell Institute of the Air Force Association, in re:  the U.S. Air Force on the Korean peninsula.  . . . Russians say that everything will be modernized by 2020.  We want to be sure that nothing flies over South Korea without being shot down. _____have the most advanced A!0in he world.  . . . “Fighter brothers.”  Kill-chain. Need missile defense in space; THAAD and Patriot not adequate; “massive punishment retaliation” in case the North decides to move South.  F-35, fifth-gen.
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The Korean and USA Air Forces are part of a mutual buddy system of integration and cooperation that defends the Korean peninsula from conventional; attack, particularly keeping the airspace around the area free of enemy aircraft and missiles.
     The RO Air Force has three integrated priorities: the KMPR—Korean massive punishment and retaliation; the development of a kill-chain capability from identification of a threat to its destruction which is with the US hoping to eventually deploy a suite of space based sensors and radars to do this; and KMD, Korean missile defense systems.
The United States is seeking to enhance its aircraft capability with the deployment of fifth generation F-35 fighters; Korea will be buying at least 40 of the planes, while also having the most advanced A-10 in the world as well as advanced F-16/Block 52.
     The ROK has 11 Wings of combat aircraft; the United States has 4 fighter wings at Kusan and Osan combined.
The ROK has increased in FY2018 its defense budget by 7%, a greater increase than in any year since 2009. The United States defense budget baseline and OCO increased $90 billion, or roughly 14.5%. The ROK defense budget increase is the largest of any US ally. The US and ROK are increasingly emphasizing the role of the Air Forces to deter conventional attack and keep the peace. Prior to 2006 when the DPRK exploded a nuclear device, and before 2000, when Russian President Putin acknowledged  the DPRK told him they had a nuclear warhead, US and ROK and allied forces in the region were required to deter the use of military force by the DPRK, as well as China. We can hope that denuclearization is in fact implemented but there remains the serious job of deterring conventional conflict and terrorist incursions into the ROK by the DPRK.
        Multilateral Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula The committee supports efforts between United States Forces Korea and the United Nations Command Sending States and certain countries to augment U.S. forces and forces of the Republic of Korea on the Korean peninsula. The committee is pleased to see cooperation and participation among the United States, South Korea, United Nations Command Sending States, and certain countries in combined defense exercises. The committee further believes that these allies and partners can continue to play a vital role in contributing military assets for contingencies and capabilities in the naval and maritime domain as well as participating in training and exercises. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the component commands, to provide a briefing to the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives not later than December 1, 2018, on recommendations to strengthen coordination with liaison components and to broaden such cooperation, including information sharing, training and exercise opportunities, and integration and planning of multi-national forces into existing arrangements between the United States and South Korea.
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 1, Block C: Josh Rogin, Washington Post, in re: Iran and North Korea . relations between Iran and Israel have deteriorated rapidly.  We urgently need a US policy thereon.  The only way to deal with Iran’s aggressive policy is to confront it in Syria, which we have not decided to do.  Netanyahu was in Moscow several days ago for VE Day, next to Putin watching the parade.  A net asset for the US, as both Putin and Netanyahu have a clear-eyed view of events.. Putin will let Bibi go only so far, and will be calling all the shots unless the US has another card up its sleeve. Alternatively:   . . .
We’ll play another card – the Joker. Kim will meet with the US president in Singapore. “By exiting the Iran deal, US has made a deal with DPRK much less likely,” say the Europeans. But this is inaccurate.   My view is that the two are unrelated.  If you're Kim, your calculations and interests and faith [so to speak] in Trump have not changed.  Kim will have mechanisms to get what he wants.  Action for action, measure for measure.  DPRK and Iranian nuke programs are “basically the same program” yet I don’t see a lot of coherence in US policies.  But Trump intends to narrow the goal in discussions w Kim: set up broad principles to aim at an eventual [large-scale] solution.
The so-called nuclear files are voluminous, in Farsi, and n Jerusalem, D.C., and maybe in Berlin for all I know.  North Korea, Iran, China, Russia, Syria – a multinational criminal organization.  Pompeo starts with: We need to address the North Korean threat to the US. This is what’s on fire right now, and I support Pompeo’s [position].  
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 1, Block D: Gordon Chang, in re: Larry Kudow reported very kind and hospitable behavior by Chinese during he economics meeting – “Right. If you were running the most predatory regime in the world it’d behoove you to lower the temperature any way you can.”  The delegation included Secy Mnuchin, Larry Kudlow, Wilbur Ross, Robt Leitheiser, Peter Navarro.   . . .  First thing to do is impose unacceptably heavy costs; or watch the regime fail and [start afresh].  If we want to defend out interests, we’ll have to do things that will somewhat roil the markets; if we don't China will [take our products] for free.   Chinese state industrial policy is for the state to take the leading role in developing technology, no room for foreigners except for them to relinquish their technology to the CCP.
Hour Two
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 2, Block A:  Bruce Bechtol, professor at Angelo State University and author of North Korea and Regional Security in the Kim Jong-un Era, in re:   North Korea and Iran. The summit to be held in Singapore – date unannounced.  Success wd be that DPRK agrees to denuclearize on US terms at sites we designate. Nothing shd happen till after DPRK has entirely dismantled its nuclear arsenal and he whole thing  in on aircraft on their way back to the US. Precedent: We did exactly that with Kazakhstan.  Btw, we need to be sure that the Japanese abductees must urgently be returned to Japan. Those are two of several things: also, [remove] missiles that can hit Japan, also those that can hit Guam and all that can hit South Korea; move 1.1 million-man  mil away from DMZ, being 40 km from Seoul; also urgently human rights reform, and cease proliferation in the Middle East and Africa, where they create destabilization among our allies.
Also Pyongyang statement about David Sneddin, and he return f he Pueblo.
Why is Kim acting like a puppy-dog – is he out of money?  . . . Expect a perestroika in miniature and a collapse of the DPRK – population will see hat they're living an a country far inferior to the South AM most skeptical about DPRK’s intentions. Have enough fuel and war stocks for maybe a two-week war a most. Thereafter,  have to be resupplied by outside power or use what they capture.
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 2, Block B:  Stephen Yates, CEO of D.C. International Advisory, former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, and candidate for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Idaho, in re: May 15 primary . . . two time zones.   Mechanics of a campaign, broad base of support, open seat race.    VP Cheney lending moral support, kind advice.  Statewide campaign, large geography, low population, lots of driving. 
What do the people of Idaho want out of the North Korea negotiations?  Success.  Deals, promises not fulfilled.  Trump has proven to gain concessions without sacrificing much of anything.  Singapore as a meeting-place is a surprising choice.  Kim afraid of flying.  Fear of missiles near/threatening to US West Coast.  Idaho has an “internationalized” economy.  Headquarters of cybersecurity firms.  Families sending young people to military; retired military settling in Idaho.  People are generally  happy    “Steve Yates and Idaho.  Idaho Statesman and Idaho’s Sec State office.
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 2, Block C:  Bill McGurn, WSJ, in re: Rod Rosenstein
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 2, Block D: Monica Crowley, London Center for Policy Studies, in re: Sanctions
Hour Three
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 3, Block A: Salena Zito, CNN and Washington Examiner, in re: West Virginia politics
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 3, Block B:  Lynne Blankenbeker, American politician and United States Navy officer; she ran for the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 2008; in re: Concord, New Hampshire
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 3, Block C:  Richard Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, Hoover; in re: Unions.
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 3, Block D:  Richard Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, Hoover; in re: Unions.
Hour Four
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 4, Block A: Robert Guest, The Economist foreign editor, in re: Iran deal
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 4, Block B: Robert Guest, The Economist foreign editor, in re: Iran deal
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 4, Block C:  Through the Valley: My Captivity in Vietnam, by William Reeder Jr.
Wednesday 9 May 2018/ Hour 4, Block D:  Through the Valley: My Captivity in Vietnam, by William Reeder Jr.
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