2 Korean security conferences in 2 days:

Yesterday with doves (Catholic progressives), today with hawks (a think-tank aligned with the defense ministry).

Fascinating contrast of interpretations of North Korea: we can work w/ these fellow Koreans vs. they are the opponent

A lot emphasis today on North Korean nuclear weapons, asymmetric warfare, and trilateralism (Korea-Japan-US).

@duyeonkim was on my panel and made the good observation that S Korea and US need a joint strategy on NK ‘grey-zone tactics.’ I like that term for its oblique ops.

My talk was that N Korea had a unique opportunity in two, overlapping dovish presidencies in the US and South Korea. Both Trump and Moon really wanted a deal. It was a unique constellation, a great chance for PY to push for a good deal.But they blew it by not offering enough

There were a lot of US and ROK military speakers emphasizing alliance solidarity. Good to see that after all the turbulence of the Trump years, when we feared Trump might pull out USFK in a second term just out of pique.

Here is USFK commander:

Here’s the think-tank sponsor, a good group, very serious about ROK defense: kaoms.or.kr.

And here is me and @duyeonkim hawking it up on our panel


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More from @Robert_E_Kelly

12 Nov
Speaking at the Catholic Institute of Northeast Asian Peace on Korean security today.

Flyer is below.

Conference is streaming live on YouTube now:

I’ll post from this event, including my presentation’s argument, in this thread as we go.

The bishop of this diocese just referred to the Church in North Korea as the ‘Church in Silence.’ Interesting term; never heard that before.

Also, there is one Catholic church in NK. But no priests, so no mass.

When I was in Catholic school in the 80s, the nuns told us that the Soviet Union was tying to destroy the Church

Catholic opinion in South Korea is divided over N Korea in a way American Catholicism never was over communism during the Cold War. This event is very progressive

Read 13 tweets
5 Nov
THIS. I can't emphasize this enough to people back home as an American living outside the US.

The GOP is supposed to be the party of national security, American power, & 'city on a hill' American exceptionalism, but Trump threatens the foundations of all of that: his disdain /1
for our allies pushes away our friends (T hates CANADA for chrissakes); his protectionism undercuts the pooled economic power of the US alliance network against China and Russia; his creepy admiration for dictators worries exposed allies like Taiwan, S Korea, the Baltics; his /2
rejection of science undercuts our technological edge; 'America First' sends a message of raw selfishness encouraging our traditional partners to do the same, striking their own deals with Russia, Iran, China;his disdain for international organizations undercuts our ability to /3
Read 6 tweets
5 Nov
My takeaways so far:

A. Trumpism was not vigorously repudiated. Trump is gone, but his toxic ideology of racism, authoritarianism, conspiracy theories, endless grievance, and so on – call it ‘FoxNews-Breitbart-ism’ - hangs on. QAnon is now in Congress,e.g. The next challenge

is the Trumpist after Trump – Don, Jr.? Tom Cotton? The French National Front is the model here: We now in the stage of moving from bomb-thrower Jean-Marie LePen to the savvier Marine LePen.

B. Biden beat an incumbent, one willing to relentlessly break norms and rules

(foreign interference, gross violations of the Hatch Act, voter suppression, endless lying & incendiary rhetoric). This is rare in American history and quite an achievement no one is talking about

C. The Democrats have won 7 of the last 8 popular vote counts. That has never

Read 9 tweets
27 Oct
There’s nothing remotely like a national consensus for a SCOTUS of this 6-3, right-left tilt, especially with 3 back-to-the-1920s righties (Barrett, Thomas, Alito). GOP has won the prez popular vote once since 1988. This court will be grossly out of step with public opinion on /1
health care, pollution control, soft drug legalization, voting rules, etc. When the left complains about minority rule, this is what they mean. Is it surprising people are thinking of court packing? A court like this is asking for 1930s-style systemic challenges. /2
& if this SCOTUS throws the election to Trump on a logic as specious as 2000, you’ll get an explosion on the streets.

McConnell must know this. T couldn’t care less of course, but a lot of GOP senators must know how dangerous it is when 40% of Americans don’t trust the Court /3
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
Fox hosts complaining about Biden’s ‘senility’ is maddening bad-faith.

Trump speaks in word salads of run-on sentences, non-sequiturs, lies & made-up stories, missing verbs, and general incoherence. And he can’t answer a policy question to save his life.

A few highlights:

- ‘fire and fury’
- neo-Nazis are ‘good people’
- buying Greenland
- nuking hurricanes
- Space Force (commanded by Buzz Lightyear)
- ‘super duper missiles’
- drinking bleach
- injecting sunlight
- corona is ‘disappearing’
- ‘sir’ stories (h/t @ddale8)
- wearing a Superman

t-shirt after leaving Walter Reed
- putting spikes on the border wall plus a moat with snakes
- forcing Secret Service agents to get in a sealed SUV w/ him when he was corona positive
- Obamagate, or rather OBAMAGATE!!
- 20k+ lies
- dithering on QAnon, Proud Boys, alien DNA

Read 4 tweets
8 Oct
I’d say that was a slim victory for Harris. Pence was way better than Trump, but he still fell into that fatiguing Trumpian condescension toward women which I’d say was the primary take-away. Trump desperately needs suburban women,& Pence’ performance just made that problem worse
In response to some of the comments: I mean victory electorally. I don't think she landed any KO blows, and I think Pence did reasonably well making Trumpism seem not terrifying (like when Trump dithered on the Proud Boys). But that is good enough for Biden-Harris, bc they're /2
winning by 10%. Harris needed to hold her own/look presidential, put solid points on the board (covid & police/justice reform were her best, IMO), and let hang Pence hang himself with educated women voters when he started mansplaining and talking over her and the moderator.And /3
Read 7 tweets

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