Rocket (Man) Fuel

The Atlantic’s Kori Schake with a good overview of Trump’s comments about North Korea at the UN, the trouble with drawing red lines, and what total destruction of North Korea really means. “Not only does that draw a red line that will be difficult to walk back from; it is also a much less credible and ethical threat than a pledge to more narrowly target the Kim regime. Waging war against people already enslaved by an authoritarian government punishes them unjustly—that would have been an easy point score in front of a UN audience.” (I made a similar point yesterday.)

+ Reuters: From Russia with fuel — North Korean ships may be undermining sanctions. (Russia seems to make its way into every major story these days.)

+ The other major portion of Trump’s speech had to do with the Iranian nuclear deal. Today, President Rouhani condemned what he called an ‘ignorant, absurd, hateful’ Trump speech.

+ David Sanger ties the two big issues together in his NYT piece: The Contradiction Buried in Trump’s Iran and North Korea Policies. “If Mr. Trump makes good on his threat to pull out of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, how will he then convince the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, that America will honor the commitment to integrate North Korea into the world community if only it disarms.”

+ The Economist was way ahead of the curve when it came to North Korea’s Rocket Man.

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