Grind for September 20th, 2018
“Men willingly believe what they wish.” – Julius Caesar
Moon Jae-in meets Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang
South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in Pyongyang this week to attend what will be his third summit this year with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The meeting is intended to breathe life back into a diplomatic process that has stalled somewhat following Kim’s meeting with President Trump in June.
The summit kicked off Tuesday with a welcoming ceremony for Moon, who is the first South Korean president to visit Pyongyang in more than 10 years and the third to attend a summit there since the end of WII.
The specifics of the summit agenda are unclear, but Moon is expected to seek progress on inter-Korean engagement and to encourage Kim to resume negotiations with the Trump Administration.
Kim’s priorities are to move closer to a peace treaty and to the removal of economic sanctions.
North and South Korea have come a long way since the two leaders signed an agreement in April – including the reopening of military communications and reunions of families separated after the war.
But the situation is difficult for Moon, who is trying to improve ties with the North while assisting the regime in its negotiations with the US.
“I think the problem right now for South Korea is that it’s frustrated that it can’t do more in terms of inter-Korean cooperation because of the lack of progress in US-DPRK negotiations,” says North Korean expert Frank Aum.
In order to get US-North Korea relations back on track, Moon might try to seek reassurance from Kim that a peace treaty would not require the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea.
While Kim has committed to denuclearization numerous times, his regime has ultimately failed to make any real progress.
Last month, President Trump canceled Sec. of State Mike Pompeo’s planned trip to the peninsula because he felt that no “sufficient progress” was being made “with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Earlier in August, officials detected what appeared to be renewed missile activity in North Korea.
In mid-December, Kim announced he wanted to denuclearize before the end of President Trump’s first term and claimed that he had never said anything negative about Trump.
Huffington Post accuses the Washington Post of publishing fake news
The Huffington Post on Monday accused the Washington Post of distorting key facts in a “bombshell report” on the Trump Administration’s alleged crackdown on passport applications in South Texas.
The WaPo article defends its claim by pointing to the increased scrutiny of Latino birth certificates and the midwives who signed them as well as the increased number of passport denials to individuals born near the Texas/Mexico border.
The problem with this claim is that both polices predate Trump’s election.
The Post also points to the investigation of Texas doctor Jorge Trevino, who delivered more than 15,000 babies during his career working in the Rio Grande Valley. Trevino came under federal scrutiny in 2015 after he was accused of falsifying birth certificates.
It was eventually discovered that the issues with Trevino’s birth certificates were related to poor record-keeping, not fraud. Either way, the investigation occurred before Trump was elected.
The Post’s report also fails to line up with official data from the State Department regarding the number of passport denials.
“The Trump Administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown,” wrote the Post.
In reality, the number of passport denials had dropped from 1,465 in 2015 to 971 last year. As of last month, the State Department was on track to end this year with even fewer denials.
The Post’s article does not include these numbers. When asked why, WaPo officials claimed the State Department’s data was inaccurate because it did not include cases involving delayed birth certificates and cases where births were recorded in both the US and Mexico.
“As it stands, the Post’s report remains misleading,” concludes HuffPost. “It relies on anecdotal evidence to make an explosive claim that’s contradicted by official data – and doesn’t make that fact clear. It implies that years-old practices are new. And the paper consistently refused to correct the record unless it was called out by other reporters.”
The Post article has been updated at least three times since its initial publication on August 29th.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… In its ancient form, the carrot was purple, not orange.