Who would have possibly foreseen the future when, in a 24-hour span, Bill Cosby is convicted as a sexual predator and the Korean peninsula declares an end to hostilities. I mean, maybe one or the other, but not both. Technically the Korean peninsula has been in a state of war since the ceasefire was issued in 1953. Ever since that time, North and South Korea have been basically in a standoff. That all changed in the past 12 hours as Kim Jong Un stepped foot into South Korea, the first in the North’s dynasty to do so in over 60 years. In return, South Korean President Moon Jae-in also walked into North Korea as a show of unity.

News on this from the Associated Press:

The leaders of North and South Korea played it safe Friday, repeating a previous vow to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons but failing to provide any specific new measures or forge a potential breakthrough on an issue that has captivated and terrified many since the rivals seemed on the verge of war last year.

In a sense, the vague joint statement produced by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to achieve “a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization” kicks one of the world’s most pressing issues down the road to a much-anticipated summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in coming weeks.

Even so, the Koreas’ historic summit Friday might be remembered as much for the sight of two men from nations with a deep and bitter history of acrimony holding each other’s hands and grinning from ear to ear after Kim walked over the border to greet Moon, and then both briefly stepped together into the North and back to the South.

Standing at a podium next to Moon after the talks ended, Kim faced a wall of cameras beaming his image live to the world and declared that the Koreas are “linked by blood as a family and compatriots who cannot live separately.”

What happened Friday should be seen in the context of the last year – when the United States, its ally South Korea and the North threatened and raged as the North unleashed a torrent of weapons tests – but also in light of the long, destructive history of the rival Koreas, who fought one of the 20th century’s bloodiest conflicts and even today occupy a divided peninsula that’s still technically in a state of war. Kim’s single step across the cracked, weathered concrete marking the Koreas’ border made him the first ruler of North Korea to step on South Korean soil since the war.

It should go without saying that the West should be skeptical of Kim Jong Un’s moves here. The man is still a murderous dictator accused of starving and imprisoning his own people, so all the smiles of unity are nice, but there is a lot further to go before North Korea joins the civilized world community, if ever. All of this news comes as a precursor to the potential meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong, sometime perhaps in May or June.

In other completely unrelated news, Bill Cosby was convicted yesterday of drugging and sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman back in 2004. Keep in mind that in a previous trial last year, the result was a deadlocked jury on these same charges.

Wendy Murphy, an opinion writer for the Boston Herald, believes that the justice system may have turned a corner since the Harvey Weinstein revelations and may begin more forcefully holding predators accountable:

Cosby, “America’s dad,” a rich and powerful popular culture icon who assumed he would never be held accountable, is facing jail time.

Because of today’s verdict, a new page has turned. A legal system notoriously bad at holding men of influence to account when they abuse women has effectively declared an end to that era.

The world has changed, and abusive men everywhere should beware that if Dr. Huxtable can be held accountable, then anyone can be held accountable.

And make no mistake, the word of one woman is enough. Though several of Cosby’s other victims also testified that he drugged and violated them, too, their testimony was admitted only to show that he had an unusual modus operandi. Constand alone delivered the key evidence. Win or lose, Constand would have achieved justice because her voice was heard, and it was loud, clear and strong.

It seems plausible that a jury in 2018 may be more empathetic to a female claiming sexual abuse of this nature than a jury in 2016 or 2017. After all, how could “America’s Dad” be guilty of such crimes given his thoughtful and friendly demeanor playing Cliff Huxtable on the Cosby Show in the 1980s and 90s. However, with the rampant revelations of sexual harassment, and in some cases rape, from the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly and countless others, people seem to be less inclined to discount claims of sexual advances as easily as they did just a few years ago.

In other totally unrelated news, former FBI Director James Comey spent the week giving interviews to varioues media outlets and even held a “town hall” with CNN. Speaking to Fox News, Comey denied that what he did was considered a “leak” when he sent memos to his friend with intention of getting them to the New York Times:

Former FBI Director James Comey, in a wide-ranging interview with Fox News on Thursday, defended sharing his memos about conversations with President Trump with multiple people, while denying it was a “leak.”

“That memo was unclassified then,” Comey told anchor Bret Baier during an appearance on “Special Report.” “It’s still unclassified. It’s in my book. The FBI cleared that book before it could be published.”

Comey acknowledged giving the memos to at least three people including his friend, Columbia University law professor Daniel Richman. He said he sent Richman a copy of the two-page unclassified memo and “asked him to get the substance of it out to the media.”

“The reason I’m smiling, Bret,” Comey said. “I don’t consider what I shared Mr. Richman a leak.”

Well, alright, but most would consider these actions to be a “leak” when government information somehow makes its way to the media from unnamed sources. That may be a moot point anyway because it appears that, technically speaking, Comey didn’t release anything that was classified in nature, though that investigation is still ongoing.

Also, if you’re interested, CNN has made the entire Comey town hall available via YouTube, embedded below for your viewing pleasure:

Stay tuned next week for whatever news stories we can wrap up nicely for your on Friday. Enjoy your weekend!

25 COMMENTS

  1. One thing that struck me this week was the fact that African-Americans didn’t become upset over the Cosby conviction, as they were ecstatic over the OJ Simpson verdict.

    OJ had spent his life running away from his Black identity, yet he was seen as a hero when he was acquitted. Conversely, Cosby seemed to celebrate his Blackness, in all his entertainment, yet was not celebrated for his earlier hung jury, or defended after his conviction.

    I had heard that many Black people actually thought OJ was guilty, but celebrated his release as a bit of payback for all the times Blacks had been unfairly jailed, or apparently guilty Whites (such as Robert Blake) were acquitted.

    Also, Cosby had lost a lot of his popularity among the community because he was so critical of African-Americans for not becoming successful, like him.

  2. You can’t really say the Korean War ended. The official combatants were the United Nations vs. North Korea. That war is still alive.

      • Didn’t mean to throw cold water on your enthusiasm. I just think it’s premature.

        I find it very hard to believe that NK is making a full turnaround. Perhaps when Kim met with China, he got a commitment to have China push for a UN peace treaty–plus a guarantee of mutual defense. That’s really what the NK trouble has been all about for more than 60 years.

        But China won’t want North Korea to become part of South Korea, giving the US an even greater sphere of influence. What will the deal be?

        NK saw the Iraq and Libya examples of why nuclear weapons made his country safe. Kim will need solid assurance of safety before he’d be willing to give up nukes.

        I also find it hard to believe that the US will remove its troops from the peninsula. Since WWII our goal has been to “occupy” every possible country with our troops.

        There are just way too many variables.

  3. As president, Donald Trump is, and has always been, a chaotic and unpredictable aggressor but he has met someone, Kim Jung-um, who is even more adept at dealing under the table. The fact that Moon and Kim Jung have resumed a mutual admiration society is even far more disturbing. Mainly, because the U.S. still has over 25,000 troops in South Korea, 65 years after the Korean War ended. Kim Jung’s prison still holds 3 Americans as war prisoners. Not a peep from Trump about how he will extradite them. Not a peep from Trump about how or when he will remove the 25,000 American from this danger zone. Childish name calling and unfulfilled threats just doesn’t get the job done.

    In September 2017,Kim Jung tested his largest nuclear bomb to date, one seven times stronger than the one America dropped on Hiroshima. In, November 2017, Kim Jung tested a missile that could strike any, and all, sections of the United States. Kim Jung-um has not offered, nor will he agree, to give up or dismantle his nuclear arsenal.

    I withhold judgment on Bill Crosby. Not that I believe he is innocent of the charges. However, the United States has elected as president a man guilty of the same crimes and, as of this moment, still goes unrepentant and uncharged. The fact remains, some people are just “jerks” from birth, both Trump and Comey fall under that heading.

    • Beckley give it up. Rejoice that NK agreed to go to the peace table. No matter what caused him to go just be happy.

      You’ll never, and never is a long time, give Trump an ounce of credit. Which is fine. He certainly doesn’t need your approval.

      If it weren’t for Trump we’d still be throwing money at NK and getting empty promises. You know that. But you don’t care.

      What really ticks you off is your presidents couldn’t get NK to the peace table. So you’ll say anything whether it’s true or not.

      Just be happy. Quit complaining.

      • You need to stop and carefully read Kim Jung’s speech in the joint announcement. In it Kim Jung made not even one mention of denuclearization. Moon said the two sides affirmed that they share the common goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, but Kim neither affirmed nor denied this statement. In fact, Kim Jung’s speech did not address any of the issues that has long brewed trouble with Seoul, Washington and his neighbors.

        The Kim family has ruled North Korea since 1945. The family rule first began with Kim Il-sung, who had served in the Russian Army in WWII, and shared their communistic views. At many, many different times there has been many, many different world leaders who tried and failed to reconcile terms and agreements with this family. Democrats and Republican presidents, the Russians, the Chinese, and a few others all tried to make peace with the Kim family since 1945.

        North Korea, regardless of which member of the Kim family is leading the pack, has never stuck to any of its agreements made with world leaders. This year, Kim only verbally agreed to pursue a peace treaty that would end the Korean War after nearly seven decades of hostilities. Why? Because he needs foreign aid totaling billions of dollars to feed his hungry people. Kim hedged all bets at Panmunjom when he said “denuclearizing his country could be a long process that required multiple rounds of negotiations and steps to build trust.” Kim laid out this vague idea of what he might do only if his country gets foreign aid packages in billions of dollars to feed his hungry people.

        It does look like Kim Jung has extended an olive branch. When the two meet how will Donald Trump react to this true or false action? Will he find it hard to threaten, or use, military action against a country that is asking peace. I believe Trump fully understands Kim’s response as it is right out of Trump’s own playbook. It doesn’t change my political outlook but I totally hope Trump can stare him down.

        • Perhaps Kim didn’t feel there was a need to put that into that speech, but the wording of the agreement seems clear.

          According to the Washington Post

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/04/27/the-panmmunjom-declaration-full-text-of-agreement-between-north-korea-and-south-korea/

          The joint communique stated in section 3(4):

          South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
          South and North Korea shared the view that the measures being initiated
          by North Korea are very meaningful and crucial for the denuclearization
          of the Korean Peninsula and agreed to carry out their respective roles
          and responsibilities in this regard. South and North Korea agreed to
          actively seek the support and cooperation of the international community
          for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

          • I’m sure you noticed that Kim spoke only in the terms of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, not just the denuclearization of North Korea. The present Kim’s father used this term, and Kim Jung continues to use it. Meaning, he will disarm only when the United States withdraws its 30,000 troops from South Korea and removes its nuclear warheads that are pointed directly at his country from South Korea and Japan.

            • From what I’ve been able to find, all of our nukes are in the US, except 150 in Europe–none in Asia.

              Of course, with our missiles, it hardly matters where they are, physically.

              Also, many are mobile. Kim could demand that US nuclear subs may not port in the peninsula.

            • When I use the term “Nuke” I am using it as broadly defined: a “nuke” is a nuclear weapon containing an explosive device that converts matter into energy. Missiles become “nukes” when they are carrying a nuclear warhead that can brings about widespread and utter destruction. The US military has quietly engaged in the vast expansion of the killing power of the most numerous warheads in the US nuclear arsenal. The W76 warhead is now being deployed on all of the Navy’s ballistic missile submarines. This improved kill power means that all US sea-based warheads on U S naval ships have the capability to totally destroy any target selected in North Korea, China or Russia or any other country of choice.

              Regardless of what either of the Koreas may choose to say or do, regardless of the chatter from China or Russia, the ultimate choice of peace or total destruction lies at Donald Trump’s fingertips.

            • From what I have been able to find, there are no nuclear weapons in Japan (after 1972), and if there were any in South Korea, they would have been removed in 1991.

              What is your source of claiming nuclear weapons of any kind in either country?

            • Goethe…the information I posted came from the U S Navy News Service. The report also noted that as far back as 2016 U S submarines docked at the Japanese port of Yokosuka. Admittedly, I found this interesting because one of the ships docking in this Japanese port was the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS City of Corpus Christi SSN 705. Which is, a nuclear-powered fast-attack stealth submarine. Even back then all Los Angeles-class submarines carried about 25 torpedo tube-launched weapons, as well as Mark 67 and Mark 60 CAPTOR mines, and Tomahawk cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads.

            • But your statement was, “removes its nuclear warheads that are pointed directly at his country from South Korea and Japan.” That suggests that there are nukes on the countries’ soil.

              So the “denuclearization” of the peninsula would mean for Kim to give them up, and for the US to refrain from porting its nuclear subs there, which is what I said.

            • What you actually wrote, Goethe, was: “ there are no nuclear weapons in Japan (after 1972), and if there were any in South Korea, they would have been removed in 1991.” I was responding to a very clear statement made by you.

            • Goethe…I heard you…loud and clear. However, continued repetition of a statement doesn’t make it an irrefutable fact.

              I also read President Trump’s tweets in which he boasts to the world what he’s really up to. Last September, 2017, Trump tweeted “I am allowing Japan and South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States”.

              Also, in 2017, Trump spoke on Washington’s Nuclear-Umbrella Doctrine, and promised to protect South Korea with “the full range of United States military capabilities, both conventional and nuclear”. The U.S. officially removed the 800-kilometer range and 500-kilogram payload limit on South Korean ballistic missiles as dictated by the 2012 agreement. Presently the South Korea’s army said it is building a new monster missile capable of wiping out the major North Korean political and military weapons installations.

              U S Navy records show that in October 2017, The USS Michigan — a guided-missile submarine -that also carries nuclear warheads for its torpedoes- arrived in South Korea for what US defense officials described as a show of force amid tensions between the US and North Korea. This US Navy sub docked in the port city of Busan, South Korea, on the same day that North Korea celebrates the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army. A U S nuclear submarine land docked in a foreign country, South Korea in this case, is legally considered operating in and on that country’s land and waters.

            • I’ve always wonder if there truly was a correct usage for the words “Nitpicking nonsense” that you are laying at my door. Both words are as old as sin and each has as many meanings. So I will take the high road and take it as a constructive thought and that you found no major flaws…that you were just venting.

        • You’re right.

          Kim was reported to have said that he will denuclearize if the US doesn’t attack. Well, the US never had any intention of attacking NK. Why?

          It was NK that flew a missile over Japan. It was NK that said they had missiles that could reach US territories. So NK is the aggressor. Those kinds of threats can not be dismissed. Dismissing them would only embolden them. It would be like Obama dismissing ISIS as the JV team.

          Trump should, and will, be very skeptical of whatever Kim has to say. But Trump has the upper hand. He’s used to negotiating with bullies. He’s the adult in the room. More than twice Kim’s age and used to business deals.

          Kim has said he’s open to international and US inspections on a constant basis. Trust but verify.

  4. I heard such a news that there could be a 3rd World War between the USA and Korea. And when I think about this I get a bit scary about what the planet can come to … It seems to me that this should not happen in any case because it will suffer a lot of not wine people … I really hope that such great powers will be able to solve such conflicts without the use of nuclear weapons … Once I wrote such a essay for college homework help – https://essayforme.org/ And I went into this issue in great detail. How do you think, how likely is World War III?

    • Zero.

      North Korea only developed nuclear weapons because they noticed that nuclear countries are free from invasion or other destruction. They wanted to assure their survival.

      Despite the rhetoric on both sides, no sane person would consider starting a nuclear holocaust. Although Trump has espoused use of “tactical” nuclear weapons on a small scale. . .

      Back to the idea of a world war, such a war comes about by triggering alliances. WWI (“the Great War”) was triggered by an assassination of one person, and hot heads sucked all of Europe into armed conflict, because they agreed to defend each other. We don’t have that these days. The only thing close to an “ally” of North Korea is China, and China has shown that they’d gladly throw Un under the bus if they could make a dollar on the deal.

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