Connecting The Dots

Now let’s see. US President Donald Trump (I still can’t believe I am writing those words) has called on China to put pressure on its ally North Korea to curb its developing nuclear weapons program. Donald Trump has refused to criticize Russia’s Vladimir Putin for anything and continues to suggest that better relations with Russia would be a good thing.

And yet “trade between Russia and North Korea increased by 73 percent during the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period the year before, boosted mostly by coal deliveries from Russia…In addition…A Russian company Investstroytrest opened a new ferry line in May connecting the Russian port city of Vladivostok to the North Korean city of Rajin…”

“(And) Russian railway officials in January visited North Korea to discuss upgrades to the Rjink-Hasan railway, which links Russia to the Korea peninsula…and (the two countries) have reached a labor immigration agreement to expand a program that already employs 40,000 North Korea laborers in Russia’s timber and construction industries…These moves come despite Russia’s signing onto recent sanctions by the United Nations Security Council which call for reducing trade with North Korea…” (Oren Dorell, USA Today, June 5)

It should perhaps not surprise us that a duplicitous liar like Putin would have no qualms about signing a solemn agreement at the UN on the one hand and systematically ignoring it before the ink is dry on the page on the other. He and his puppet government have been doing such things for decades. Anyone who believes that “things have changed” in Russia just because there is no longer a Soviet Union are living in a dream world.

As we move ever nearer former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before Congress about Russia’s meddling in the recent U.S. presidential election process and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, it may well behoove us to continue to connect the dots between Russia’s continued support for North Korea and the refusal of the Trump Administration to say anything about it. Could it be that Trump is effectively gagged on this and other issues because he knows that Putin could ruin his presidency with a word or two about influencing the election or releasing even more embarrassing details the Russians may be holding about Donald Trump and his business interests?

If we had expected any new light to be shed or dots connected by the much-touted NBC interview of Vladimir Putin by Megyn Kelly on last night’s debut of her new “60 Minutes” knock-off, we would have been sorely disappointed. The ten minute segment mostly showed Putin outfoxing Kelly at every turn and being given a huge megaphone to the American public in order to appear completely innocent of any relationship with Trump, his campaign, or administration.

You can’t have it both ways, Donald. Either strangle North Korea’s nuclear ambition through tough sanctions. Or strangle yourself by continuing to talk out of both sides of your lying mouth about your buddies in Russia.

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