On North Korea, Anti-Trump Hysteria Replaces Reporting

The threat from North Korea is real, and is growing more imminent. President Trump is trying to rally international opposition to the crazed North Korean regime, to prepare Americans for possible dramatic action to remove the threat, and–most important–to deter North Korea from moving forward with aggressive plans against the U.S. This is serious business, but it isn’t being treated as such by most of the news media, which see only an opportunity to continue their daily assault on President Trump.

The Associated Press is one of the worst offenders. When Fox News reported that U.S. spy satellites had detected the North Koreans loading anti-ship cruise missiles onto a patrol boat, the AP couldn’t focus on anything other than a tweet by Trump.

First, the Fox story:

Despite the United States’ insistence that North Korea halt its missile tests, U.S. spy agencies detected the rogue communist regime loading two anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat on the country’s east coast just days ago.

It’s the first time these missiles have been deployed on this type of platform since 2014, U.S. officials with knowledge of the latest intelligence in the region told Fox News on Monday.

It also points to more evidence that North Korea isn’t listening to the diplomatic threats from the West.

“The best signal that North Korea could give us that they’re prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in the Philippines Monday.
***
“North Korea is not showing any evidence it plans to halt its missile tests,” said one official who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive information. “It’s a trend that does not bode well for hopes of de-escalating tensions on the [Korean] peninsula.”

The latest moves by Pyongyang point to a likely missile test in the days ahead or it could be a defense measure should the U.S. Navy dispatch more warships to the Korean peninsula, officials said.

Thereafter, President Trump tweeted a link to the Fox News story. To the monomaniacal Associated Press, Trump’s tweet is the story: “Trump retweets Fox report based on anonymous sources.”

President Donald Trump has retweeted a Fox News report based on anonymous U.S. intelligence sources, despite his attorney general’s pledge to clamp down on government leaks.

On Tuesday, Trump retweeted a story that said U.S. spy agencies have detected North Korea “loading two anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat on the country’s east coast just days ago.” The story was attributed to anonymous U.S. officials.

Trump has repeatedly complained about leaks of government information to the press. Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed a crackdown, arguing such leaks could harm national security.

This is mind-numbingly stupid. Trump and his administration have denounced leaks of America’s secrets, not North Korea’s. Moreover, in this case it is obvious that the disclosure to Fox News was authorized. The administration wanted to send a signal to North Korea’s rulers that it knows about the cruise missiles and, more broadly, knows the North Koreans are not taking actions consistent with an intent to stop missile tests. President Trump’s tweet reinforced that message. An intentional release of information by a person authorized to release it is not a leak. The AP’s goofy analysis is on a par with saying that the Kennedy administration “leaked” the fact that Russian missiles had been installed in Cuba.

That was bad enough, but the AP had another story waiting in the wings: President Trump is just like Kim Jong Un! The AP’s headline is “Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ parallels North Korean rhetoric.”

President Donald Trump ventured into North Korean territory with his vow to respond to threats from the isolated dictatorship with “fire and fury” unparalleled in history.
***
“North Korea had best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump said during a briefing at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

If the rhetoric sounded similar to North Korean pronouncements, it was. Here is a look at some past comments by Pyongyang:

The AP went to the vault to come up with five statements by North Korean officials that, according to the AP, are just like Trump’s warning to Kim.

Someone, somewhere, may be covering the situation with North Korea intelligently, but don’t look to the Associated Press for anything other than anti-Trump propaganda.

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