by Pamela Williams
I was worried about a government shutdown at a very critical time in which we could go to war with North Korea. We have to put first things first, and I would say the situation with North Korea has to be a priority right now. Government spending and a wall can wait until we have a stable footing on the war front.
A U.S. guided-missile submarine arrived in South Korea on Tuesday and envoys from the U.S., Japan and South Korea met in Tokyo, as North Korea marked the anniversary of the founding of its military. The people of North Korea were in great celebration as its ruler plotted murder not only on them but on anyone, who gets in his way.
Though experts thought a nuclear test or ballistic missile launch was possible around the anniversary, the morning came and went without either. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing a South Korean government source, reported that North Korea instead appeared to have held a major live-fire drill in the Wonsan city area.
This is not what America was waiting for, but possibly a miracle has happened and China has influenced Kim into not playing with fire. Crowds in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, laid beautiful flowers while paying respects to the country’s former leaders Kim II Sung and Kim Jong II. I am happy for the people of NK that they could enjoy a peaceful celebration.
The US is vigilantly watching as its Ohio class submarine was set to join the USS Vinson aircraft carrier. At the same time NK on Tuesday conducted a live-fire drill involving 400 artillery pieces, which may have been supervised by Kim Jong Un. It seems Kim has been absent as of late in several reported instances. If I were him, I would be keeping a low profile, too. Hopefully, he retreats from these threats and missile tests to save his own skin.
Pyongyang deployed long-range artillery units in the coastal region of Wonsan. South Korea’s military only said it was “firmly maintaining readiness” Yonhap news agency said. News of the live-fire drill came after the USS Michigan, the nuclear-powered Ohio class submarine pulled into the South Korean port of Busan for a hull check! Below is the video of this event:
The following comment was made concerning the stop in Busan: “U.S. Navy ships and submarines routinely make port calls in a variety of locations,” Knight said. “As a matter of routine, we do not discuss future operations or the details regarding the operations of our submarines. USS Michigan is currently on a routine deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific.”
The military does not want the American people or anyone else to know what their movements are at this time, and I don’t blame them, but it is very confusing if you are trying to write about it.
The below is quite surprising as Lindsey Graham seems to be praising Trump in his movements during this time:
Meanwhile, the entire U.S. Senate has been invited to the White House for a briefing on Wednesday about the North Korea situation. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed the upcoming briefing, for all 100 senators.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats plan to provide the update to lawmakers.
It is rare for the entire Senate to be invited to such a briefing.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry has said the North appears ready to conduct such “strategic provocations” at any time. South Korean Acting Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn has instructed his military to strengthen its “immediate response posture” in case North Korea does something significant on the April 25 anniversary of its military. North Korea often marks significant dates by displaying military capability.
On Monday, Trump also had lunch with ambassadors of countries on the U.N. Security Council. Ahead of the meeting, Trump called for “big reforms” at the U.N. and criticizing its handling of recent events in Syria and North Korea – but said it has “tremendous potential.”
“You just don’t see the United Nations, like, solving conflicts. I think that’s going to start happening now,” he said.
On the other major front for President Trump he has achieved what I hoped he would. He is setting secondary matters aside to keep the Government running. There is enough chaos at this point without shutting the government down!
A a Friday deadline looming to pass a new spending bill, the Trump administration projected confidence that a shutdown would be avoided. In the face of fierce Democratic opposition to fund the wall’s construction, White House officials signaled Monday that the president may be open to an agreement that includes money for border security if not specifically for a wall, with an emphasis on technology and border agents rather than a structure.
Trump showed even more flexibility Monday afternoon, telling conservative journalists in a private meeting that he was open to delaying funding for wall construction until September, a White House official confirmed.
“The president is working hard to keep the government open,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Monday. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he was “very confident” that an agreement would be reached by Friday, but he pointedly said he could not “guarantee” that a government closure would be averted.
At issue is whether the spending measure will explicitly allocate funds toward building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — a campaign promise that was a rallying cry for Trump’s base and one on which he is eager to demonstrate progress by Saturday, his 100th day in office.
Democrats, meanwhile, gave the White House an opening, saying they would agree to some new money for border security — so long as it did not go toward the creation of a wall, something House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called “immoral.”
In a speech on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) blasted the idea of a wall while suggesting that a combination of smart technology and law enforcement, including the use of drones, would be “a much more effective way to secure the border” without hitting an impasse in Congress.
Republicans were working to define Trump’s campaign promise down, arguing that any form of border security would fulfill it.
“There will never be a 2,200-mile wall built, period,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a supporter of immigration reform who challenged Trump in the 2016 primaries. It is so strange to see Lindsey Graham standing beside President Trump, but strange in a good way. Trump has asked Congress for $1.5 billion in new money to start construction on the wall, and he wants an additional $2.6 billion for the fiscal year that begins in October. The wall, experts say, would cost $21.6 billion and take 3½ years to construct.
President Trump says “The Wall is a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth,” he wrote in a morning post on Twitter. In another message, he said, “if the wall is not built, which it will be, the drug situation will never be fixed the way it should be! #BuildTheWall.”
The debate over wall funding is just one of several moving pieces congressional leaders are trying to address this week to avoid a partial government shutdown. I pray that it is not just President Trump who is giving to keep the government open, for we need cooperation from the entire governing body. It would be nice to see the lawmakers on Capitol Hill put the American people first for a change.
President Trump and Democrats are on a collision course over the border wall and how to pay for it. The president tweeted Sunday: “Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall.” Nancy Cordes reports on the fight that could force a government shutdown.
by Pamela Williams