- Justice Department expands its war on democracy overseas
President Trump (R-US) (right) meets North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un (left) at a historic summit earlier this year. (Public Domain)
Undermining democracy here in the United States isn’t enough for the DOJ, it seems.
So, as North Korea and South Korea were about to open a joint liaison office near their border before holding a summit between their leaders and as the White House also announced that it had received a letter from the North Korean Head of State Kim Jong-un requesting another meeting with President Trump — or in other words during a decidedly delicate moment which called for exacting diplomacy — the DOJ took the opportunity to crash the international party by announcing that it was bringing new hacking charges against a North Korean citizen.
The timing of the indictment clearly seemed deliberate and among other things, it seemed designed to push North Korea away, given that the opening of the joint liaison office between it and its neighbor this past Friday was a potential first step towards normalizing diplomatic relations on the Korean Peninsula — progress that is unprecedented since the beginning of the Cold War — while the alleged hacking incidents date as far back as 2014 — and to the Obama administration — with the DOJ suddenly choosing this historic week to file these potentially disruptive and undiplomatic charges. Further, the diplomatic meetings, which still appear to be going forward as planned, will be the third between the leaders of the Korean nations in 2018 and the second between Trump and Kim Jong-un.
Additionally, this move by the DOJ clearly seemed aimed at undermining and perhaps even at humiliating President Trump on the international stage by highlighting that even as the U.S. Head of State he doesn’t have control over a cabinet department which is supposed to report to him. The action also served as a potential signal to Iran of the power of the DOJ and the Democrats to potentially oust President Trump after the upcoming midterm elections at a time when former Secretary of State and former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry reportedly violated the Logan Act by advising Tehran to wait out the tough and stern Trump presidency in order to make a deal with a future Democratic administration.
This is how determined the Justice Department seems to be to subvert President Trump, who is credited for the progress on the Korean Peninsula after decades of failed diplomacy by American leaders from both parties, including former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Indeed, coming when it did, this stunt was such a brazen attempt by a domestic agency to interfere with foreign policy that legislators would be justified in demanding answers from the top brass of the DOJ.
Indeed, by doing as it has, the Justice Department not only sabotaged President Trump, but it also recklessly endangered progress on the Korean Peninsula which is of vital importance to some 25 million people in North Korea and 51 million people in South Korea, not to mention to 2 million here in the U.S. and millions globally. The potential impact in regards to Iran and the Middle East is similarly vast. Ultimately, this is the yardstick by which the belligerence of the DOJ in its desires to undercut President Trump must be measured.
Thankfully though, the response from North Korea was calculated. Nothing appears to have been cancelled or postponed. Rather, the state-run Korean Central News Agency disseminated a statement strongly denying the allegations and calling on the U.S. to “seriously ponder over the negative consequences of circulating falsehoods and inciting antagonism against the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] that may affect the implementation of the joint statement adopted at the DPRK-US summit.”
True to their usual form, liberal outlets like the Washington Post and the Boston Globe quickly sensationalized the statement with headlines like, “North Korea bashes U.S. over hacking charges.”
Perhaps also unsurprisingly, WashPo’s Simon Denyer didn’t connect all the dots for readers. For instance, his article makes no mention of the DOJ’s unfortunate timing undercutting Trump on foreign policy, of the related issues of Kerry and Iran, and Denyer most certainly doesn’t credit the Trump administration for any of the recent progress on the Korean Peninsula.
However, even WashPo and Denyer did note, “Meanwhile, relations between North [Korea] and South Korea continue their dramatic improvement.”