SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- President Donald Trump frittered away Easter Sunday at the noticeably sparse Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House. During the celebration, the 139th of its kind, Trump belittled the audience, bullied adoring children, complained that the predominantly pubescent attendees (girls over the age of 13) offered little in the way of “Easter eye candy,” and disappointed revelers who discovered only pillow mints from Trump hotels inside their plastic eggs. Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the Korean Peninsula to warn Kim Jong-un against testing Trump’s willingness to launch preemptive strikes in response to threats. “I urge North Korea not to question the strength of the Armed Forces of the United States in this region, nor our president’s itchy trigger finger,” Pence said. “He’ll do it. He’ll press the button. He’ll kill us all.”
Passover Passage to PyongyangVice President Pence quietly traveled to South Korea over the weekend for a meeting with the country’s acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, and addressed the growing tensions between the United States and North Korea after a stop at the demilitarized zone that divides the Korean Peninsula.
Pence delivered a message to Kim Jong-un, as covered by Reuters, saying that “recent American military strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed President Donald Trump’s resolve should not be questioned.” But Pyongyang “vowed to continue missile and nuclear tests.”
Kim In Ryong, North Korea’s deputy representative to the United Nations, accused the White House of provoking a situation where “nuclear war could break out at any time.” His sentiments were echoed by several other officials in the upper ranks of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-Ryol told the BBC that nuclear weapons and long-range missile testing would continue on “a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.”
Other DPRK spokespeople told Reuters that “the slightest movement” from U.S. forces would instigate a preemptive North Korean strike that would “destroy the aggressors without mercy.”
Kim Jong-un has already has amassed enough fissile material to construct 20 to 25 nuclear weapons. He may also have sufficient quantities of plutonium and highly enriched uranium to produce six to seven new weapons a year, according to the New York Times, citing Siegfried S. Hecker, a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Should the North conduct its sixth nuclear test, it would move closer to having a hydrogen bomb, or a two-stage thermonuclear weapon, Mr. Hecker said, with up to a thousand times more power than the Hiroshima-style weapons Mr. Kim has detonated so far.
Although Pence, in solidarity with South Korea, emphasized that coalition forces would be bolstering their military presence in the region, he also extended an open invitation to peaceful negotiations. Analysts observed that Pence’s warnings were more conscientious and concerned than predatory.
Pence Possibly Trying to Save World From TrumpDuring his trip, Pence praised the efforts of North Korea to fix its historically ruinous social and economic conditions. Last week, Kim Jong-un surprised the world with a ribbon cutting ceremony for a glamorous urban renewal project, instead of another nuclear test.
The residential highrise on Ryopmyong Street was unveiled during the commemoration of Kim Il Sung’s 105th birthday. Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s founder, was also Kim Jong-un’s grandfather. Progress in Pyongyang’s city center has begun to show signs of new wealth and a transition toward capitalism, modeled after China’s hybrid approach to communism with elements of free trade.
“Gleaming new buildings flank freshly paved thoroughfares, some teeming with traffic,” the Los Angeles Times wrote. “Men wear suits and ties; women carry designer handbags. Streetside shops sell bananas, apples and peaches, likely imported from China.”
“Just look at the bold and unexpected steps your dictator is making to strengthen your future,” Pence said, imploring patience and reason from North Korea. “Our dictator is moving in the opposite direction. We’re destroying jobs, ignoring infrastructure, killing health care, ruining the environment and putting people out of homes. Please, don’t predicate your actions on the lunatic ravings of an unhinged business failure with a government title and a Twitter account.”
Even the Chinese foreign minister is now willing to entertain peace talks -- something former President Obama could not achieve. “Not because Obama was a bad executive,” explained Pence, “but because he wasn’t about to giddily orchestrate an extinction-level event to save face.”
“Look what we did to Syria and Afghanistan,” the vice president added, a hint of passion and desperation in his otherwise monotone voice. “Look what we do to non-violent protesters, for considerably less. Please, don’t underestimate President Trump’s impetuous, knee-jerk reliance on force. Don’t push him or test his resolve in obliterating all humankind, especially if his daughter becomes displeased with something. You’re Asian. Ivanka, albeit mistakenly, may hold your people accountable for the failure of her cheap, gaudy, unpopular, sweatshop-manufactured fashion line. I implore Kim Jong-un and the people of North Korea, don’t play chicken with our current president. He’s got a bunker at the White House. He just built another at Mar-a-Lago, where he spends most of his time. They’re both stocked with scores of underaged, indentured sex servants who have been trained in all manner of deviant carnal acts. He’ll create a new population of inbred Trumps -- proverbial cockroaches who emerge from the irradiated cinder. He’s not worried about you or Russia or even America. Please, let’s talk. Trump won’t hesitate to kill us all.”
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