- The Washington Times - Monday, February 12, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

God bless Vice President Mike Pence for politely but firmly giving Kim Jong-un the silent equivalent of a two-word greeting.

It’s the same greeting many of us long to tell North Korea’s bloody dictator audibly in person.

We first got the unwelcome news three weeks ago that the vice president would be heading to South Korea for the Olympics opening ceremonies.

It was unwelcome because by then Mr. Kim, by playing the reasonable, cooperative, misunderstood strongman, had already hoodwinked Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s hopelessly naïve, foolish and liberal president.

The Trump White House explained the Pence mission by saying he will attend bearing “grave concerns that Kim will hijack the messaging around the Olympics.”

The White House was signaling it understood what North Korea’s Kim Jong-un was up to in agreeing to send his athletes to march with South Korea’s Olympians under a flag of “unification.”

Oh boy. The day before the games begin, there’s Mr. Moon smiling happily in the firm belief that Mr. Kim, who would just as soon blow Mr. Moon’s head off as look at him, is not only out to “ease tensions” but to voluntarily give up his control of the last Stalinist-style communist police state on earth.

They may make them sappier than Mr. Moon, but not on this planet.

Assuming Mr. Pence intended to speak truth to — and about — Mr. Kim, I wrote three weeks ago: “Mr. Pence can save the day by bearing a message from Mr. Trump to Mr. Kim. Two words will suffice.”

On Friday in South Korea, Mr. Pence and wife Karen in effect did the silent equivalent of that.

With tens of millions around the world watching as the opening ceremonies began, Mr. Moon, doubtlessly tickled pink with his own deal-making prowess, seated the Pences a few chairs away from Kim Yo-jong, the sister of the North’s dictator.

She was there to con the perpetually dazed among us into thinking that her brother would under any circumstances allow the two Koreas to be united under the democratic, prosperous, capitalist South.

Not offering a nod, let alone a handshake, the Pences ignore the sister. They know full well she is the most feared and influential member of the ruling Politburo. She is a rising red star and sister of the man who starves his people and spends the food money on nukes and missiles.

The Pences’ silent two-word greeting doesn’t stop there. They stand for the U.S. athletes but remain seated when the other dignitaries rise as the Korea’s combined North-South contingent passes arm-in-arm before them.

Using the old “sorry, running late” dodge, Mr. Pence manages to avoid a reception with dignitaries from both Koreas and instead dines with U.S. Olympians.

Does Mr. Pence pretend he wasn’t in effect giving the middle digit to all involved in spreading the Kim-Moon toro feces?

Not on your life. The vice president “does not applaud” North Korea or exchange pleasantries with “the most oppressive regime on earth,” a Pence aide tweeted on Saturday, adding that his boss “stands and cheers for U.S. athletes” and “hangs out with U.S. athletes instead of dining with Kim regime.”

Huah!

President Trump and his vice president know we’re not playing games in South Korea, for whose defense U.S. taxpayers shell out $1.5 billion a year, even though Seoul can afford that much and more to defend itself.

So you might conclude the liberal Moon administration has slapped the U.S. across the face. How? By sucking up to — and legitimizing — a North Korean dictatorship who for 67 years has been trying to turn the whole Korean Peninsula into one oppressive economic basket case.

But you’ve got to hand it to the North, where the latest in the three generations of Kims has U.S. taxpayers spending billion to keep 37,000 U.S. military in South Korea.

This is bat-doodoo crazy.

In the 1950-53 Korean war to save the South from a Kim-imposed communist dictatorship, the U.S. spent $36 billion and 36,574 American lives and suffered another 103,284 wounded.

Unless you’re a Kim relative or crony, eating and staying warm are iffy at best in North Korea, where the average individual income is $1,340 a year — the one-night cost of a Manhattan luxury-hotel room.

With an average annual income of $29,480 — 22 times more than North Korea’s — South Korea ranks as the world’s 11th wealthiest country. The North wallows down in the poverty pit at 113th.

Seoul sells us $17 billion more a year than we sell South Korea, whose president makes nice with the Kim mob while pulling that seating thing on our vice president?

Two words.

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