The Deeper Purpose Of Trump's Asia Trip

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,

President Trump is wrapping up his historic visit to Asia today. Trump’s journey is the longest overseas trip of his presidency and the longest Asian visit of any president in 25 years.

After a stopover in Hawaii, Trump proceeded to Japan, where he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinz? Abe, and then to South Korea where he met with President Moon Jae-in.

The capstone of the trip was Trump’s arrival on Nov. 8 in Beijing for meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump then headed for Vietnam late in the week and is concluding meetings in the Philippines today.

Much of the reporting on this trip has involved international trade, but it’s a mistake to focus on that. This trip was a prewar gathering of allies (Japan and South Korea) and potential allies (China) in a last-ditch struggle to head off a hot war with North Korea, led by the reckless Kim Jong Un.

At this point, there are only four possible outcomes of the U.S.-North Korea confrontation over nuclear weapons:

1.Kim Jung Un stands down and gives up his nuclear weapons program.


2. The U.S. and China combine forces to decapitate the Kim dynasty and force regime change in North Korea.


3. Preventive attack on North Korea by the U.S. before March 20, 2018.


4. The U.S. accepts a nuclear-armed North Korea and relies on containment and deterrence to constrain its actions.

Based on public statements of U.S. officials, my recent meetings in Washington with the director of the CIA and the national security adviser and other sources, I estimate the degree distribution of those possible outcomes as follows:

  • Kim stands down: 10%
  • Regime change: 20%
  • War: 70%
  • U.S. lives with nuclear North Korea: 0%.

Trump’s visits to Japan and South Korea were about leaving the door open to negotiations in the hope that Kim would stand down while also preparing for war.

Trump’s visit to China was about asking for assistance in regime change. Xi is unlikely to agree to help the U.S. in this regard.

This means war. Instead, Trump and Xi no doubt discussed China’s “red lines” in North Korea so that a war between the U.S. and North Korea does not escalate into a war with China.

Almost none of this is fully priced in public markets, although markets seemed to be getting the message last week.

A war between the U.S. and North Korea will cause a global flight to quality assets and currencies at the expense of other asset classes.

Here are the likely market moves as the prospect of war becomes clear: Dollars, euros and Swiss francs will rally at the expense of emerging-market currencies. U.S. Treasury bonds will rally in price, pushing yields lower.

Gold will rally strongly, well past the $1,325 level, and then push higher.

Curiously, U.S. stocks may rally after an initial pullback when the shooting starts. Defense contractors, tech companies, commodities producers, utilities and energy companies should all rally. War is generally good for some sectors of the economy and may finally give the Fed the inflation it’s been looking for in vain the past eight years.

The war is likely coming in a matter of months.

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Cluster_Frak's picture

Trump mineshafted the Rocket Man Jr. right in the assssss

junction's picture

Trump decided things were too hot in the USA after the Las Vegas attack. 

Bes's picture

trump is the MIC's best friend and the globalists', neocons', and zionists' best friend


but at least his twitter game is strong against flag kneelers, Mika Brzezinski, and trans troops.... pathetic.


and the trumptards will look the other way on anything if orange julius mentions the clintons going to jail

yup, that'll fix everything


drain the swamp????  he's about to drown us in a Korean swamp

this is fucking pathetic and another reason

why america is falling apart


auricle's picture
  • U.S. lives with nuclear North Korea: 0%.


The US will do nothing to NK. Else many thousands of Japanese and South Koreans will parish. Or you could let them continue to be a nuclear power, do trade, and encourage better human rights. Same thing they do with every other totalitarian government. 

SheHunter's picture

agree.  we would not want that blood on our hands. 

China has said if we strike first China sides with and fights with NK.

China has said if we do not strike they (China) will not pair with NK in a strike against the US. 

So the posturing and tree-marking and ground pawing will continue.

That is, unless an incident occurs causing one of the 2 small-cock syndrome (SCS) rulers to get an uncontrolable testesterone spurt in his system.  Resulting in many innocent deaths. 

In which case the 2 wives need taken to court for ignoring the unspoken agreement they have with the American and NK citizens:  Screw the brains out of your asshole husband each and every morning and eve so he has neither energy, drive nor desire to inflict death upon the masses.

stacking12321's picture

Lol, wtf?
We would not want blood on our hands?
You mean, besides Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and who knows where else?
Agree with your other points, though.

SheHunter's picture

killing citizens in the countries we invade is 'different' than annihilating hundreds of thousands of citizens in countries adjoining our attack victims.  follow that insane logic?  good.  Not sure I did.

wildbad's picture

Bannon said, Unless you show me an option where Seoul is not flattened in the first hour, forget it!

Unfortunately Bannon is gone.

I call BS on this article, however. The early rages from Donald were pre-negotiation manouvering. He is applying the grease in the background.

This was a biz trip.

BigJim's picture

I suspect they're trying to call Kimbo's bluff. I think Rickards is acting as a deep-state mouthpiece here, knowing full well the chances of the US putting up with Nuclear Norks is well north of 0%. Or pehaps the head of the CIA actually convinced Rickards they weren't going to live with it, but I doubt very much that's the thinking in Washington.

Pakistan has nukes. As does India, Israel, the UK, France, China, & Russia. Admittedly, only the latter two were ever outwardly hostile to the West, but we lived with it.

Maybe the US can decapitate NK in one swift blow before Kim has a chance to order a devastating counter-strike against the US or its allies. But I wouldn't bet on it, and I doubt Trump would either. And even if they did kill Kim, it's quite possible one of his fanbois (there are rather a lot of them in NK, I believe) would launch to revenge the death of Dear Leader.

Imagine if they sank the three carriers lurking off their coast. I think that would be the end of US hegemony. The amount of money printing to pay for the replacement of all that materiel and human capital would cause a run on the dollar. I can't see China & Russia not offloading their US debt, can you?

The only way I can see it all working is if they manage to infiltrate Kim's palace and take him hostage, and then have him personally order a military stand-down and surrender. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this isn't the only thing they're seriously considering... but... if it were to fail...

Interesting times.

343 Guilty Spark's picture

That doesn't make any sense if you actually think about it.

MIC gets 10's of billions a year on US posturing in South Korea to defend against North Korea.

MIC politicians have maintained status quo on Korea for almost 70 years.

US has no justifiable reason to stay in South Korea if North Korean Regime is removed and NK is absorbed by SK.

Bottom Line: status quo on NK gives more money to the MIC, war with  and removal of kim jong un would eliminate a major income source for the MIC overall.i

BOPOH's picture

Humanity is set up for a painful phlebotomy. Then gratefully accept its fate as slaves for God's choosen people. The new world kingdom (aka IV Reich) will be officially proclaimed as a world total security system.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


This trip was a prewar gathering of allies (Japan and South Korea) and potential allies (China) in a last-ditch struggle to head off a hot war with North Korea, led by the reckless Kim Jong Un.

What utter bullshit. Any hot war will be led by the USSA. Rickards, in his crackpottery, also neglects to consider China's stated response to any US-initiated attack.

Rickards has gone full dotard.

Gorgeous's picture

I caught that too.  Rickards lost any last bit of credibility with the "reckless Kim" line. Plus he name drops the Acronyms as if they would reveal anything close to the truth.  The rest is mumbo jumbo.  "Gold will rally strongly...and then push higher". Dufus.

HowdyDoody's picture

NK's behavior is a rational response to the US aggressive and duplicitous behavior.

Charles Wilson's picture

Yeah, right. You left off the "/S" switch.

"Let them eat dirt, Comrades!" Socialist Geophagy.
China has sanctioned a Mass Murderer on their border because...SOCIALISM! Yeaaaah, that oughta' work.

"They blame America. They always blame America."

Jeanne...Jeanne...What was her name again? It's important, I t'ink...

BigJim's picture

Hey moron, read HowdyDoody's response again, put down the morality lens, and look at this through the perspective of a psychopath like Kim and the people close to him. Here's HowdyDoody's comment:

    NK's behavior is a rational response to the US aggressive and duplicitous behavior.

Nowhere does he say Socialism works or is good.

Wake up, buttercup. Kim & Co don't want to be Ghaddafy-ed. That does not imply they're benevolent dictators.


EddieLomax's picture

Kim has always been acting reckless, and not just towards the USA but also Japan, South Korea and other countries in the region.

Stratfor explained this years ago calling it something like the crazy-rational game.

It works like this, NK would act crazy and dangerous, countries would be alarmed and take note, they would speak to NK while NK continued to rachet up the tension, and then those leaders would get a "deal" and everything would be good.

Its the deal NK is after, under Bill Clinton it was food aid etc along with economic cooperation (help) from South Korea while the help continued to flow in from China.  The NK regime is very weak otherwise having little authority outside the cities except where the military go, everyone else tends to fend for themselves.

Trump, but ignoring and even ridiculing rocket boy isn't playing the game.  Its like Reagan didn't cooperate with the USSR when it was on its knees (~80% of its GDP was defence related due to their attempts to keep pace with the US military), the result there was the USSR collapsed and east europe was freed.

Here either NK is going to collapse, this does not necessarily mean war, or we get some sort of shooting war that is likely very limited.  If there is a war China will probably support NK which gives Trump the opportunity of a life time to restart the cold war with China being the bad guys, thus he delivers his "get tough with China" to his voters, so he wins if NK folds, he wins if NK doesn't.  China will look at the long view here, unlike the US they don't have fleets of carriers, a blue water navy, therefore their access to resources will be limited to mostly Russia if the US can control the middle east.  As anyone here has seen the US establishment would be all to happy to paint Russia as the bad guys again too.

If NK does go all in and attack south Korea then they'll lose (its suicidal so military might even revolt making it unlikely), everyone will be horrified at the 100,000's dead and blame NK and anyone who supports them, China in that case probably would choose to turn on them in that case (ideally to put in place another friendly regime, although what territory they can hold will be limited) or be an international pariah.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Here;s where I’m not only smarter than Jim, I’m also not a fucking psychopath - worried about gold and the ‘markets’ when you’d have over a million dead South Koreans...

Nah, here’s what’s going to, or not going to happen.

1. There will be no war, else 1 million South Koreans die, and hapless Japan eats a few more nukes.

2. IF there is a US attack then ol’ Kim won’t nuke and ballistic missile the fuck out of Japan, US bases, and use his artillery on South Korea THEN YOU’LL KNOW without a shadow of a doubt he was a CIA controlled asset the whole time.

If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter, let me know.

EddieLomax's picture

1) There will likely be no serious war, or else everyone will turn on the NK regime.  Expect a few submarine attacks and limited artillery shots at most.

2) Kim doesn't have lots of nuclear missiles, he has missiles and he has nukes, doubt very much he has enough if any of them linked up.  My guess is he could rustle up a few nuclear iron bombs, that limits him to South Korea.  CIA asset my arse, the CIA no doubt are good, but I'd believe Russia could hack the US elections before I could believe the CIA could install a leader in a country with a working security apparatus supported by China and not be noticed by Russia, South Korea etc.  And no, Russia did not hack the US elections.

3) If Kim uses a nuclear weapon anywhere then the US and possibly UK would definitely nuke at a minimum his military.  His strongest allies will likely only tut, everyone else will openly denounce him and his regime.  End result will be most of Korean penisula under South Korean (maybe called just Korea if all of it is recovered) control.


So stop with all the USA bad junk, and start thinking rationally about this.


Kim isn't doing all the artillery shots, firing missiles into Japanese waters etc just because he wants the USA pointing their military at him, he wants something.  No doubt he wants a viable nuclear deterrent, but in some sense he already has that with China as an ally, why extra risk?

So he must want something more, I think his regime is desperate and know they want aid and resources to prop it up, socialism doesn't work and they have 100% socialism there.  Aim for Kim is keeping his despotic regime going, and he wants the resources to do so.

thunderchief's picture

Didn't JR already predict a timeline thats passed.  The red line for China and South Korea is a preemptive strike.  I think they already said that.  Both of them.

bigkahuna's picture

Going back quite a while there are various doomsayers whose timelines have all passed. That will never stop them from inventing more timelines so they can get some kind of attention. Too bad all they are doing is obscuring real danger with their fantasical bullshit.

I am fairly convinced that when the SHTF it will be some kind of staged event due to the high level of criminality in dc - but I am done with the doom misdirection that these guys speak of - nothing to do but get busy living.

newdoobie's picture

China got NK to start testing after Trump got elected. Trump kept telling the US about Chinas currency manipulation and bad trade deals.


Now Trump wants most favored trade with China if they will only keep a reign on NK


China trumps Trump

EddieLomax's picture

I'd agree here that this is all really about China.  

Trump is using this as a way to manipulate China, not sure if he wants better US trade though as even if they granted it the situation on the ground would not change.

That is any court in China is going to favour the Chinese party, and most of the population (outside of the cult of Apple) is going to buy Chinese rather than foreign goods where possible as quite a few are quite xenophobic (with reason after the way western nations screwed them over in the late 1800/early 1900's) and most proudly nationalistic (the latter I think it a good thing, wish we were too).

RationalLuddite's picture

And you pulled this baseless wisdom from where, pray tell, oh hubristic one?

Juggernaut x2's picture

It was kind of nice having the Orange Dotard gone for a few weeks.

HamSandwich's picture

Seems like the Offensive Realist camp is finally making some headway in foreign policy. Still fucking around in the ME for no reason, though...

old naughty's picture

nothing besides them,
completely "under" them!

SheHunter's picture

quake quake.  shudder shudder. oh no.  Please.  Not THEMMMMM. (Insert Ruskies/slant-eyeds/ghetto blacks/jews/dyke women/muslims/'mexcans - whichever are your greatest fear(s)).

Tom_Pain's picture

What's so special about March 20, 2018?

coeur de maquis's picture
The Pentagon’s “Ides of March”: Best Month to Go to War!

according to Global research's article in 2013

Archive_file's picture

I would have liked to have seen Montana.

Inconsequential's picture

You aint missing nothing.

Did i say that out loud?

BarkingCat's picture


Driven through it. With the exception of the western part where you're in the Rockies,  it is a very fugly state.

you know they are lying because they are talking's picture

You missed nothing. The few minutes of joy received would have quickly been exstuinguished by the constant survelliance. 

Carl Panzram's picture

Short, fat, and a micro penis.

Anteater's picture

Trump is actually fairly tall, with the heel inserts he uses for his excruciating bone spurs.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


Short, fat, and a micro penis

...and his articles have been pretty crappy as well.

Sages wife's picture

Reckless? North Korea has never nuked anyone.


Anteater's picture

Save yourself five minutes of Rickard's goldbugger go as.

Here's the money line.

This trip was a pre arms sales gathering of Ally-Clients (Japan and South Korea and Philippines) in a last-ditch struggle to perpetuate Fire and Fury psyop 'war' with 'North Korea', led by the reckless Donald Jaweh Trump and his merry band of Goldman:Pentagon New USraeli Century war criminals and thieves.


Kobe Beef's picture


I"m taking that.

Washington Dual Citizens is just too long.

slipreedip's picture

Well Rickards does pride himself on his high level access to people in the "intelligence" community.

Its speculation of course but its not wild speculation.

Everyone knows America is itching to start another war somewhere.

And if this kick off then the Saudis and Israelis will go after Iran for sure.

buckle up...

Juggernaut x2's picture

I don't know if Putin will go along with an overthrow of Iran which gives US exposure to Russia's underbelly as well as possibly having Russia's stranglehold on oil and NatGas to Europe curtailed if US/Israel/Wall St(aka Axis of Evil) takes control of Iran's supplies.