Ivanka Trump has arrived in South Korea for the final few days of the Winter Olympics. Naturally, that’s kind of a big deal. Ivanka’s arrival at the airport was broadcast on live TV in Korea. Coverage was everywhere.
The daughter and advisor of President Donald Trump briefly addressed a horde of media upon landing, saying it was a “great honor to be” in Korea as part of the U.S. delegation for the Closing Ceremony. “We’re very, very excited to attend the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, to cheer for Team USA, and to reaffirm our strong and enduring commitment with the people of the Republic of Korea,” she said. It was riveting stuff.
Ivanka Trump arrives in South Korea to lead the US delegation attending the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 23, 2018
What garnered less attention from the gathered press was the identity of the man immediately to her left as she thanked Korea for the warm welcome. His face isn’t recognizable. But his words just a few days ago at the Munich Security Conference are pretty … notable … or alarming … or whatever word you choose to use.
“If [a nuclear conflict with North Korea] starts, it’s going to be probably one of the worst catastrophic events in the history of our civilization,” said Jim Risch, a Republican senator from Idaho. “It is going to be very, very brief. The end of it is going to see mass casualties the likes of which the planet has never seen. It will be of biblical proportions.”
Yep, that’s the same Jim Risch who is part of the U.S. delegation to PyeongChang – the one who may very well be seated mere feet away from North Korean leaders at the Closing Ceremony, if the seating arrangement is anything like it was for the Opening Ceremony.
Here are his full comments, via The Intercept:
Turning to North Korea, the answer I’m going to give is really quite easy to give, although the message is pretty dire. And that is that this is a really dangerous situation that we’re facing right now on the Korea peninsula. I would argue that there is no, from a mass casualty standpoint, that there is no more dangerous place on the earth than the Korean peninsula right now.
This is all in the hands and the minds of a single person. And that of course is Kim Jong-un. What he does, what he decides to do, is going to be decisive of how this matter resolves. And it is not going to resolve well if he continues on the course that he is continuing on.
The president of the United States has said, and he is committed to, seeing that Kim Jong-un is not able to marry together a delivery system with a nuclear weapon that he can deliver to the United States. He has said that very clearly. That is, our president has said that very clearly. And anyone who doubts the president’s commitment to see that that doesn’t happen does so really at their own peril.
The consequences of that are breathtaking when you think about how this could happen. There is no “bloody nose” policy. Senator Shaheen and I drilled down with the administration on that, and nobody knows where that came from. It appeared in the national media, the administration says they’ve never used the term, they’ve never considered the strategy, there is no such thing.
And if you think about it, it absolutely makes sense. If this thing starts, it’s going to be probably one of the one of the worst catastrophic events in the history of our civilization. It is going to be very, very brief. The end of it is going to see mass casualties the likes of which the planet has never seen. It will be of biblical proportions.
Anyone who doubts that this president isn’t committed to that, I would suggest that they step back, take a breath, listen to what he has said, review the facts on the ground. This president has at his fingertips the ability to dispense what he has said he’s going to dispense, if the North Korean regime, if Kim Jong-un, that he is, uh, the president can do this quickly, and as I said, it is at his fingertips.
I respect any opinion that any of you may have regarding what’s happened, what should happen, where it’s going to go, but please, please, don’t ignore the facts that are there.
“Very, very brief.”
“Worst catastrophic events in the history of our civilization.”
Oh, and perhaps it’s notable that the North Korean delegation will be led by a man allegedly responsible, at least in part, for a torpedo attack that killed 46 South Koreans back in 2010.
The Olympics! All about world peace!
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