When Donald Trump announced on March 8th that he intended to meet with North Korea’s president Kim Jong Un, The Washington Post wrote that Korea had “snookered the credulous American president into a high-profile summit that is likely to end in disaster one way or another.”
Since then Kim has told the world that he is wants to discuss denuclearization and a peace treaty to end the Korean War without insisting on a pullout of U.S. forces. Donald Trump was so excited about this he had to tweet about it to let everybody know that the Korean War had never ended. Who knew? How great that he would go down in history as the president who ended the Korean War!
Secretly, CIA Director Mike Pompeo has gone to North Korea to meet with Kim, and on Friday Kim announced that he was going to stop nuclear and missile tests and shut down the missile site where the tests had been conducted. Whoopee!
But wait: what’s really going on here?
CNN reported that “The United States is at a disadvantage in its dealings with North Korea because the Trump administration has no coherent strategy for dealing with North Korea, while North Korea’s leaders have an extremely smart strategy for America.”
The Washington Post reported that “These are not “breakthroughs” signaling peace in our time. These are indications of how skillfully Kim is maneuvering to preserve his nuclear program while relaxing international sanctions and dissipating Trump’s “fire and fury.”
“Trump is the one who has made a significant concession by becoming the first sitting U.S. president willing to meet with the leader of North Korea — an act that will inherently legitimize the ruler of the world’s most despotic regime and feed its propaganda that even the world’s sole superpower feels compelled to bow before its mighty nuclear arsenal. What is Trump getting in return? So far, not even freedom for the three American hostages in North Korea.”
Trump, however, was very excited and on Wednesday he tweeted: “Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong Un in North Korea last week. Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed. Details of Summit are being worked out now. Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!”
Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong Un in North Korea last week. Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed. Details of Summit are being worked out now. Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
But what does “denuclearization” mean? Apparently Kim and Trump have very different interpretations of what’s going on, according to the Washington Post:
“As numerous experts have pointed out, “denuclearization” doesn’t mean the same thing to Kim that it does to Trump. For Kim, it’s a code word for the United States withdrawing its security guarantee from South Korea, allowing the North to bully and possibly even swallow its neighbor. A “peace treaty” would advance this goal.”
“None of this means that Kim is about to give up a nuclear weapons program his family has spent decades and precious billions of dollars developing. Kim saw that the United States overthrew Moammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein after they gave up their weapons of mass destruction. He is not about to emulate their unfortunate example — especially not when the new national security adviser, John Bolton, has advocated a preventive war against North Korea.”
So Trump can tweet all he wants to but the reality is that he is being conned and if he meets with the North Korean leader it likely will not turn out well for the United States or our vulnerable allies in the area, South Korea and Japan. Kim will never get rid of his nuclear weapons and thanks to Trump he now has more stature at home and greater credibility on the world stage.
Our Great Negotiator President has failed us once again.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.