Will Trump’s Risky Nuclear ‘Deal Or No Deal’ Work With North Korea?

North Korea Talks: No question, President Trump’s gambit to bring North Korea’s murderous dictator face-to-face at a summit negotiating table was a risky move. But after living through more than six decades of a state of war and with Pyongyang developing a nuclear weapon was worth the risk.


The agreement signed on Tuesday at the Singapore summit is of course merely paper. Whether any deal survives its actual signing depends on the goodwill and trustworthiness of the participants. North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, who is himself the third generation of a line of brutal dictators who routinely cheated on deals with both Democratic and Republican presidents, bears close watching.

We’re sure that Trump’s saber-rattling rhetoric, which Democrats roundly criticized and coastal intellectual elites thought was crude, made Kim realize his real vulnerability to the U.S. military. Thus his eagerness to do a deal.

The four main planks of the agreement they signed sound promising:

  1. “The United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.”
  2. “The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.”
  3. “Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
  4. “The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.”

Yes, skepticism is always in order. But as we said this was a bold risk, one well worth taking. Kim lacks confidence these days, after Trump publicly ridiculed him, calling him “rocket man” and “short and fat” on twitter.

If Trump had been a North Korean citizen saying those words, Kim would have executed him in a particularly painful and gruesome way. That Kim couldn’t intimidate or frighten Trump surely disappointed him. Nothing so disturbs a pathological bully as someone who doesn’t fear him.

Past presidents who signed deals with North Korea — including Clinton, Bush II and Obama — gave aid and other concessions, and got burned. Trump signed his deal from a position of strength.

The two greatest threats the U.S. faces are a nuclear-armed North Korea and a soon-to-be-nuclear armed (thanks, President Obama) Iran. Trump, by walking away from Obama’s foolish Iran deal and by intimidating Kim into negotiating on nuclear weapons, shows he understands what’s at stake.

Democrats and their allied media have had a field day, yammering on about Trump “appeasing” Kim. He did no such thing. It’s funny that the same people criticizing Trump for appeasement, remained silent as Obama all but gave Iran a path to a nuclear weapon and domination of the Mideast.

Moreover, it’s clear Trump wasn’t winging it, but that he had a strategy all along.

As national security and military analyst Austin Bay notes, before this summit, Trump was talking about a strategy for dealing with North Korea way back in October, 1999, speaking to the late Tim Russert on “Meet The Press.”

“First I’d negotiate, and be sure I could get the best deal possible … The biggest problem this world has is nuclear proliferation. And we have a country out there in North Korea which is sort of wacko, which is not a bunch of dummies, and they are developing nuclear weapons … If that negotiation doesn’t work, then better solve the problem now than solve it later.”

Think Kim doesn’t know Trump said this?

Summit Part Of Long Term Strategy

In March 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced a new North Korea strategy. “The policy of strategic patience has ended,” he said. “We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security, economic measures. All options are on the table.”

That last sentence no doubt rattled Kim’s cage and caused him sleepless nights. All options are on the table.

This is a criminal regime, one that is still dangerous. Trump’s tough rhetoric was warranted. Even so, this deal, while promising, must be tested at every level, with denuclearization of North Korea the main goal. And Trump has been clever to link this issue with concessions in trade talks with China, North Korea’s patron. Xi Jinping may have just discovered Americans play chess, too.

If Trump rids the Koreas of nuclear weapons, he’ll win a tremendous victory — perhaps the Korean War’s final victory. As South Korea’s President Moon suggested, that would be truly worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.


Is China Attempting To Torpedo Kim-Trump Summit?

Our Long History Of Misjudging North Korea

North Korea’s Kim Just Met ‘Art Of The Deal’

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Originally posted 2019-09-19 23:16:05.


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