PRESIDENT TRUMP AND NORTH KOREA
So far, President Trump has not yet met an agreement that he does not dislike: NATO, NAFTA, the UN, TPP, Climate Change, Iran and Cuba. He now has trusted enablers around him: Bolton, Pompeo, and Pruitt to execute his desires, and he has exorcised those such as Tillerson, McMaster (and probably soon Kelly) whom he perceives have stood in his way.
It would be a welcome moment if Trump is able to meet with Kim Jong Un and find common ground to make peace, reduce the threat of nuclear war and give economic progress an opportunity to flourish between the two Koreas. Past agreements have floundered because of North Korean cheating and the efforts of hard line individuals like John Bolton to sabotage them because they preferred regime change. North Korea does need to emerge from its isolated and impoverished role as the Hermit Kingdom; they have found a willing partner and interlocutor in the South Koreans. The USSR and the Communist countries of Eastern Europe pulled the plug on their economic support of North Korea during the 80’s and 90’s; this led in part to wide-scale famines and a decimated population. Putin’s Russian government has intermittently helped and sanctioned North Korea depending on their nuclear brinksmanship. While North Korea has been in desperate economic straits, South Korea’s economy and population boomed and blossomed once it rid itself of its own military dictatorships. China has been increasingly nudging North Korea away from intermittent nuclear blackmail and towards economic progress and engagement. Since his election, Trump has been calling them names and threatening nuclear annihilation and offering an opening hand. Like Glasnost this could be a pivotal moment for the Koreas.
One can imagine the opening handshakes and salutations. “Hello, Honorable Demented Dotard, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you, President Xi says we really need to get together more often.” “Hello Honorable Little Rocket Man, I’m glad to meet you as well, President Putin says you badly need some luxury hotels and golf courses in your country”. Both “let’s sit down and see if we can do a little business together.”
Let’s be hopeful and encouraging, but not overly optimistic that the leopards will change their spots.
Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin