Opinion Will Trump Get Played by North Korea? He Just Did
White House clarifies Trump-North Korea 'call'
<p>The White House said Monday that Donald Trump had been referring to a call with South Korea's leader when he appeared to suggest a landmark direct contact with the nuclear North.</p>Trump raised eyebrows at a Washington media dinner on Saturday when he said "they, by the way, called up a couple of days ago and said 'we would like to talk.
Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.
Will Donald Trump join the list of American presidents and diplomats who have been played for suckers by North Korea? It looks like he already has.
First, let's be clear what North Korea's game is and how the new proposal for a meeting between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un fits into it.
The North Korean playbook looks something like this: Make a lot of threats, snarl like a mad dog in a cage, insult foreign leaders in the colorfully stilted style we've come to associate with North Korean propaganda, and generally escalate tensions in a theatrical manner. Then suddenly wow everyone with conciliatory gestures. Having gotten everyone worked up over the previous round of threats, get them worked up about overtures for peace. Appeal to the vanity of the latest round of politicians and diplomats by dangling the prospect of getting that elusive peace deal no one has ever gotten before. Extract what you can from them in terms of money, sanctions relief, and internal and external propaganda. Then let the whole thing slowly fall apart, and start the cycle over again.
Trump: Without me 'Olympics would have been a total failure'
President Trump took credit for the success of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. During a campaign rally for state Rep. Rick Saccone (R), who is running for Congress, Trump also took credit for a lessened threat of nuclear attack surrounding the games."I'll tell you, we did a great job on the Olympics," Trump said. "President Moon of South Korea said without Donald Trump the Olymp ics would have been a total failure.""It's a little hard to sell tickets when you think you are going to be nuked," he added.
How many of these cycles have we been through by now? We did all of this most famously under Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and either we or our allies have been through it several times since then. Internal agonizing about the latest round of this cycle is a perennial feature of South Korean politics. So what reason do we have to think it will go differently this time?
This, by the way, is why I was not panicked six months ago by the prospect that Donald Trump was going to blunder us into a nuclear war. There was nothing new about the North Korean belligerence that people imagined was being provoked by Trump's erratic tweets. But this is also why I don't think Trump is going to blunder us out of a nuclear North Korea.
This history is why it has generally been regarded as a bad idea to give the North Koreans any kind of high-profile meeting without preconditions. In the past, we've let ourselves get suckered into granting concessions just as in incentive to begin talks, only to get nothing in return. A tough and realistic administration would want North Korea to take substantial steps toward de-nuclearization — or at the very least return the US citizens it— before agreeing to a new round of talks. This is why so many on the right meeting Kim's father without preconditions back when Barack Obama proposed it. Moreover, we have also generally opposed direct talks between the US and North Korea in favor of talks that include local allies like South Korea and Japan, so the North Koreans can't try to exploit divisions between us. This is exactly what they just did, pitting a South Korean president who is desperately eager for rapprochement with the North against a Japanese president who has been taking a hard line.
S Korea to send high-level officials to North for talks
South Korea's presidential office says a 10-member government delegation is to visit North Korea this week for talks on how to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula. The Blue House said Sunday the delegation led by national security director Chung Eui-yong is to fly to Pyongyang on Monday for a two-day visit that includes talks with unidentified senior North Korean officials.
It's not just that Trump has changed US policy toward North Korea, it's that he did it, without planning or deliberation. But surely Trump is different! Surely his great skills as a negotiator and dealmaker will allow him to make a breakthrough where nobody else could. That's certainly what he thinks, and if you believe that, you probably believe he should . Heck, Obama got one for less.
But here's the thing. This is what everybody else believed in the previous rounds of this North Korea cycle. That's what caused the Clinton administration to think that they would be the ones to make the breakthrough, and it's exactly the kind of thinking that led President Obama into the one-sided deal with Iran that President Trump has spent so much time complaining about. In Obama's case, he thought he could make deals because he was less belligerent and more conciliatory. Trump thinks he can makes them because he talks tough, especially on Twitter. In each case, the dictatorship appeals to the politician's need for flattery and his sense of self-aggrandizement, his belief that has some special quality that will allow him to succeed at a policy that has always failed before.
Trump hails 'possible progress' in North Korea talks
President Donald Trump hailed "possible progress" Tuesday in talks between North Korea and South Korea, hours after the US ally said that North Korea is willing to talk to the United States about giving up its nuclear program. "Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction," Trump tweeted.
In aiming this at Trump, they showed that they know their man well. And inthat he believes North Korea will honor their commitments, Trump is indicating that he is already taken in.
This time around, I don't think they were actually aiming at Trump. Aof the background for the offer suggests that this is part of a big North Korean effort to reel in South Korean President Moon Jae-in. If you watched the opening ceremonies of the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea, particularly the four South Korean pop stars John Lennon's "Imagine," an anthem of faith in an , you'll sense the powerful pull of wishful thinking in the South about a happy reunion with the North. Yet in aiming at the over-eager President Moon, the North Koreans may have reeled in a bigger fish.
Maybe things really will be different this time. Maybe Kim Jong-un is North Korea's Mikhail Gorbachev. But given the total lack of evidence for such a radically new direction, this is vanishingly unlikely. Realistically, we know that dictatorships tend to make decisions based on calculations about what they need for the continued survival of the regime. Those calculations don't change just because our president fancies himself a good negotiator.
North Korea's Kim Jong Un Could Attack Europe
North Korea has said it must continue its nuclear weapons program to deter the United States or other enemies from invading or striking the isolated nation. Washington has 28,500 troops deployed in South Korea.South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke with Trump on the phone Friday and both voiced “cautious optimism” about working together to curb North Korea’s nuclear weapons. "A brighter future is available for North Korea, if it chooses the correct path,” a White House statement said.
In this case, the dictatorship that matters is not North Korea so much as it is China. North Korea is— for energy, for aid, for trade, for banking, and most of all for helping to enforce North Korea's border, without which the country would suffer the same kind of internal collapse East Germany did in 1989 when its citizens found they were allowed to escape by way of Czechoslovakia. It's clear that the North Korean regime exists and causes trouble because the Chinese leadership wants it to exist and cause trouble. China's Communist leaders think this serves their interests, particularly because they are paranoid about the prospect of sharing a substantial border with a free nation allied with America.
With China's Xi Jinping imposing one-man rule and making himself president for life — a relapse to Maoism after decades of halting reform — do you think he is going to decide these interests have changed?
The lessons of our history with North Korea are clear. Demand real and permanent steps to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program and release the regime's hostages, and demand that first. Don't "trust but verify," just verify. And don't give the North Koreans anything, not even a photo op, until you're sure they've delivered on their end of the bargain. And don't imagine that you can deal with them any other way.
South Korean K-Pop singers to perform in North Korea .
South Korea said Tuesday it will send a 160-member artistic group to North Korea, including about 10 celebrated K-Pop singers, for rare concerts there.The South Korean musical artists will visit Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, from March 31 to April 3 and give two performances, according to a joint statement issued after the two Koreas met at a border village.The development comes during a thaw in the North Korean nuclear crisis. A North Korean band performed in South Korea during the recently ended Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Trump Gets Played By Kim Jong-Un By Agreeing To Meeting
Donald Trump has agreed to have a meeting with Kim Jong-Un in Pyongyang, North Korea at some point between now and the month of May. Some are heralding this as a breakthrough, while others...
US - Trump calls North Korea's regime "a band of criminals", Kim Jong-un "Rocket man"
Subscribe to France 24 now: http://f24.my/youtubeEN FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7 http://f24.my/YTliveEN US - Trump calls North Korea''s regime "a band of criminals",...
Tuesday, 20 march 2018
When it comes to their affair, Stormy Daniels has, so far, out-Trumped Trump.It was just a little thing, a scratch, that he failed to treat and gangrene set in and it was killing him. They were on safari, in Africa, and their truck had broken down and the rescue plane was never going to […]
Tuesday, 20 march 2018
Great news! Hillary Clinton has finally figured out What Happened! It wasn’t, after all, James Comey or racism or Vladimir Putin or sexism or the hostile media that torpedoed her bid for the White House. Instead, it was…(drumroll please…) millions of Stepford wives, voting the way their […]
Wednesday, 21 march 2018
What’s behind President Trump’s curious silence about a porn star and her story?Apart from his own kin, there’s no category of person exempt from Donald Trump’s attacks. He has gone after past presidents of the United States, current leaders of our closest allies, stewards of his own […]
Tuesday, 20 march 2018
Coming soon: a battle of bad ideas that refuse to die. Pass the popcorn.Follow me on Twitter (@PaulKrugman) and Facebook.Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today […]
Thursday, 22 march 2018
Surely you’ve noticed it: Over the last few decades, throughout the developed world, stuff has gotten cheaper. Cars are less pricey, as are shoes—and shrimp,… Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily […]
Wednesday, 21 march 2018
In 1973, there were still some independent-minded lawmakers in the Grand Old Party. Today, not so much.Something changed last weekend, did it […]
Wednesday, 21 march 2018
Is it time to quit Facebook? I’ve been wondering about that lately and I’m not the only one. For me, there are a couple of reasons why I have begun to wonder if it’s time to say goodbye to a social network that, over the last few years, has been fun and sometimes informative.At its best, […]
Wednesday, 21 march 2018
Gun violence restraining orders let those closest to potentially violent people ask the government to take that person's gun rights away temporarily.After every school shooting, the cultural reaction is about as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning. First, liberals get on […]