Trump will make a deal with his ‘friend’ Kim Jong Un just like he did with Congress – Washington Examiner
The stakes with Nancy Pelosi were $5.7 billion and some steel slats.
The stakes with Kim Jong Un and North Korea are nuclear war.
President Trump has met with the porcine dictator at a summit in Vietnam, and if his Twitter account is any indication, the president has fairly high confidence in his ability to broker a deal to denuclearize the peninsula.
Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize. The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un. We will know fairly soon – Very Interesting!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
February 27, 2019
The North Korean tyrant has lawlessly detained and tortured American nationals, runs gulags described by a former ICJ judge and Holocaust survivor as “even worse” than Nazi concentration camps, enacts forced abortions and sexual slavery on his own citizens, murdered his own uncle with anti-aircraft machine guns, and poisoned his own brother.
With “friends” like these, who needs enemies? (Certainly not Trump, who’s expected to head into negotiations with Kim after staying up all night to watch his former fixer publicly burn him under oath. Nothing sets the stage for great dealmaking like forgoing a night of sleep to watch your former BFF stab you on the back on national television!)
As it tends to do, the Internet broke into predictable outrage. I, for one, remember Otto Warmbier and hundreds of thousands of North Koreans currently being starved and tortured in concentration camps, but this is politics. Negotiations involve strategizing, and that sometimes includes sweet-talking and lies. That’s all fine and fair.
Then again, Kim isn’t Congress, and the threat of nuclear war isn’t a border wall. Trump can’t chum up to Kim one second, and just go back to making fat jokes about Rocket Man the moment negotiations don’t go his way. Buddying up with the worst human rights violator in the world is a bold strategy, and it could work, but it leaves about a millimeter’s margin for error. Sure, Kim has no strategic interest in striking first, as he’s exponentially outnumbered and sure to lose. But again, this is a man who murdered his defense minister for disloyalty for accidentally falling asleep during a meeting. We’re not dealing with the sharpest (or sanest) tool in the shed, nor with someone who is likely to survive the weakening or fall of his regime.
Trump’s made a strategic choice to make a friend. For the sake of the planet not being blown to smithereens, we’d best hope he knows how to keep him.