“If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!”
Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well! In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2018
So imagine my lack of surprise when Pyongyang issued a statement accusing Pompeo of trying to force denuclearization demands upon them:
“The U.S. is fatally mistaken if it went to the extent of regarding that [North Korea] would be compelled to accept, out of its patience, demands reflecting its gangster-like mindset.”
And we must note that with Comrade Stupid’s trade wars with China, well, China is unlikely to help get his orange ass out this sling, unless the Walking Temper Tantrum gives up on the trade wars? Yeah sumpin’ like that.
Axios morning email thingie goes long:
This was entirely predictable, and was predicted by experts, Jonathan Swan points out:
- People who’ve worked with the president, both at the Trump Organization and in the White House, say he viscerally fears being played for a sucker and humiliated.
- But Trump has made himself quite vulnerable to embarrassment in the North Korea talks, which suggests he won’t have a great deal of patience for the entirely predictable shenanigans from Pyongyang.
- Remember how abruptly he cancelled (and then reinstated) the talks when Kim insulted Vice President Pence? We’re now in a situation where China could “rescue” the talks and leverage its power with North Korea to get a better trade deal by doing so.
- The bottom line: There’s a long road ahead to any satisfactory peace deal with North Korea; but a very short road to renewed hostilities. Should a few more things go wrong, Trump could swing abruptly against Kim Jong-un.
- “This is not the end of the process. It’s a negotiating tactic, but signals several serious things: (1) We aren’t unilaterally disarming. Stop saying it. Stop asking for it. Never going to happen. (2) Any other stuff short of that? Gonna cost you chief. And burn a lot of clock.”
Be smart … Frank Lavin, former Singapore ambassador under George W. Bush and former National Security Council summit organizer, tells me:
- “The more the Trump administration celebrates any success, the more North Korea is disincentivized from actually delivering.”
- “A public proclamation of a triumph takes North Korea off the hook.”
- “Better for Trump to understate the North Korea talks and label them the first step of a long journey.”
So guys, you tired yet of So Much Winning from the world’s best negotiator?