North Korea Reigns Supreme Over the Trump administration
It’s not as if the Trump administration didn’t expect it, as they had been warned by plenty of people about the issues in with trying to deal with North Korea. There was a definite change in tone between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in recent weeks, making the chances of holding a historical summit where they would both meet as a first for any administration in decades.
Plans for the potential summit seemed to move quickly and was a contrast to the hostile tone used before, where each leader threatened and insulted the other in public, ramping up the world’s anxieties of potential nuclear war. But everything appeared to go back to normal under this presidency when the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) issued a statement that they could cancel the summit if the US’s conditions were nuclear disarmament. This was after the DPRK had suspended talked with South Korea. One report by CNN said that the Trump administration was scrambling, not expecting the cancelation to be an issue.
Here is a tweet from the ‘official’ DPRK news service account foreshadowing recent events. Though this might be a parody account, it suggests the consensus view that North Korea isn’t going to give in so easily to the Trump administration.
We've come too far
To give up who we are pic.twitter.com/Y1dpBjZorF
— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) May 10, 2018
North Korea warnings were last card held by Obama administration
The Wall Street Journal reported in November of 2016 that the Obama administration warned the Trump transition team that North Korea would be their greatest challenge. Again, the potential success of talks would have certainly made it seem like the Trump administration would be proving Obama wrong, a hard truth to swallow and likely, another way for Trump to trash Obama’s advice.
Foreign policy officials would also be proven wrong about their own warnings and analysis, suggesting that Kim Jong Un was capable of submitting to some standard even if it meant giving up nuclear weapons. Government officials experienced in dealing with North Korea have done what Trump doesn’t do, which is to learn from that experience. Those officials have always made the case that the DPRK has no desire to give up their nuclear weapons and more recently, they had reportedly scheduled a dismantling of one of their missile test sites for May 23-25 before the summit.
But those same experts have suggested that the reasons North Korea scheduled the dismantling of one of their missile sites was that it was a sign that North Korea had indeed, achieved their nuclear ambitions. This kind of analysis was also at risk of going extinct, should Trump have succeeded in convincing the DPRK to disarm. Especially since President Trump had recently bragged about his ‘achievement’ for the summit, mocking the advice of experts and saying that he thought it was a riot when bureaucrats would advise him on how to deal with the isolated country. Kim Jong Un’s statement at the very least proves that those advisers know what they’re talking about and that President Obama’s greatest warning to Trump still holds true.
Denuclearization is not an option for North Korea
The consensus on Kim Jong Un’s power is that giving up nuclear weapons would leave him vulnerable to attack. At best, his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, would be considered the official leader of North Korea with the official title simply being handed down to less qualified descendants. The fact that Kim Jong Un has executed many among top leadership only means that his rule is determined by force. Such a figure has very few friends, most of those relationships no doubt also made by force.
It’s also the consensus that with examples of leaders from other countries such as Libya and Iraq being overthrown, Kim Jong Un would be more reluctant to give up his weapons. There’s no doubt that a figure with very view friends is a world target to be overthrown. A new matter is that the Trump administration lies compulsively and on a daily basis so, why should North Korea trust this administration to keep its word under the conditions of denuclearization?
Finally, it’s also been the largely held view that the only reason North Korea would hold a summit like is that they want something from the US such as hard cash or supplies. The Trump administration has obviously made a big mistake of ignoring the advice given, thinking he could continue on his own. Now, even if the talks do continue, this new administration falls back just as others have with the possibility of failure and by that standard, gladly, the Trump administration has lost again. Here’s one report by CNN about the thinly-veiled threat over canceling the summit.
Featured Image vi DPRK News/Twitter.
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