As good news cascades from North Korea, Dems betting against Trump (and America)

Two apparent concessions from Pyongyang are boosting the chances of success for President Trump’s initiative to strike a “deal” that we would de-nuclearize the Korean Peninsula and possibly even lure North Korea out of its status as a rogue nation, cut off from the outside world and shunning the norms of international relations. This would be a major triumph not just for Trump, but for America. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are doing their utmost to rebuke and disempower the point man in achieving those concessions by obstructing CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination as Secretary of State.

Standing in opposition to the facilitator of what maybe the biggest diplomatic triumph since Nixon began the process of opening China could end up boomeranging on them in November if the talks succeed. That implicitly means that the Democrats are betting against the resolution of what President Obama termed as the biggest national security threat to America, as he and President-elect Trump rode the limo to inauguration at the Capitol.

The GOP is in danger of losing its hold on the title of “The Stupid Party.”

The triumphs-in-process are substantial, though far from fully realized yet.  

First, North Korea’s surprise announcement that it is suspending nuclear and missile testing left CNN’s Pyongyang correspondent Will Ripley “speechless” when he phoned into Wolf Blitzer’s Friday evening show. Via Grabien:

“This is an extraordinarily significant development. And frankly, a huge win for President Trump going into these potential summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. I want to read to you a quote from a North Korean force I just spoke to on the phone. Finally, Kim Jong-un decided to open up. This is a new chapter for the DPRK. He’s committed himself to the task of denuclearization and focus solely on economic growth and improving the national economy. Finally, he has realized the best path forward is to open up the country and normalize relations. He is finally being recognized by the international community and this is an historic timely opportunity. Wolf, I am speechless here at the pace at which North Korea has done this u-turn." 

President Trump hailed the concession:



But keep in mind that Kim also stated that North Korea has completed its testing.

What remains is work on guidance systems, miniaturization, heat shielding the return warhead, and other matters that do not require shooting off missiles or detonating bombs. Moreover, Kim made no mention of short and medium-range missiles that could threaten Japan. Nevertheless, the announcement is a major concession, and signal that the forthcoming talks have promise.

A second reported concession also indicates a favorable outlook on the talks. Via HuffPo:

President Donald Trump’s upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will likely involve the release of three American citizens currently detained in the hermit country, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

North Korean officials gave CIA Director Mike Pompeo assurances that the summit between Trump and Kim could be linked to the release of the U.S. citizens, the Journal reported, citing “people briefed on the meeting.”

With Mike Pompeo the hero of the hour, Democrat senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, joined by Rand Paul, are preparing to vote down Pompeo’s nomination, which would be a historic move. Normally, presidents are allowed to pick their secretaries of state. Ali Rogan reports for ABC News:

Sen. Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, announced Friday that he will not vote to support the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state, officially closing the door on Pompeo’s chances of being favorably recommended out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ahead of a full Senate floor vote.

Coons, the last Democrat on the panel to announce his position, said in a statement that he was encouraged by Pompeo's commitment to the diplomatic corps that he laid out in his confirmation hearing but concluded that the current CIA director and former congressman would embolden rather than temper President Donald Trump's most bellicose instincts.

The nomination still could move to the Senate floor, where North Dakota’s Senator Heidi Heitkamp has promised to vote for confirmation, no doubt worried about her re-election prospects.

President Trump sees the issue:


Of course, achievement of a deal to end North Korea’s nuclear program and open up the Hermit Kingdom is far from a sure thing. The Norks have a long history of lying, cheating, and delaying as they move forward with the planned nuclear arsenal. Madeleine Albright was suckered into a worthless deal for the Clinton administration that was violated by the Norks. But the very “bellicose instincts” that so worry Senator Coons are a powerful reason for Kim to treat Trump differently than Bill Clinton – who allowed China to acquire critical ICBM missile technology from Loral.  


I think that the odds for a genuine strategy change on the part of Kim and his regime are better than many people realize. Ripley’s report, “Finally, Kim Jong-un decided to open up,” may be true. Make no mistake, Kim Jong-un is ruthless (he had his half-brother murdered in Malaysia), but unlike his father and grandfather, he has lived in the West. In addition, his countrymen and -women have far more access to information about the outside world than ever before. And his essential patrons in China called him to Beijing for consultations in the face of their tightening of sanctions, and may not see his continued value as an irritant to the West, particularly if he provokes Japan into acquiring a nuclear arsenal.

IF Trump scores a win for America and for peace by a successful deal, the Democrats will go down in history as reactionaries who tried to prevent success.

Betting against America’s interests is never a good idea for an American political party.

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