Trump cracks his whip: Now North Korea wants to talk

President Trump's letter of cancelation and subsequent statements by him and secretary of state Mike Pompeo on the canceled summit with North Korea reminded Kim Jong-un (and his domestic rivals and allies) that you don't play chicken with Donald Trump.  The Norks have gotten away with their bullying of other American presidents and diplomats with over-the-top rhetoric and behavior, but Trump is an entirely different animal.

While his letter mentioned abusive language, calling V.P. Pence a "dummy," subsequently, the White House revealed:

North Korea didn't show up to recent meetings to prepare for the now-cancelled summit between dictator Kim Jong Un and President Trump, the White House revealed Thursday.

Previous administrations allowed North Korea to think that it could get away with this sort of behavior.  But Trump validated his earlier statements that while he prefers negotiations, if necessary, he will take action to accomplish his goals (i.e., destroy the North Korean facilities) in the event that negotiations don't work.

His many, highly vocal, TDS-suffering critics – the ones who claim he is "insane," impetuous, and "dangerous" and will "blunder into nuclear war" – turn out to be his unwilling allies in the effort to make the North Korans believe that his threats are real.

The full text of the North Korean response, translated (awkwardly in places) by the official North Korean news agency, appears below.  Two excerpts reveal the closest North Korea can get to saying, "Sorry we didn't really mean it," considering the mandatory face-saving.

[W]e remain unchanged in our goal and will to do everything we could for peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and humankind, and we, broad-minded and open all the time, have the willingness to offer the U.S. side time and opportunity. ...

We would like to make known to the U.S. side once again that we have the intent to sit with the U.S. side to solve problem regardless of ways at any time.

Needless to say, there is a lot of communication going on through back channels and via intermediaries, in particular China.  Trump was unusually blunt in implying that China bears some responsibility for hardening Kim's stance during the second summit between him and President Xi – whom Trump continually butters up.  There is a three-dimensional chess game aspect to this process, as the U.S. has a trade agenda with China as well as a nuclear security agenda.  Trump's goal is to reinforce in the minds of both leaders that if talks and cooperation don't succeed, he will pull the triggers of a trade war or a military approach.

It was no coincidence that yesterday, the House of Representative passed legislation authorizing a new generation of tactical nuclear weapons launched from submarines – with the support of 131 Democrats.  But the TDS gang was right there, doing its part to scare North Korea and China:

"This bill … pushes us even further and faster down the path to war, toward a new nuclear arms race," warned Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.).  "Does it make us safer to have a low-yield nuclear weapon on one of our submarines?  Probably not."

From the standpoint of domestic politics, Democrats stepped up yesterday to cover their own faces with egg.  As the president acts to address the issue that Barack Obama told him was the greatest threat, the Democrats are celebrating perceived setbacks, and almost seeming to side with the brutal North Korean dictator because they hate the sitting president so much.  Here are just a couple of examples.

Nancy Pelosi unpatriotically seeming to side with Kim:

Here is Wendy Sherman (John Kerry's undersecretary of state for political affairs and a senior fellow at Harvard), on whose watch the problem got worse and worse, mocking Trump for his language that worked, unlike the language used by her bosses:


Full text of the statement published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA):

The historic summit is now high on the agenda between the DPRK and the U.S., and the preparations for it are being pushed forward at the final stage amid the remarkably great concern of the world.

The sincere pursuit and active efforts made by the DPRK to end the relations of hostility and distrust that have lasted for decades and build a new landmark for the improvement of the DPRK-U.S. relations have commanded unanimous sympathy and support from the public at home and abroad.

But suddenly President of the United States of America Trump made public his official stand on May 24 to cancel the DPRK-U.S. summit that had already been made a fait accompli.

Explaining the reason for it, he said that the statement made by Vice Foreign Minister of the DPRK Choe Son Hui carried "tremendous anger and open hostility" and that it is not appropriate to hold the meeting at present, a precious one that has long been planned.

I would like to take this expression of his stand on the DPRK-U.S. summit as a decision not consistent with the desire of humankind for peace and stability in the world, to say nothing of those in the Korean peninsula.

As for the "tremendous anger and open hostility" referred to by President Trump, it is just a reaction to the unbridled remarks made by the U.S. side which has long pressed the DPRK unilaterally to scrap nuclear program ahead of the DPRK-U.S. summit.

The inglorious situation today is a vivid expression of the severity of the present status of the hostile DPRK-U.S. relations of long historical roots and the urgent necessity for the summit meeting for the improvement of the ties.

As far as the historic DPRK-U.S. summit is concerned, we have inwardly highly appreciated President Trump for having made the bold decision, which any other U.S. presidents dared not, and made efforts for such a crucial event as the summit.

His sudden and unilateral announcement to cancel the summit is something unexpected to us and we can not but feel great regret for it.

It is hard to guess the reasons. It could be that he lacked the will for the summit or he might not have felt confident. But for our part, we have exerted sincere efforts, raising hope that the historic DPRK-U.S. summit meeting and talks themselves would mark a meaningful starting point for peace and security in the region and the world and the improvement of the bilateral relations as the first step forward to settling the issue through dialogue.

We even inwardly hoped that what is called "Trump formula" would help clear both sides of their worries and comply with the requirements of our side and would be a wise way of substantial effect for settling the issue.

The chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK has also exerted all efforts for the preparations for the summit, saying that the meeting with President Trump could help make a good start.

The U.S. side's unilateral announcement of the cancellation of the summit makes us think over if we were truly right to have made efforts for it and to have opted for the new path.

But we remain unchanged in our goal and will to do everything we could for peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and humankind, and we, broad-minded and open all the time, have the willingness to offer the U.S. side time and opportunity.

The first meeting would not solve all, but solving even one at a time in a phased way would make the relations get better rather than making them get worse. The U.S. should ponder over it.

We would like to make known to the U.S. side once again that we have the intent to sit with the U.S. side to solve problem regardless of ways at any time.

There will be more twists and turns, but President Trump's perceived willingness to use military force if talks fail is his Trump Card.  Yes, he is breaking the norms of diplomacy – the norms that have gotten North Korea to the brink of a nuclear arsenal that can be delivered to our shores.  Those who mock his willingness to change the game do so at their own peril.

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