13 June 2018

Played Like a Fiddle

The much-hyped "summit" between Donald Trump and North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un is now finished. And to no one's surprise, Trump was completely rolled by Kim yet Trump thinks he's "won."

Nicholas Kristof at the New York Times wrote an excellent column (link here) about how Kim totally played the foolish Trump.

He writes: "Trump made a huge concession — the suspension of military exercises with South Korea. That’s on top of the broader concession of the summit meeting itself, security guarantees he gave North Korea and the legitimacy that the summit provides his counterpart, Kim Jong-un."

He continues: "Within North Korea, the ‘very special bond’ that Trump claimed to have formed with Kim will be portrayed this way: Kim forced the American president, through his nuclear and missile tests, to accept North Korea as a nuclear equal, to provide security guarantees to North Korea, and to cancel war games with South Korea that the North has protested for decades. In exchange for these concessions, Trump seems to have won astonishingly little."

At the risk of mixing too many metaphors, Trump bought Kim's magic beans and paid a high price for them.

NBC news published a great review of the event (link here) with the title "The Trump-Kim summit was big on style, short on substance." This short excerpt says it all:

"A question to ponder: What would the Republican Party have said if Barack Obama made this same deal and held the same meeting with North Korea’s dictator? How would they have reacted?"

Bottom line: Trump pulled the US out of a much better deal with Iran, a country with a far less developed nuclear program yet rushed to embrace a much worse deal with North Korea, a country with a far more developed nuclear program.

He paid a hell of a lot for those magic beans.

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