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Ulysses
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When Trump Realizes Kim Isn't Giving Up His Nukes It Won't Be Pretty
Jul 10th, 2018 at 9:32am
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When Trump Realizes Kim Isn't Giving Up His Nukes It Won't Be Pretty

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Donald Trump hadn't said much about North Korea since returning from his trip to Singapore in early June and declaring that the threat posed by the country's nuclear-armed missiles had vanished. That all changed on Monday morning—with potentially deadly consequences.

"I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake," Trump noted. "We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea," he added.

No doubt the president had seen coverage of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's July 7 statement on his secretary of state's trip to Pyongyang. Mike Pompeo walked away from Pyongyang with an empty hand and with little clarity on where the process that began on June 12 in Singapore is headed.

North Korea, meanwhile, chided the "regretful" U.S. attitude, criticizing Pompeo for having the gall to come to Pyongyang and continue to insist on North Korea's unilateral disarmament.

The Foreign Ministry took aim in particular at Pompeo's “gangster-like demands for denuclearization just calling for CVID, declaration, and verification, all of which run counter to the spirit of the Singapore summit meeting and talks.”

Pompeo's trip to Pyongyang laid bare the tension that many Korea-watchers and experts had promised would come since March 8—the day Trump accepted Kim's invitation to meet face-to-face. Trump thinks Kim is going to give up his nuclear weapons despite Kim having never said he would do so.

Take Trump's comment for instance that in Singapore, the two countries agreed to “the denuclearization of North Korea.” If that's the case, it wasn't reflected in the short document that Kim Jong Un signed on to, which was far from any sort of legally enforceable "contract." The Singapore declaration only promised that North Korea would “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

The phrase “complete denuclearization” appeared also on April 27 in the Panmunjom declaration signed by Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. At that meeting, the two Koreas had confirmed that this was their “common goal.”

Whatever this phrase means in the 2018 diplomatic context—and interpretations vary among experts—it categorically does not mean what Trump and Pompeo have taken it to mean. It does not, for example, mean that Kim has agreed to the “finally, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.” (This was the State Department's formulation days before Pompeo set out to Pyongyang.)

No matter how many times Trump or Pompeo repeat it, North Korea has not agreed to give up its nuclear weapons. Sooner or later, that'll sink in. It won't matter how many times Pompeo heads to Pyongyang to sit across the table from his North Korean counterparts as long as the starting point for the U.S. negotiating position is the assumption that Kim is ready to discuss the price for the keys to his nuclear kingdom.

This is where the first part of Trump's tweet comes in—and how we may be witnessing the prelude to disaster.

In the president's mind, Kim is backing out of a gentleman's agreement to denuclearize—one sealed in by that holiest of macho deal-making rites, the handshake. Monday's tweet is suggestive of a growing impression that Trump is starting to interpret Kim's treatment of Pompeo as a sign of bad faith.

None of this is true, of course. North Korea has deceived the United States in the past, but not this time. Weeks before the summit, Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea's first vice minister of Foreign Affairs, made it crystal clear that the Kim-Trump meeting could not proceed “if the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment.”

Kim underlined that North Korea’s nukes provided a security assurance to the regime that was effectively priceless, repudiating any cash-for-nukes denuclearization deal, too: “The U.S. is trumpeting as if it would offer economic compensation and benefit in case we abandon nuke. But we have never had any expectation of U.S. support in carrying out our economic construction and will not at all make such a deal in future, too.”

But no matter how clear North Korea has tried to make its negotiating position, Trump has not grokked the reality that Kim Jong Un is not giving up his nukes—no matter how convincing those handshakes in Singapore might have felt.

The concern now is how Trump will cope with the inevitable realization that “complete denuclearization” doesn't mean what he thought it meant. There are three possible futures—none good, but some less bad than others.


  

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Re: When Trump Realizes Kim Isn't Giving Up His Nukes It Won't Be Pretty
Reply #1 - Jul 10th, 2018 at 9:48am
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many here would like to see trump fail here, at the expense of the freedom for n. Korean people and the safety of the planet. That is very sad.

When Clinton, carter and Albright made their deal with his father in the 1990's, many warned them they were being lied to and taken advantage of. We gave them oil, $ and access to nuclear power technology (which of course could be used to develop weapons)…

of course, his dad years later said he lied from day 1 and pursued the weapons development. Albright has stated publicly it was their worst failure.

But people were still hoping it would work.

As long as trump does not make the same major, major mistake of giving them tons of concessions, goods, money, intellectual property...there is little risk.

In fact, by stating they will dismantle, if kim does not, he looks like the one going back on a committment...and we are no worse off than we were before.

Sad to see so many so called "peace-seekers" hoping so much for failure here.
  
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Re: When Trump Realizes Kim Isn't Giving Up His Nukes It Won't Be Pretty
Reply #2 - Jul 10th, 2018 at 10:44am
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Kim has never said he would dismantle his nukes. He only said that he would work towards a nuclear free Korean peninsula. The written summit communique also creates no commitment.

And please stop the BS that people want Trump to fail. It's just that he has already failed in so many ways. He's constantly lying and over-selling stuff. People are tired of his confidence game. I can go to a used car lot and get pretty much the same sort of misrepresentation.
  

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Re: When Trump Realizes Kim Isn't Giving Up His Nukes It Won't Be Pretty
Reply #3 - Jul 10th, 2018 at 11:15am
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petep wrote on Jul 10th, 2018 at 9:48am:
many here would like to see trump fail here, at the expense of the freedom for n. Korean people and the safety of the planet. That is very sad.

When Clinton, carter and Albright made their deal with his father in the 1990's, many warned them they were being lied to and taken advantage of. We gave them oil, $ and access to nuclear power technology (which of course could be used to develop weapons)…

of course, his dad years later said he lied from day 1 and pursued the weapons development. Albright has stated publicly it was their worst failure.

But people were still hoping it would work.

As long as trump does not make the same major, major mistake of giving them tons of concessions, goods, money, intellectual property...there is little risk.

In fact, by stating they will dismantle, if kim does not, he looks like the one going back on a committment...and we are no worse off than we were before.

Sad to see so many so called "peace-seekers" hoping so much for failure here.


Whoa, there petep, I would like nothing more than to see N.Koreans move into the modern world and compete economically instead of militarily.

But that does not mean I think Trump is anywhere near capable of managing that amazing feat, considering he can't even manage his own country very well. Trump has zero experience dealing with crazy dictator's, and expecting Trump to fail is based purely on this fact. Now if he happens to succeed, then great, I'll give him credit for it (not happily, but I will), but I see that as a small possibility.

Much more likely Trump is being played, as he is being played by other nations' leaders, by comedians, by pretty much anyone who panders or attacks his narcissism.
  
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Re: When Trump Realizes Kim Isn't Giving Up His Nukes It Won't Be Pretty
Reply #4 - Jul 10th, 2018 at 8:15pm
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Ulysses wrote on Jul 10th, 2018 at 9:32am:


the late night and early morning tweets will be "fast and furious," that's for sure.
  

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Re: When Trump Realizes Kim Isn't Giving Up His Nukes It Won't Be Pretty
Reply #5 - Jul 10th, 2018 at 9:43pm
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Hopefully, this will lead to us assassinating Ping Pong. That would be sweet.
  


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Re: When Trump Realizes Kim Isn't Giving Up His Nukes It Won't Be Pretty
Reply #6 - Jul 10th, 2018 at 9:53pm
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Jasmine wrote on Jul 10th, 2018 at 9:43pm:
Hopefully, this will lead to us assassinating Ping Pong. That would be sweet.


Not if Trump wants Ivanka to keep getting her overpriced dreck manufactured on the cheap in China...

Or his red ties and Maggot hats, for that matter...

Besides, the last thing Trump wants is for Kim Jong Un (it's not a hard name to type, you should try it some day) to go away. He's a convenient boogey-man for Trump to try to tame. If he succeeds, we'll never hear the end of Trump bragging about what a great peacemaker he is. If he fails, we'll never hear the end about what a horrid little man Kim is. A bit of the pot and kettle, there, actually.

And by focusing on Kim, Trump apparently feels he can continue to give Putin his regular blowjob without anybody noticing.

  

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