By Dan Calabrese
There’s one basic problem you have when you try to do business with the Kim regime in North Korea. It’s just this one small problem.
The problem? They’re all completely insane. Oh, and they’re liars.
They’re sadistic murderers too, but for now let’s focus on the insanity and the lying. Just last week, President Trump was expressing confidence that Bowl Cut Jr. really wants to join the civilized community of nations. Talk of a Nobel Peace Prize for Trump, even among Trump-hating liberals, was actually going on in mainstream circles. All because he had apparently found a way to tame the savage Nork beast – a goal that had eluded U.S. presidents since the ascension of Kim Il-Sung in 1948.
Anticipation over the upcoming summit between the two leaders has been at a fever pitch. Or it was . . . until this:
“The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities,” KCNA reported.
The Pentagon says the military exercise is a routine, annual event that is purely defensive in nature. Army Col. Rob Manning says Exercise Max Thunder 2018 is designed to improve the abilities of the U.S. and South Korea to operate together. It began Monday and is slated to run through May 25, and is expected to include aircraft from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps, as it has in the past.
Last year it included as many as 1,200 U.S. personnel and about 640 South Koreans as well as various aircraft including F-16 fighter jets, F-18 Hornets and EA-18G Growlers from the Navy’s electronic attack squadron. Manning says the defensive nature of these combined exercises has been clear for many decades and has not changed.
In March, then-CIA Director and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeothat Kim has allowed the U.S. to “continue our exercises on the peninsula something that’s been fought over for decades.” He also made similar remarks the same day on Fox News, saying Kim has “got to continue to allow us to perform our militarily necessary exercises on the peninsula and then he’s got to make sure that he leaves on the table that discussion for denuclearization.”
In March, South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-Yong said Kim “understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue” afterat the White House.
If we were dealing with a sane person, I’d say this sounds like a strategic miscalculation. North Korea needs this summit much more urgently than the U.S. or South Korea need it, and threatening to cancel it over something he should know is routine is something the Norks’ are not in a position to benefit from. But since we’re dealing with an irrational lunatic, I’ll simply observe that Kim is being crazy . . . because Kim is crazy.
Maybe he thinks he can wrangle a few more concessions out of the U.S. and the Sorks, because now Trump is so invested in the glory and the Nobel Peace Prize talk, he’ll be terrified to let the summit die on the vine. I don’t think that’s the case. I think Trump knows perfectly well that he got Kim to the table by being tough, not by making concessions, and if Kim wants to play this game now he can deal with even tougher sanctions and no guarantees of security in the future.
I’ve never had high hopes for the summit in the first place, so to me it’s no great loss if this doesn’t happen. I think it was always delusional to think anything could change this regime – except for the end of this regime. But it seemed very much in Kim’s best interests to go along with this charade and keep up the appearance that he’s interested in being constructive.
I guess he could only keep up the facade so long. Maybe the summit will still happen, but only one thing is going to change North Korea – when the peninsula is reunified and North Korea ceases to exist.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!