By Dan Calabrese
No one was surprised when the Norks responded to the cancellation last night with a groveling plea that they’d still like to meet. Nancy Pelosi notwithstanding, Bowl Cut Jr. has gotten nothing out of this so far and won’t unless he can actually meet with Trump and get the U.S. to ease off the sanctions. Of course the Norks want the summit back on.
But Trump had every reason to cancel it, given North Korea’s unmistakable signal that they are not, and never were, serious about real denuclearization. Maybe Trump is just dangling an incentive for the Norks to come back with a much more serious pre-summit offer. He’d better be. Because if he’s going to un-cancel the summit based on nothing more than a somewhat conciliatory statement in the dead of night, we’re in for a disaster of a meeting:
U.S. President Donald Trump dangled the possibility on Friday that a June 12 summit with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, could still take place, just a day after he canceled the meeting citing Pyongyang’s “open hostility.”
Trump indicated the summit could be salvaged after welcoming a conciliatory statement from North Korea saying it remained open to talks.
“It was a very nice statement they put out,” Trump said as he left the White House to deliver a commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy. “We’ll see what happens – it could even be the 12th.
“We’re talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it.”
Earlier on Twitter, Trump had noted “very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea.”
Part of the problem in commenting on this is that it’s never clear exactly what game Trump is playing with his public posturing. For all we know, he never really intended to cancel the summit, but he wanted the Norks to understand how willing he is to walk away from the table – the idea being that they’d have to change both their attitude and their intentions about how they intend to deal if they want this thing to go forward.
Of course, there’s also the possibility Trump has simply acted impulsively at every step of the process here. Critics on both sides of the aisle think he agreed way too quickly and easily to have the summit in the first place, largely based on an unrealistic assessment of the situation by South Korean President Moon Jae-In. I tend to think Trump likes to look more impulsive than he really is, since he’s learned this incentivizes people to throw concessions at him to get him to do things he was probably going to do anyway.
But I remain convinced this summit has very little hope of producing a good outcome. The price we should be demanding for the lifting of sanctions is more than just denuclearization. It’s the end of the communist Kim regime and the reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Anything short of that merely sets us up for the resumption of nuclear testing by the Norks, assuming they would ever actually stop in the first place, which I don’t think they would.
Then again, maybe Trump is distracting Bowl Cut Jr. with the offer of a summit while he’s actually putting a plan in place to infiltrate, sabotage and destroy the regime. That’s the only plan that’s worth pursuing.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!