North Korea Continues to Move Toward Summit Meeting. Experts Hardest Hit

Last Thursday, I posted on the situation with North Korea. This is it in a nutshell. North Korea made overtures to the South and to the US as though it wanted to turn an new page in that fraught and hostile relationship. There was a big feel-good at the Winter Games. Kim and Moon met at the DMZ. There was talk of a peace treaty that would end a war that is only officially paused. Trump and Kim agreed to meet in Singapore. Three US citizens were released from North Korean prisons. Kim agreed to demolish his nuclear testing facility. There have been no missile tests since November. And then, there’s a hiccup. First, the North Koreans started complaining about US attitude and seemed to threaten to cancel the summit. Then it pulled the plug on a high level meeting with South Korea scheduled for Wednesday.

On Thursday, President Trump made a statement which laid out two ways forward for North Korea. They could negotiate in good faith and give up nuclear weapons and reap massive economic aid or they could refuse and take the route of Libya during the Arab Spring that saw Muammar Qaddafi deposed and killed.

To listen to the experts one would have thought that the sky was going to fall. From my post, linked above:

The Vichy lobby went batsh** crazy. It was glorious.

This guy is a f***ing idiot. The idea that the Washington Post is going to do spin for Trump is so ridiculous that if defies description.

And then you have this crap.

What has happened since then?

While the North has continued to harangue and bully South Korea’s Moon, they have shut up about Trump and are moving forward towards the summit.

I think this is the fundamental disconnect between the reality that alleged experts on North Korea want us to believe and the objective reality that exists. The experts want us to believe Kim is some kind of omniscient Machiavellian creature who is constantly one step ahead. They also want everyone to believe that all of this is happening despite President Trump and not because of him. The hatred of Trump is so strong that some smart people look like morons (read the whole thread):

The truth is quite different. North Korea is a Third World shithole. Kim rules a nation with a GDP smaller than any US state. He and his forebears have successfully run the seam between the US and China and Russia because no one really cared about them. Now the US and China are focused on him and he has to do something. Trump (and Bolton and Pompeo) probably understand Kim and his games better than any national security team in the past 60 years has understood a North Korean leader. Unlike his predecessors, his national security team seems to understand that appeasing North Korea simply encourages more bad behavior and increasing demands.

How will this all play out? So far we’ve gotten back three prisoners and we’ve had a moratorium on missile testing and we’ve given up nothing. There is nothing that indicates that Trump will give up a lot if he can’t bring back something really tangible. He has to know the political price he’d pay would be immense. I can’t see Kim giving up his nukes in Singapore but I think the meeting will be positive enough that we can move the needle forward to dialog without missiles being fired and without nuclear explosions. That is a net positive.