Sunday, February 24, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He let North Korea put him in a box.

North Korea's official press agency released a statement today demanding that Trump ignore American critics of the Kim regime, a group that includes essentially every North Korea expert, and both Democratic and Republicans. Trump's willingness to make concessions to and publicly praise the North Korean dictator has alarmed many, and Kim's government is apparently concerned that some of those critics might manage to undo some of the influence Kim has over Trump. The statement warned:

If the present U.S. administration reads others' faces, lending an ear to others, it may face the shattered dream of the improvement of the relations with the DPRK and world peace and miss the rare historic opportunity.

By declaring that he had ended the North Korean nuclear threat after last year's summit (and even declaring the summit a success before it had happened), Trump has given the Kim regime enormous political leverage over him. Anything that looks like failure—something Trump is incapable of admitting to—would be politically devastating, which means that Trump has been highly motivated to ignore North Korea's flagrant abuse of the "agreement" signed in Singapore.

Trump immediately echoed the North Korean sentiments in a tweet.

 Why should I care about this?

  • It should not be this easy to manipulate a president.
  • The nuclear security of the United States is more important than a president's ego.
  • No one who has killed, tortured, starved, and silenced as many people as Kim Jong-un can ever be allowed to have influence over the President of the United States.