There are two views on North Korea that you can find if you look. The easiest to find is the left-media take that nothing happened, and it’s all a well-worn charade. But then there is this, which I will come to first before looking at the other. This is the positive view, taken from Ace of Spades.
The big news this morning is not only has the summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un taken place but as we were sleeping the two signed an historic agreement whereby the North has agreed to scrap its nuclear weapons program as part of an overall denuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula.
If you were merely to look at this only through the lens of how the Democrat-Left-Media complex judges success, via optics and feelings alone, then this is the biggest thing since Live Aid. But in reality, this truly has the potential to be one of the biggest foreign policy milestones since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Make no mistake; North Korea has been a belligerent, inscrutable and unpredictable enemy that has overtly and covertly stirred up trouble for nearly 70 years and so an extreme degree of caution and wariness is advised in any dealings with them; the foibles and follies of the past three administrations in particular bear this out as their policies have ranged from farcical to disastrous in terms of American interests and global security. I believe that PDT and his new team of Pompeo and Bolton know this going in.
Beyond all the platitudes and proclamations, when you get down to the granular level, the make or break in all of this relies on verification. North Korea is going to have to open up and submit to an inspection process that is antithetical to its nature as the world’s most closed, secretive nation. Can it do this? Will it do this? I suppose the fact that Kim’s willingness to meet face to face with an American president for the first time, and outside of his own country is something of a tell. He is the X factor in all of this. There may be things going on in Pyongyang as well as in his mind that tell him a rapprochement with the US, and more importantly, a concomitant distancing to whatever extent that is possible with China is in his and his nation’s best interests.
That is how you have to see it. Since memories of the rockets that were being launched not all that long ago have receded and will never be brought to mind by the media, the fact that we are now looking at a possibility of genuine peace is extraordinary. But here is the other side, brought to you via Bloomberg.
Donald Trump’s historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was unquestionably a success — for Kim.
By credibly threatening the U.S. with nuclear war, he won a one-on-one meeting with the American president — a longtime strategic goal of his family’s regime. And that’s not all.
Trump tossed in a suspension of military exercises with South Korea, while China suggested revisiting economic sanctions that the White House credits for the summit. Meanwhile, the president showered Kim with praise, calling the dictator who leads one of the planet’s most oppressive and brutal regimes “smart” and “very talented,” declaring the meeting “a great honour” and saying he trusts Kim.
Less clear is what the U.S. got in return. American officials said before the meeting they would insist that Kim agree to the “complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement” of his nuclear weapons arsenal. The phrase appears nowhere in Trump and Kim’s statement.
Also missing: basics such as a timetable for Kim to give up his weapons, verification procedures or even a mutual definition of denuclearization. . . .
So far, Trump hasn’t shown he’ll avoid the same trap he’s accused his predecessors of falling into: giving North Korea too much without getting anything in return. While the president repeatedly described the document he and Kim signed as “comprehensive,” at 426 words it is anything but — and there is no indication of when or how Kim will follow through on any of his promises.
Fair enough, but the mingy dogs of the left will never say a good word about something done that benefits even their worthless hides, if it is done by someone whose approval they refuse to grant. But we shall see. These are all issues, but with Trump, Bolton and Pompeo on the watch, there is genuine reasons to hope for the best.