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North Korea played Trump for a fool, just as we knew it would

About six months ago, attending that a Trump rally was so giddy about the president's masterly diplomatic maneuvering in supposedly…


About six months ago, attending that a Trump rally was so giddy about the president’s masterly diplomatic maneuvering in supposedly convincing North Korea to suspend Testing of nuclear weapons that they began to chant “Nobel! Nobel !, “taking even President Trump by surprise (though he later claimed that” everyone thinks “he deserved one). Not long after, Trump with Kim Jong Un and returned to declare that he had achieved what presidents had tried and failed to do for decades:

Well, about that …

North Korea is moving ahead with its ballistic missile program at 16 hidden bases that have been identified in new commercial satellite images, a network long known to American intelligence agencies but left undiscussed as President Trump claims to have neutralized the North’s nuclear threat.

The satellite images suggest that the North has been engaged in a great deception: It has offered to dismantle a major launching site – a step it began, then halted – while continuing to make improvements at more than a dozen others that would bolster launches of conventional and nuclear warheads.

The existence of the ballistic missile bases, which North Korea has never acknowledged, contradicts Mr. Trump’s assertion that his landmark diplomacy is leading to the elimination of a nuclear and missile program that the North could have warned could destroy the United States.

Who could have predicted something like this would happen? Pretty much everyone. Except, apparently, the president of the United States. In fact, it’s precisely Trump’s naive view of foreign policy that brought us to this point.

Let’s recall what happened at that summit in June, when the two leaders signed an agreement under which the North Koreans promised to “work towards” denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. That pledge was almost completely meaningless; as sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) Told me at the time, “It’s important to note that that is a weaker commitment to denuclearization than the regime has made in the past.”

But the president naturally declared victory. “He’s de-nuking, I mean he’s de-nuking the whole place,” Trump said, an assertion that was obviously false. En kan bara håpe Trump var lykkelig og trodde egentlig ikke at det var det som skjedde.

Så den summit, som var så dramatisk på den tiden, viste sig å være en fiasko. Why? Because Trump is gripped by a fundamental misconception about foreign policy.

For Trump, everything is personal and everything is about him. Han har ikke behov for at forstå historien om vores relationer med andre folk, de kræfter, der handler om en adversary eller incitamenterne, er lederskab. He’s the world’s greatest dealmaker! Han kommer i et værelse med den fyren, han anvender de samme evner som han bruger til at køre ned på prisen på guldbladet for en af ​​hans bygninger og, bada boom bada, vi har fået en historisk bilateral aftale. 19659013] You can see it in the way Trump talks about foreign relations. Han prøver aldri å forstå hvor andre lande kommer fra eller hvad de er søker; Det handler om at de skal skryve oss om, og om han vil “komme sammen” med et annet lands ledere, som om en vennlig personlig forhold vil gjøre alt mulig. “I hope we get along well. I think we get along well, “he said about Russian President Vladimir Putin. “We had a great chemistry, not good, but great,” he said about Chinese President Xi Jinping. “I liked him and he liked me a lot.” A few weeks ago he described his relationship with Kim this way: “I was really being tough, and so was he, and we’d go back and forth. And then we fell in love. Okay? No, really. He wrote me beautiful letters, and they are great letters. We fell in love. “

But alas, love can be fleeting. Kim sends to Trump, the North Korean leader still sees nuclear weapons as the key to his survival. As far as he’s concerned, his weapons mean that no great power would dare to invade his country and destroy his regime; without them, he could wind up like Saddam Hussein or Moammar Gaddafi, ie deposed and dead.

It’s vital to understand that while Kim is a brutal dictator, that’s an absolutely rational position for him to take. Det betyr at at han får kilden til at løse disse atomvåben er vanskelig og kompliceret. In fact, it’s possible that there’s nothing we can offer him in exchange that would be sufficiently enticing.

Trump is hardly the first U.S. President to struggle with North Korea’s willingness to deceive and break its promises, nor is he the first who failed to find something compelling enough to offer North Korea in exchange for denuclearization. Men nei president før han var så naiv at fortælle om victory after having accomplished so little. I suppose that Trump’s foreign policy is just the same as everything else he does.

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Faela