Hold That Nobel Prize for Peace with North Korea

Eliminating the threat of Nuclear War

It looks like the Nobel Peace Prize is once again up for grabs—at least to one individual. In the singular mind of Donald J. Trump, no one is more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than Donald J. Trump himself. After all, it was solely his negotiating skills that brought the Great Leader of North Korea, Kim Jung Un, to the Mother of all summits in Singapore. And it was only the Donald’s remarkable talent that caused the Great Leader to fall under his spell. That allowed them to bond together as if they were long lost fraternity brothers gathered for their college reunion.

Trump returned to the U.S. and tweeted, ” . . . everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

Trump Is Up—Down—Up

Didn’t that make us feel better? Our astute Negotiator in Chief had grabbed the tiger by the tail and pacified it. But why had he canceled the War Games with South Korea without ostensibly receiving anything in return? He tweeted, “Holding back the ‘war games’ during the negotiations was my request because they are VERY EXPENSIVE and set a bad light during a good faith negotiation. Also, quite provocative. Can start up immediately if talks break down, which I hope will not happen?”

And, of course that’s exactly what transpired. In late August the President abruptly decided to cancel a planned trip to North Korea by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. His reason, “ . . . because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

But less than a month later, we learned that this was no longer the U.S. position. Our mercurial President had received a “very warm, very positive letter” from the Great Leader, requesting a second summit meeting. It was a request, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “which we are open to and already in the process of coordinating.”

Good News from North Korea

What had changed in such a short period of time? Sanders explained that in its annual parade North Korea traditionally featured its intercontinental ballistic missiles. But this year there were no ICBM’s in the parade. She said, “The recent parade in North Korea, for once, was not about their nuclear arsenal.” The letter from Kim was “further evidence of progress” toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Is It Really Good News?

U.S. intelligence officials dispute this claim of progress. They concluded that North Korea is still making nuclear weapons and escalating its efforts to hide certain nuclear facilities

Perhaps someone should try and explain to the Great Negotiator that the Great Leader is playing him like a violin. Not that the Donald would, or even could acknowledge that. He is the Great Negotiator. Don’t misunderstand. I think it’s a positive development that the President and the Great Leader are talking nice to one another and not threatening to bomb each other off the face of the earth. But this approach—with no foundational work to build a structure for denuclearization—will not produce desired results.

Trump’s narcissism, lack of knowledge and inability to face reality makes him look like the fool he is. Unfortunately, his actions also put our national security at risk.

Trump’s Confidence

Oh, Mr. President, I see you disagree. You are confident in your innate and unique ability to judge the character of the person with whom you are negotiating—a skill you have honed throughout your life. You believe Kim can be trusted to follow through on his commitment to denuclearize. But you haven’t determined whether Kim’s definition of denuclearization is the same as yours. You have not established a timetable as to when and how that will happen, nor how all that will be verified.

I guess I just don’t understand, Mr. President. You walked away from the Iran agreement because you felt it was not strong enough in stopping that’s country’s aggressive actions and not permanently removing the threat of nuclear weapons in its hands. Even though Iran was adhering to the terms of that agreement, you chose to end it rather than seek to modify it with our European allies.

Yet here we are with a country that presents a real and present danger to the United States and you rely on a vague joint written statement. It promises virtually the same undertakings as the joint statement following a June 1993 meeting of the United States and North Korea. That statement included assurances against the threat and use of force, including nuclear weapons, and peace and security in a nuclear free Korean Peninsula. But North Korea did not follow through on that agreement any more than the current Great Leader is likely to.

The Mountain Trump Must Climb

You have made it very clear that you admire authoritarian leaders who exercise complete dictatorial control over their countries. It must be difficult when you are unable to force the Congress to adopt all the laws you desire. Or have a judge overrule an executive order you’ve issued. Or listen to or watch all the media outlets that present you in a negative light.

It’s regrettable that you cannot force everyone to accept your dictates without question or challenge. Unfortunately, they rely on that obviously outdated document called the Constitution. But then, that’s a cross we all must bear.

Hold That Nobel Peace Prize

So, I’m afraid that given your negative actions against those institutions and agreements meant to foster peace, and your inability to deliver a meaningful agreement to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula and reduce the threat of nuclear war, we must put your Nobel Peace Prize on hold.

But don’t despair. Keep talking and (have your diplomats) keep negotiating, though hopefully, the North Koreans will soon appoint someone with whom Mike Pompeo can really negotiate. When you finally accomplish something substantive, I’m sure there will be a long line of sycophants ready to nominate you for that elusive prize.

 

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