A voice of sanity. “Democrats are calling President Trump‘s praise of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ’embarrassing’ while criticizing him for offering concessions in exchange of vague promises from Pyongyang. ‘In his haste to reach an agreement, President Trump elevated North Korea to the level of the United States while preserving the regime’s status quo,’ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a scathing statement.”
Meghan McCain’s solid take should make her dad proud. “Meghan McCain objected to how the American flag and the North Korean flag were equally portrayed in the backdrop of their meeting. She also lamented how amicable Trump and Kim seemed to be throughout their meeting, and how there wasn’t more of a focus on the dictator’s crimes against humanity. ‘We are not the same,’ McCain said. ‘[Kim’s regime] is completely and utterly the closest thing to Hitler’s Germany that exists in modern time. My problem was how far it went with the buddy-buddy, and there was no talk whatsoever of the human rights violations going on in that country.'” Maybe she should run for something.
Dan Drezner’s savvy take on Trump foreign policy. “[T]his administration’s lodestars reside in Moscow and Pyongyang. But the one thing that Trump, [Vladimir] Putin, and Kim [Jong Un] share is a contempt for the current rules-based international order. In this context, Trump’s ability to insult U.S. allies and throw U.S. partners off balance is seen as a strength, not a weakness. And domestically, Trump has inculcated a base that shares his glee in throwing feces at anything and anyone.” Read the whole thing.
Makes sense. “Senate leaders agreed Monday to include language in the annual defense spending bill that would reverse the Trump administration’s decision to save Chinese telecommunications company ZTE after it was caught violating the terms of a 2017 penalty agreement by making illegal sales to Iran and North Korea.” Another Trump concession to an American foe.
Trump did no serious preparation and therefore gave away the store. “Trump maintained that while he had indeed consented to something the North Koreans have long sought—a meeting between their leader and the American president—he didn’t view this as a concession and thought it was as beneficial to the United States as it was for North Korea. . . . But Trump then proceeded to, rhetorically at least, make one concession after another to North Korea.” Read the whole thing,
In fairness, Seoul’s lack of sobriety with regard to talks got the summit ball rolling. Now they are alarmed Trump is a sucker: “There is every indication from Seoul that the South Korean leadership and military did not know the US was about to cancel Joint Military exercises. ‘We need to find out’ they say. Stunning if true.” But not surprising.
They gave a solemn promise of no concessions, and then caved entirely. “[T]he declaration, which echoes the vague language of an April joint statement by Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, does not commit North Korea to a firm, verifiable process for giving up its nuclear weapons or the associated research-and-development effort. . . . Despite the Trump administration’s strong language leading up to the summit, North Korea never specifically promised it would give up its nukes, which the impoverished country has spent decades and billions of dollars developing.” And it still hasn’t. The Trump team was conned.