Trump getting played, predictably, by Kim, North Korea

donald trumpRemember when Trump loyalists were promoting the idea that the president, on the verge of a breakthrough summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, should be in line for the Nobel Peace Prize?

This was, like, two days ago.

You knew intuitively that this summit was going to blow up in Trump’s face. Just didn’t expect it to be this soon.

Word from North Korea is that their side is threatening to call the whole thing off in response to planned joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises that the North views as preparations for an invasion.

And then, on top of that, the North is saying that the whole thing about the meeting being about it getting rid of its nukes, yeah, not so keen on that.

“If they try to push us into the corner and force only unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in that kind of talks and will have to reconsider whether we will accept the upcoming NK-US summit,” said Kim Kye-gwan, First Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

OK, then.

You see what’s happening here. Trump, who thinks himself the world’s best deal guy, has yet again allowed himself to be backed into a corner.

He’s the one who staked his presidency on being able to make deals, and specifically this deal, which he has been touting as being akin to Reagan’s summits with Brezhnev and Gorbachev, which, no, not quite, but that’s what he’d have you believe.

Kim is exploiting the hell out of this, naturally, because that’s what his side of this summit thing was all about from the get-go. All he wants out of this is to get the U.S. to acknowledge its legitimacy as a world power, which is why a poor, isolated nation spends billions developing nukes and ICBMs, to get the big boys to take you seriously.

It’s highly doubtful that Kim actually wants to have a summit with Trump. To Kim, having the leader of the free world begging and cajoling you for a meeting and then standing him up is the ultimate power move.

That’s what this has been all about. Team Obama got that, and that’s why the focus in the Obama years was on multi-party talks.

Trump was never going to get what is really going on with North Korea, because nuance isn’t a strong suit with this administration. Which is why you now have Trump talking about the importance of jobs in China as part of an effort to protect U.S. industries under threat from that trade war that the president has been picking with China the past couple of years.

That was another corner that Trump backed himself into.

That, and the one that has us against the world on Iran, on Israel and Gaza, on Syria.

So. Much. Winning.

Column by Chris Graham

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