I have long held to the idea that the leader of the United States should only meet with a world leader, who is deeply antagonistic with our nation, when conditions warrant for better relations. In other words after diplomats have spent months constructing an accord for the lessening of bad relations.
But that is not what is to happen when Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a number of weeks.
What has concerned me over the past week is the talk about, and confusion over, what “denuclearization” means to the White House — and North Korea. The two nations are not on the same page whatsoever and that points to the heart of the matter. The Trump administration’s degree of preparation for the direct talks are just woeful.
Without a framework agreement this becomes very messy, very quickly.
Granting Kim the meeting with the leader of the free world is exactly what the little dictator wants. Kim scores a number of points for pulling this tactic off and Trump is more than willing to lay down for it.
What concerns me is that Kim is smarter at this power play. His family has been doing it for decades. Just not as boldly as this effort in 2108. Symbolically potent but substantively modest concessions from Kim may make headlines and put Trump in a giddy mood, but the long range foreign policy needs require a truly cerebral leader at the helm for the United States–and we are lacking that essential ingredient.
Trump is walking into trap and is not thinking clearly. Kim is determined to cement his country’s status as a nuclear state while escaping the downside of economic sanctions. Why would he not want such a bargain?
And who better to play that to than someone who has no knowledge or skill in international relations.
So Donald Trump will meet with the North Korean Leader.
There is no way to make up such a dangerous scenario.