JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP KIM AND MOON AT KOREA’S DMZ – AMERICA ACTUALLY STANDS IN THE WAY OF PROGRESS THE TWO KOREAN PRESIDENTS COULD ACHIEVE ALONE – REFLECTIONS ON TRUMP’S BLUNDERING WAYS – WHY I THINK THE NORTH WILL NOT COMPLETELY DENUCLEARIZE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“Was South Korea’s Moon the Real Architect of the Historic Trump-Kim DMZ Meeting?

Trump extends White House invitation to Kim, US and North Korea to reopen stalled nuclear talks”

 

https://www.checkpointasia.net/was-south-koreas-moon-the-real-architect-of-the-historic-trump-kim-dmz-meeting/

 

Moon is a bright and capable politician. He seemed to hold extraordinary promise when first elected.

He and Kim alone could likely sort out all their differences, but that is not allowed by the United States which insists on standing at the very center of things.

Moon understands and has used Trump’s vanity, encouraging him to be at the center, to make some progress, slow as it may be.

The photo at the top is highly symbolic. Trump stands at the center, wearing one of his frequently-used unsmiling ogre faces, while the two Korean leaders are smiling and talking to each other in an animated fashion.

Trump’s words, too, are bizarre, as they so often are.

That stuff about no speed and being careful and doing a thorough job represents precisely the opposite of his approach to almost everything.

He is rash, erratic, incomplete in his thinking, not well-informed, and generally has a predetermined goal he wants to impose. He is not a negotiator, whatever illusion of himself he may hold.

He is quite simply the strangest man ever to hold the office of President.

His expression in the photo is one you can find repeated a hundred times over in various international situations. I think of it as his fantasy Mount Rushmore face, the scowl he seems to relish being remembered by, confusing it with a show of strength and determination.

My guess is that ultimately North Korea will not completely denuclearize. Their past experience with America – its horrifying massive bombardment for three solid years in the Korean War, killing twenty percent of the country’s entire population and providing practice for what would be repeated in Vietnam – provides sobering considerations not everyone appreciates.

And America has offered no real incentives of which we are aware, such as reducing its own heavy military presence on the peninsula or reducing its terrible sanctions. Kim is a clever fellow despite his cartoon-character looks. I’m sure he understands the importance of keeping at least part of the arsenal his people have so sacrificed to create, and he understands the game of playing for time. The impetuosity of Trump is just not sustainable for terribly long, and, in the meantime, a little increase in understanding has occurred and Kim and Moon have established a genuine relationship.

The American role in Korea is representative of its role in so many of the world’s affairs. By insisting on putting itself in the middle, it interferes with natural local relationships and inclinations. It adds new demands and attitudes which otherwise would not be present.

It often greatly complicates things by throwing its own interests into the scales. It does not do so in the cause of peace or understanding, but for reasons of control. It often has limited appreciation of local circumstances, insisting instead that the locals embrace its 10,000-mile distant perspective.

America’s new levels of hostility towards Russia and China also complicate things. Russia and China have long supported North Korea’s denuclearization. But today they both have new incentives for not enthusiastically pursuing America’s approach. Why help people who act like your bitter enemies? Why help sick, aggressive creatures like Bolton and Pompeo gain a diplomatic victory raising their stature?

They may even have increased incentives for secretly assisting North Korea in certain ways. They always did in the past maintain their own approaches to North Korea. Perhaps now, they will return somewhat that way. Neither of them has ever had an interest in seeing a collapsed state on its border.

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