While you were making sleep and dreams……Hell began to freeze (a bit)……..
After all the big talk….after all the threats….after all the macho posturing it appears as if the US/South Korea/North Korea nuke situation may have been tamped down bit.
Li’L Kim has offered to talk…..Trump has accepted (at least for now) and South Korea can change their drawers now……
In a startling development, North Korea says it will halt its nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong Un will meet with President Trump in the coming months, the Washington Post reports. “[Kim] expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible,” Chung Eui-yong told reporters Thursday at the White House. “President Trump said he would meet Kim Jong Un by May.” The South Korean national security adviser was part of a delegation that arrived at the White House on Thursday to deliver a letter from Kim directly to Trump, according to CNN. Chung had led a delegation that met with Kim in Pyongyang on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports. That meeting left South Korea feeling hopeful about a diplomatic solution to the ongoing nuclear crisis with North Korea.
There’s no information about where the meeting between Trump and Kim will take place, but it will be the first face-to-face meeting between a sitting US president and the leader of North Korea. In fact, no sitting president has even held a phone call with with the North Korean leader. Chung gave Trump credit for the breakthrough. “I explained to President Trump that his leadership and his maximum pressure strategy … brought us to this juncture,” Chung said. But analysts are split on whether Kim is agreeing to halt his nuclear program and meet with Trump because sanctions are working and he fears a US attack or because he now sees the countries as equal nuclear powers. Kim will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in next month—only the third-ever meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea since 1953.
This is a great opportunity to solve a nagging problem of nukes on the Korean Peninsula….my worry is that there are not enough actual experts on the situation for any successful outcome.
However, this is a great chance for a peaceful conclusion to a tense situation…..then why do I have this uneasy feeling that it will go to crap before the meeting takes place?
There is not much time before the proposed meeting and with experienced diplomats many thing could go wrong….like…..
No location set. No location for the meeting has been set, though Mar-a-Lago is probably a long shot, the Guardian reports. Experts say that while there is a chance Kim could visit Washington or Trump could visit Pyongyang, more neutral potential venues include China, South Korea, or the DMZ.
A “real challenge” for diplomats. Analysts say it is going to be tough for the State Department to assemble a team that can support the historic summit. “The State Department has hemorrhaged Korean linguists and former negotiators” and North Korea “will send people with 30 years of experience, Douglas H. Paal at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace tells the Washington Post. “This is a real challenge.”
Trump optimism. Trump sounded optimistic about the meeting Thursday night. “Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze,” he tweeted. “Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!”
Talks, not negotiations. A senior administration official tells the Los Angeles Times that at this point, “we’re not really talking about negotiations.” Trump “has been very clear from the beginning that he is not prepared to reward North Korea in exchange for talks,” the official says. “But he is willing to accept an invitation at this time to meet and to allow—and really expects—North Korea to put action to these words that were conveyed via the South Koreans.”
Is Trump being played? Analysts say the summit is a massive gamble—one that risks legitimizing one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. “We got nothing for it. And Kim will never give up his nukes,” Obama administration Asia adviser Evan S. Medeiros tells the New York Times. “Kim played Moon and is now playing Trump.”
Like I said…..so many things can go wrong…..
I wish I could be more optimistic….but after 12 months of the Reality Show in the White House I sadly cannot be so…..this is just a show for both sides.
And this is how you get “Stormy” off the front pages.