Friday, June 1, 2018 at 8:47 AM

UPDATE: Trump, Kim and Delivery of Two Letters

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Nobody should be surprised that Trump delivered his to Kim by reading it aloud on TV. After all, this P.T. Barnum of politics is all about the show — the consequences be damned.

But it’s refreshing to see that Kim is delivering his to Trump by hand. Never mind that this is what any sensible leader would do.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that North Korean official Kim Yong Chol will travel to Washington to deliver a ‘personal letter’ from the rogue regime’s leader Kim Jong Un, while saying talks for a potential summit are moving in the ‘right direction.’

Pompeo, after holding meetings with the visiting senior official in New York City, said the North Korean envoy will hand off the letter on Friday in D.C. It is presumably the formal response to President Trump’s letter last week canceling the summit.

(FOX News, May 31, 2018)

Granted, neither man is a statesman. But it speaks volumes that the president of North Korea is teaching this president of the United States the ABCs of diplomacy.

It remains to be seen if Trump will compound his lack of diplomacy by publishing Kim’s reply on social media – even before fully reading it. As with everything else, he might need the members of his kitchen cabinet on Twitter and at Fox News to tell him how to read it and how to reply, in turn.

That said, I cannot overstate the prevailing point of my original commentary. It is that, even if this “potential summit” happens, it will do nothing to bring about the “the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” — a US demand Pompeo reiterated after his meeting with Chol.

But again, for Trump, the show’s the thing. What’s more, he’ll be able to spin the outcome (to his willfully stupid supporters) as the greatest diplomatic success since Thomas Jefferson negotiated the Louisiana Purchase with Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803. Never mind that any outcome is bound to have Kim making promises to Trump that make the infamous ones Adolf Hitler made to Neville Chamberlain seem written on mosaic tablets of stone.

To be fair, the intent of Kim’s duplicity is far more benign than Hitler’s. After all, he’s just using Trump to establish his status as a major player on the world stage. For this would enable him to extract all kinds of economic and political benefits.

And it would hardly matter if a duly duped Trump continues his “maximum pressure.” Because he alienated the allies and trading partners he needs to do so with his unilateral withdrawal from NAFTA, TTP, Paris Climate Accord, and the Iran nuclear deal. And he’s now turning them into enemies with his tariffs on their exports to the United States. Frankly, at this point, I suspect the leaders of most of those countries would rather deal with Kim than him.

Not to mention the way China and Russia are now falling over each other to be the kind of patron to North Korea the Soviet Union was to Cuba during the Cold War. #KimWinning!

Related commentaries:
Trump’s open letter to Kim
Trump as P.T. Barnum
WTF: president-elect Trump?

* This commentary was originally published yesterday, Thursday, at 7:40 p.m.

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