Monday, October 1, 2018 at 8:09 AM

Trump Loves Kim. Kim Loves Nukes. And Never the Twain Shall Greet.

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

At a rally in West Virginia on Saturday night, Trump announced that, while exchanging letters and holding their summit, he and Kim Jong un “fell in love” Here in part is how he then tried to justify his schoolgirl crush:

Now they’ll say, ‘Donald Trump said they fell in love. … so unpresidential.’ … [I]t’s so easy to be presidential … but instead of having 10,000 people outside trying to get into this packed arena, we’d have about 200 people standing there.

(Business Insider, September 30, 2018)

Of course, it’s self-evident that it is not so easy for Trump to be presidential. If it were, he would be for more than just the few hours every month when his handlers manage to force-feed him presidential words to say. This is why, every time he acts presidential, news anchors marvel; you know, the way parents marvel every time their newborn does and says something new.

And don’t get me started on the dereliction of duty inherent in Trump thinking that it’s more important to be entertaining (a la his role on The Apprentice) than to be presidential. But the American people have only themselves to blame. After all, his campaign was little more than an audition for them to elect him to entertain far more than to lead.

Meanwhile, there’s the delusional, existential recklessness Trump’s protestation of love reflects. Nothing betrays this quite like North Korea’s foreign minister declaring mere hours before that rally that, no matter how much he strokes Trump’s ego, Kim will never go all the way:

North Korea’s foreign minister told the United Nations on Saturday continued sanctions were deepening its mistrust in the United States and there was no way the country would give up its nuclear weapons unilaterally under such circumstances.

‘Without any trust in the US there will be no confidence in our national security and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first.’

(Reuters, September 30, 2018)

In other words, Trump has a greater chance of getting Mexico to pay for that wall than he has of getting North Korea to even think about giving up its nukes …

Granted, listening to Trump rhapsodize about how he has fallen in love, you’d never know he’s supposed to be getting Kim to denuclearize. More to the point, all it took was idle flattery for Trump to forget that this is the same Kim he denounced just a year ago as follows:

Mr. Trump accused Mr. Kim of overseeing a regime that has starved its people, brutalized an imprisoned American college student who was returned home in a coma, and assassinated Mr. Kim’s older brother.

‘If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of missiles and nuclear weapons threatens the entire world,’ Mr. Trump said.

(The New York Times, September 19, 2017)

By all accounts, Kim is today in every way that same man – complete with his defiant intent to continue developing his nukes. Therefore, it’s a testament to how susceptible the narcissistic Trump is to flattery that he is now publicly declaring his (patently unrequited) love for Kim.

Moreover, despite clear and convincing evidence that he’s in love with a monster, Trump has ordered his all-too-obsequious secretary of state to stage another summit … ASAP. The only thing that explains him doing so is that he is more interested in the (train-wreck, rubbernecking) ratings his PDA with Kim will generate than in any deal they might strike for Kim to denuclearize.

Alas, Kim is just the latest world leader testing the proposition that, if you stroke his ego, Trump will let you get away with almost anything.

Chinese President Xi will make sure Trump feels feted like the most important man to ever set foot in China. Because all leaders now know that, despite his ‘America First’ rhetoric, that’s all that really matters to Trump.

More to the point, Trump made quite a show, during his address to the South Korean National Assembly yesterday, of demanding that China cut diplomatic ties with and economic supplies to North Korea. But Xi knows from experience that it only takes a little flattery to get him to forget these demands.

Of course, North Korea will just dismiss him as certifiably insane for demanding it unilaterally disarm. (Or what, face more of his bluster about raining down fire and fury?)

(“China, Next Stop on Trump’s Traveling Circus Through Far East,” The iPINIONS Journal, November 8, 2017)

I cannot overstate that everyone knew this about Trump long before want-to-be-entertained Americans elected him president of the United States. But I also argued from the outset of his presidency that things can only end badly when the bloom falls from the bromance he’s cultivating with strong men around the world.

I delineated (some of) the many reasons why the election collusion/bromance between Putin and Trump was doomed to implode. The most notable reason for this looming day of reckoning is that Putin will finally realize that, despite his flirtation, Trump’s policies towards Russia (especially re Ukraine-related sanctions) will be no different than Obama’s.

(“Putin Blames ‘Little Green Men’ for Syrian Gas Attack – as Bloom Comes Off His Bromance with Trump,” The iPINIONS Journal, April 12, 2017)

Xi is already finding out that a woman scorned has nothing on this Trump spurned. Because Trump is now escalating a costly tariff war with him as if they’re engaged in nothing more than a schoolyard game of chicken.

But God help Kim (and the rest of us) when Trump starts acting out after it finally dawns on him that Kim is spurning him too.

Which is why Trump would do well to heed the advice I gave Obama in “North Korea to The World: Nuke Off!” December 13, 2012. I am more convinced than ever that this is the only sensible way to deal with the menace North Korea poses.


Obama [now Trump] should convene a coalition of the willing among Asia-Pacific countries (APEC) to forge agreement on the following resolution, which, significantly, would not be subject to a UN-style veto by any country (namely, China or Russia):


  • Recognizing that the United Nations is unable or unwilling to stop North Korea from violating its resolutions (most notably, res. 1718 against conducting nuclear tests or launching ballistic missiles) with impunity;
  • Finding that these violations pose an untenable threat to the Asia-Pacific region;

Resolves that:

  1. Instead of continuing the feckless practice of bribing North Korea with cash, oil and food to get it to stop these violations, APEC shall henceforth impose the severest possible sanctions, unilaterally;
  2. If, either as a result of misfire or deliberate intent, any of North Korea’s missiles even threatens any APEC country, the United States shall lead the bombardment of all of its nuclear and missile facilities until they are incapable of even setting off firecrackers, let alone launching nuclear missiles.

All else is folly.


Related commentaries:
China, next top
Putin bromance
NK: nuke off

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