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Trump isn’t negotiating for an Edsel.

May 14, 2018

If you are a dyed-in-the-wool cynic, you have to be asking what’s really behind North Korea’s sudden and dramatic change of focus.

After all, it’s quite a step from “We’re going to blow up the U.S” to “Come on over, have a spot of tea, and as the entertainment, we’ll blow up our nuclear testing capability.”

Two things come to mind.

One, the sanctions really have put Kim in the position of presiding over his country’s imminent economic destruction and collapse, leaving him with no way to realize his nuclear ambitions.

Two, the Chinese hauled him up short and warned him they weren’t ready to go to war so he could flex his muscles, and they sure weren’t ready to take in 25 million starving North Koreans.

Either one or both is possible and maybe it doesn’t really matter, as long as the threat  is neutralized.

It does make a difference to the President’s strategy however.

It has been rumored that the mountain where all the nuclear tests were conducted is no longer safe to use, meaning that blowing up the facilities there is no great loss to Kim..

However, the symbolic nature of inviting the world to witness it’s destruction does make for pretty good hometown press.

It leaves Kim in the position of being able to claim to his people that he and he alone holds the fate of the world in his hands, compelling America to come begging at his feet for peace.

There is a lot more to defanging North Korea than just its current physical ability to build, test and deliver nuclear weapons.

Not the least of the other things is their ability to sell their bomb-manufacturing expertise to other bad actors such as Iran. That has been a cash cow for the them for some time.

They also posses the ability and material to manufacture biological and chemical weapons and promulgate cyber attacks.

It may not be possible for the President to get all of these things into one agreement/treaty, but it’s certainly got to be something to include in the negotiations.

The Iran deal is comparable to finding a rusty unrestored Edsel in an old building or in a field somewhere.

You can’t pay as much for an unrestored Edsel as you would for a fully optioned 2019 Lincoln MKT, a fact that surely will play into the June 12 talks.

From → op-ed

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