White House Brushes Aside North Korea’s Threats to Cancel Summit With Trump

Administration officials say the White House was still “hopeful” the meeting will happen — but that President Trump would be fine if it did not.


Comments: 182

  1. Man, did Trump just get played. First of all, no one anywhere gives up their nukes once they have them. No way. Even if they say they will, they will stash away what they can. These things are not very big.

    Kim is smart, very smart, and ruthless. Unlike Trump's base, Kim remembers everything that Trump has said about him and North Korea. Kim doesn't behave like Trump's base. The months of threats and insults don't vanish in a tweet or one Fox News story.

    Trump has presented himself as an enemy of North Korea. Trump has made dire threats to North Korea. Trump has shown himself to be unstable and unreliable to North Korea.

    There is no way Kim will do anything that might help Trump get reelected. If a peace treaty was signed under Trump, that would help Trump get another term in office. Trump has shown Kim that his promises and treaties mean nothing. Why negotiate with someone who lies constantly and changes position from day to day?

    Kim will now turn this Nobel craze into an embarrassment. Trump's base will brush it off and say, "Well, he tried." He will lose no support from them. The rest of us will know better. Trump blew it with his threats and insults and childish behavior.

  2. Yes, Bruce, it will be interesting to watch how the omniscient and omnipotent Trump/Bolton marriage will squirm out of this one. Kim is duplicitous, as is Xi of China. When those two met just a few weeks ago with what was viewed as an amicable tete-a-tete, that was our red flag. China has full control over North Korea, I believe, and there is no way that its president most likely for the rest of his life will allow us to ever have the upper hand. As devious and dishonest is Trump, even he is no match for these two countries' heads who have mastered the art of deception.

  3. Agreed but I think they want him in office. Like bugs bunny used to say “what a maroon”

  4. I agree, Trump is a softy compared to Kim. in fact Trump is a softy compared to most people. to him strength is something you wright up and act out on camera. Sad.

  5. Only a truly stable genius could have anticipated this turn of events.

    So much winning!

  6. When discussing a Trump “Win“, always remember to include the adjective “Pyrrhic”.

  7. Let's see, last week the United States unilaterally abrogates the Iran deal. This week North Korea reverts into its more traditional adversarial mode. I think the linkage is pretty clear.

    Rather than reflecting confirmation bias in reacting to the North Korean reversion to form it would be more useful to consider whether this latest development does not reflect the Chinese reaction to last week's Iranian development. For the North Koreans, the path to meaningful relief to sanctions lies through Beijing, not Washington, and if the North Koreans can satisfy the Chinese (and the South Koreans) that their behavior is more reliable and predictable than the American conduct, they will have a pretty good 2018--and 2019 and so on. They don't need an agreement with the United States, not any time soon. They do need relief from the sanctions. Nuclear disarmament follows a Chinese timeline, not an American one. And on that timeline, the removal of American forces and minimization of American influence on the Korean peninsula comes first.

  8. As a goodwill gesture these exercises should
    have been postponed. There was no urgency.
    Depending on the outcome of the meeting
    on June 12th between our illustrious president
    and Kim the decision on holding the exercises
    could have been made. Posturing tough in
    all circumstances won't elicit friendly response.

  9. The summit negotiations have now begun. North Korea's goals are to denuclearize the south by getting the U.S. to withdraw its troops and its nuclear-armed naval vessels. The U.S. wants the reverse for the north to commit to fully denuclearize before even discussing substance like lifting sanctions. And, both parties want the stature that such a summit can provide. For Mr. Kim its meeting President Trump as an equal nuclear power; for Mr. Trump it's his big chance to show that "the Art of the Deal" is not fiction and to stake his claim to a Nobel Peace Prize. It's now up to Mr. Trump and his hawkish advisers to craft a response to keep the summit on track. The obvious response is to put all options on the table with no preconditions to the talks. However, it's important that both parties agree to what they mean by a denuclearized Korean peninsula if not yet on the timing to achieve it. The major question confronting the Trump team is: Does the U.S. agree with the north that it will have to withdraw militarily as part of such a deal or not? If the parties cannot agree on what the meaning of "denuclearization" is that may be a deal breaker and end the prospect of a summit or any success if it occurs.

  10. Seriously, is anyone actually surprised by this tactic?

  11. Kim has learned his lessons well — this is the classic Trumpification of a dispute — throwing an audacious counterpunch to derail negotiations.

  12. This just illustrates that Trump is no different than any other US president that tried to work with NK. Also, the exit from the Iran deal gives Kim more justification for intransigence.

  13. Didn't know we had so many patriotic American experts on North Korea, rushing to judge it's leader's motives. I'm wary of him too, but postponing the US-South Korean joint military"exercises" in the face of the US-NK peace talks seems like a no brainier, but then we have a genius as president. Besides, aren't 40 years of such exercises enough to be prepared for the next few months?

  14. "no-brainer"? Then certainly we have just the correct leader to decide matters,

  15. So the provocative military exercises by the US - conducted during the lead up to peace talks - aren't the problem. The problem is the country that the US president recently threatened to attack preemptively - a violation of international law, but you'll never read that truth in the US corporate-media.

    The US corporate-media has consistently toed Washington's line on North Korea's diplomatic overtures: insincere words of a madman that hide a dark, sinister agenda.

    The NY Times surrendered any hint of journalistic integrity when it reported, with a straight face, the Woodrow Wilson Institute’s Robert Litwak claim that the situation in North Korea is “the Cuban missile crisis in slow motion.”

    The notion that North Korea has the technology to reach NYC with a missile is equally ridiculous.

    Why does Washington fear the outbreak of peace on the Korean Peninsula? It's impossible to maintain an empire with diplomacy, and there is no money in peace.

  16. Americans are dealing with a man who's word is useless, who's understanding of politics is dictatorial, who's ego takes precedents over his people's needs, who's understanding of historic norms is warped by his isolation, who's moral character is stunted by privilege, who's every move is applauded by a propagandizing media outlet and who's supporters are sycophantic toadies who can't contradict him without losing their positions. And that's not even taking into account the leadership of N. Korea.

  17. Everything you've said there applies equally to the man the North Koreans are dealing with. Seems that Trump and Jong-In have lots in common!

  18. Well said, in spades ! !

  19. Well played Rick

  20. Easy come, easy go. Let’s see what happens next.

  21. After hearing, Mr. Bolton calling for North Korea to follow the path of Libya, how could anyone have expected anything else?

  22. Bolton is Bannon on steroids.

  23. US and especially SK should have at least postponed their joint military exercise till the Trump-Kim meeting. What is the point in having a treaty with NK if US continue its presence in SK and supply them with arms? NK can never (and should not) allow this. Look at all countries that made deals with US: latest is Iran.
    I feel that the US arms industry is trying to scuttle this...

  24. Donald Trump approached this meeting recklessly, agreeing to it without talking to advisors or any North Korea experts in the U.S. (example: Bill Richardson). They would have warned him not to charge in & give Kim the legitimacy of a meeting w/o planning & pre-conditions. But Trump has destroyed the State Department & refused to appoint ambassadors (including to S. Korea) because Trump's fantasy is he's a genius whose real estate success (including 5 bankruptcies & 9 billion $ in debt) qualifies him to snap his fingers & solve problems career diplomats have found extremely complicated. Incredibly, Trump even foolishly mused in public whether he would win the Nobel Peace Prize after the summit. This is Kim Jong Un (& Xi Jinping) slapping the presumptuous Trump down. They doubtless are enjoying whittling the reckless, ignorant, conceited U.S. president down to size. Trump may still believe he, Jared & John Bolton can take on the world's problems alone. But he's getting schooled by these ruthless dictators who see Trump's just a wannabe. The first of many hard lessons for Donald J. Trump...

  25. Old tactic? This story reads like a movie or TV show script. First the insults and provocations, then stony silence, followed by outreach, then extravagant promises of concessions. Next comes self-congratulations. Then, when everyone thinks this might be for real, we have more small provocations, new demands, retrenchment, etc. I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd put up the house that this meeting doesn't happen or, if it does, leads to nothing.

  26. It is a TV show starring Donald Trump.

  27. Isn’t this about the US/SK military exercises going on? Would it be that big a deal to call those off, at least until some headway is made with the North?

  28. It's a two-way street. He probably sees what is going on in Israel, hears Nikki Haley characterize this as "restraint"; considers the backsliding on the Iran deal; complicity in the destruction of Syria, Yemen- it would give any thoughtful person pause to make a deal with such a government.

  29. From a rational statecraft perspective, I cannot find any reason for NK's behavior. Are they just trying to do hardball negotiation tactics (like, Kim is good cop, negotiator is bad cop)? It's not going to work for them. What do they truly want out of this? What leverage do they have? Do they think the US truly fears that NK will shoot a nuclear missle at us and that is our overriding negotiation concern?

  30. War Games in the middle of this. Really??

  31. “Do they think the US truly fears that NK will shoot a nuclear missle at us and that is our overriding negotiation concern?”

    It should be your overriding concern. San Mateo is pretty close to North Korea.

  32. Anyone surprised by this? It’s a negotiation tactic, not a playground; something Trump doesn’t get. Also, why would they give up their biggest lever (nukes), after seeing what happened to Gaddafi?

  33. Or seeing what happened with Iran.
    Trump's vanity -fed by his new hawkish enablers- blinds him to the way forward on this problem, as on so many others.

  34. North Korea is being reasonable, while the US is not. Removal of US troops should be the Quid Pro Quo for them giving up their Weapons but it is becoming clear that the us intends to stay in South Korea forever and ever, Amen. We never go home on our own, ever.

  35. This is the steep price this inept Administration is paying in its rush to invert the necessary diplomatic processes that must taken if any accord with North Korea is to have an opportunity for success. Negotiating with the North is not a reality t.v. spectacle but the ignorant, unstrategic Trump seems incapable of learning and then accepting this "reality". Are those the faint sounds of "Little Rocket Man" I hear in the background?

  36. We should postpone indefinitely military exercises as a show of good faith. For decades the North Koreans have been very sensitive to what they perceive is a hostile act. It is very inappropriate to engage in these exercises at this time. The burden of responsibility is on us.

  37. Who would have honestly expected anything less from the dictator who runs North Korea? This is his m.o., and he has reverted to form. In the past, U.S. presidents would have capitulated to his last minute threats to derail the peace talks. This time around, Kim Jong-un is dealing with a president who won't back down. Like Ronald Reagan did with Gorbachev at the Iceland summit talks in the mid-80's, Trump will walk away and strengthen economic sanctions on North Korea. Play hardball, President Trump. It's the only thing the little dictator will understand. and he will fold.

  38. Actually it's quite the opposite: Trump played fast and loose and lost before the games began. The only thing his rash twitter "diplomacy" did was throw his opponents off momentarily, very momentarily. (It's hard to gauge the thinking of the thoughtless.) They've recovered and we've ceded all leverage. Now, from here on out, we'll be reacting to events rather than driving them.

  39. Wait...are you suggesting that the North/South Korea conflict can’t be solved with just a couple of tweets and a promised meeting? No one knew this could be so complicated.

  40. With all due respect, North Korea (nor any other nuclear nation for that matter) does not have military bases IMMEDIATELY outside our borders hosted by our neighboring countries. Just something to think about. I know Kim Jun Un is not the most stable fella (from what I hear in our western media) and that he is does not play ball with the western world economically, however we must consider that the USA is a threat, especially since the "election" of the worlds most unstable leader. I must say I cannot blame him for not trusting the USA at this particular point in time. With that said, the world has never needed a strong diplomat as it does right now. North Korea, from what has been reported to us, is in desperate need to freedom and happiness. We must start with extending an offer for peace that is NOT backed with nuclear warheads and massive US military bases that border North Korea. It makes talks seem less like talks and more like "an offer that cannot be refused.

  41. This should be no surprise to anyone with prior knowledge of North Korean negotiating tactics. The only reason it seemed different this time was because Kim Jong-un was "playing" Trump. I believe this will continue throughout the process and the end game will leave us exactly where we were before. I can see no possible way that the North Koreans will give up the perceived security of their nuclear weapons. They have "arrived".

  42. While negotiating Kim is building H-bomb carrying ICBMs and increasing its arsenal. Trump is such a great deal maker.

  43. Is this a "tactic" on the part of North Korea ? Under the circumstances America and South Korea should have suspended the military exercises. Kim has made the most significant moves towards reduced tensions and peaceful solutions in the Korean peninsula in 50 years. The least the Americans could have done was suspend military exercises in a gesture of reciprocity and hope. Do you think for a moment this option was not discussed? And what do you thiink happened? Trump insisted they exercises proceed, and they did proceed, with South Korea a reluctant participant. Is this not a "tactic"? Of course it is. And a very stupid one at that.

  44. Trump/Bolton/Pompeo are convinced that “negotiations” from the position of power is the best way to go. Keep pushing until the other sides collapses. They have cornered themselves and did not even bother to suspend the military exercises. To regain the positive track of talks they have to offer something to NK. Otherwise we are back to square one.

    Guess what, other side is not collapsing and reaching the deal is now that more difficult.

  45. Libya’s leader was killed by his own people after he had given up his nuclear weapons. I don’t think North Korea’s leader wants that outcome for himself. The United States is not a trustworthy adversary and Kim knows it. He would be foolish to give up his nuclear weapons without some kind of ironclad guarantee and the Chinese government to back him up. Like many of us Kim does not trust Trump.

  46. Libya's leader was killed by the rebels after the US-led air strike destroyed the Libyan military.

  47. Gosh, I NEVER saw this coming!!!

  48. Mr. Kim’s purpose was to establish global street cred. Whatever one thinks of him, he did that.

  49. So the $500 million "loan" didn't do the trick?
    And all this after Kim was called an "excellent" person by DJT?
    Can you believe the betrayal?!?!

  50. This foolish president took the bait that Kim Jong-un dangled in front of him. Believing that he, with no foreign policy expertise or knowledge of the Korean peninsula’s decades-old military/political history, could do what previous presidents failed to do defies common sense. Mr. Kim is as ruthless as is his US counterpart. He was never going to give up his nuclear capabilities and the president was naïve to believe Mr. Kim. The 45th president crowed to the entire world that he was Nobel peace Prize-worthy because he would bring the North Korean enfant terrible to the negotiating table. This time though, the president counted his chickens before they hatched.

  51. That the leader of this country didn't see this coming is testimony to his lack of willingness to ask the opinion of seasoned State Department officials. Oh wait, they all left.

    Now State is run by a politician who is a sycophant for Donald Trump and lacks clear incite into International relations. He did not even know Kim Jun Ung surname.

    We are being led by ameteurs.

  52. Nobody knew diplomacy was so complicated! I mean, except for the hundreds of senior career diplomats that Trump fired....

  53. Once again the country with the 597 BILLION MILITARY BUDGET wants to dictate how the rest of the world lives!!!
    And the US is the only responsible guardian-the only nation on Earth who has used nuclear weapons on another country!!!
    Sound normal???

  54. Actual budget is well over $1 Trillion when ancillary costs are factored in.

  55. So Kim Jung-Un meets with the South Korean President, gives up three American prisoners, talks about disarmament and agrees to meet with Trump, but he's suppose to be the bad guy.
    I have no love for him but I can at least understand why the North Koreans are a little concerned after they have made an attempt to open up their country and South Korea and the United States still put on war games in the area.
    They say the war games where already planned, well maybe in good faith we should have put them on hold pending the outcome of the June 12th talks.
    Hopefully things can get back on track, but looking at Trump's past actions I have my doubts.

  56. BTO
    That is the most concise respopnce to this issue and these comments...right on

  57. Imagine living in a regime where the 'supreme leader' changes his mind at the drop of a hat.

  58. LOL

  59. Sad!

  60. In the USA we do.

  61. The leaders of China and North Korea, are playing Donald Trump like a rank amateur and showing his only negotiating skills are complete pandering and capitulation.

    Donald Trump talked about jobs, but no one knew the his jobs program would be for China, and benefit the Trump family business organization, sleazy and corrupt!

    Donald Trump was promoting himself for the Nobel Peace Prize, but after this debacle and the violence that he helped instigate in the Middle East by letting Bibi Netanyahu use him, I think Donald Trump is more inline for the Booby Prize.

  62. North Korea will NEVER give up its nukes...case closed.

  63. More trump than trump

  64. Trump has much to learn from someone who is even a bigger hustler than he is.

  65. After Trump tossed the Iran agreement, why are we surprised? Trump has cheated on his wives, his business associates and even the attorneys who have represented him in the past. (Remember the fake watch with which he rewarded Roy Cohn and the fact that his current pawn Cohen is going down the proverbial tubes.) Even his own kids shouldn't trust him. Look at the betrayals in the Kushner family as well as Trump's treatment of his own brother. And Trump doesn't trust either which is why he orders in his food from different places and hates shaking hands.

  66. If we had a real President, this little murderous dictator would not be under the impression that he is holding all the cards. trump is so desperate to have his own ego fed that I'm afraid he'll give anything to make this meeting happen.

  67. It's all part of the game people... calm down.

    If I didn't know better I would say that Democrats seem eager for this to fail. Potential Korean denuclearization and dems want it to fail. lovely

  68. I'm a Democrat and I didn't want this to fail, but we Americans have all seen this game played before. Don't mistake lack of surprise or shock as approval.

  69. Oh please. Your party rooted for the demise of every Obama initiative and obstructed him in unprecedented fashion. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black....

  70. What fun!

  71. I will not trust North Korea even if they agree to give up nuclear weapons. They will cheat! Also, China is a totally untrustworthy player here. Keep China far away.

  72. Meanwhile, save the ZTE jobs so we can get good loan rates for our properties.

    Sad!

  73. China apparently shares a 900 mile border with NK, so keeping it far away may be a bit of a difficult task.

  74. It is a serious miscalculation to think that Kim has made the North Korean economy a higher priority than retaining his nuclear capability, and is prepared to negotiate that capability away in exchange for "prosperity on a par with ... South Korea".

    The single thing that has remained intact and unshakable for over 60 years, even in the face of erratic, unpredictable leadership is that North Korea portrays the U.S. as an existential threat. This is the basis of Kim's entire power structure, including justification for the terrible economic conditions in his country. Three generations of Kim rulers have made it dogma that the U.S. seeks the destruction of North Korea, and that it is the duty of all North Koreans to suffer economic hardship in order to ward off this threat. In this construct economic conditions remain secondary to the primacy of a nuclear force capable of defending the country.

    It is preposterous to think that Kim would ever reverse these priorities. In what world would he go to his people and convince them that suddenly --- with absolutely no concessions from the U.S. --- it has become more important to abandon his nuclear program in exchange for South Korean-like prosperity?

    This maneuver by Kim is a return to normalcy for him.

  75. I agree.
    The only reason for Kim to enter those talks is to test if he can get something for free. Meeting with the POTUS would be one of these things and a win for Kim.

  76. "But Mr. Bolton was more blunt, calling for “getting rid of all the nuclear weapons, dismantling them, taking them to Oak Ridge, Tenn."

    Grinchlike Dr. Seuss character Bolton is clearly starring in his own storyland book. He would be well advised to read the history of North Korea, in which 20% of their people, men, women and children were killed by bombs in the Korean War. The North Koreans hear that history on a pretty regular basis because it is key to the Kim regime maintaining power through military might, requiring huge sacrifices by their people.

    The chances of North Korea agreeing to send their bombs to America is zero. Iran's material went to Russia before the US breached the deal. Trust with the Trump Administration is extraordinarily low.

  77. My proposal: North Korea gets rid of its nuclear weapons and Bolton shaves his mustache. The world would be a better place.

  78. Kim showed the world what a literal fool Trump is. The great negotiator my foot.

    The reality? Trump has always used his inherited wealth and the leverage it gave him to break contracts, stiff investors, bully and cheat small contractors, creditors, employees, women (including his ex-wives) and anyone else who criticized or disputed him. He abused our court system thousands of times in doing so.

    He's finding that it's a lot different negotiating with persons who aren't buying his PR and who are not subject to being financially ruined by him through costly court proceedings. Kim saw this chump coming from a mile away.

    He's a con man. He's a liar. He's a cheat. He's a thief. He's a bully. He's a fraud. That anyone would have believed his self-serving campaign lies to the contrary speaks volumes about them and none of it is good.

  79. Why is the Iran-NK connection not mentioned in the article?
    I think it would be important to highlight further unintended consequences (not by NK), aside from Trump's repeat loss of face. Diplomats could help, Mr. Bolton definitively not!

  80. Alert the Nobel committee!

  81. Oh golly gee.
    Does this mean that Donnie might not win the Nobel Peace Prize?
    SAD.

  82. Unsurprising news, for middle and high school teachers!
    For those of us who have taught public middle and high school, Donald's, Kim's and John's behavior is something quite common regardless of family, gender, color, religion, and national origin. Why should Kim put down his chair if Donald won't put down his? How do we get John to stop egging Donald on? And all the while, the nice kids are being robbed of the learning time they want so they can have a future. What do we say to a parent who complains that their child can't learn because the Donny's, Kim's, and Johnny's teacher can't control the class? In democracy, we are supposed to control the class and we are not doing a good job by letting Donald, Kim, and John rob us of our time and our future.

  83. Meanwhile, America’s own “Dear Leader” is still making his “Victory-Lap” basking in his admiring crowd shouting “Nobel, Nobel,…” Yeah, Trump thinks he earned one and it would be even better if the committee took away Obama’s and gave it to him - that would be the best.

    My guess is that Kim is surrounded by seasoned advisors and working on a strategic plan to have all of Korea (both North and South) to ultimately be ruled by the Kim family forever. My other guess is that Trump is busy listening to his gut along with the “experts” on ”Fox and Friends.”

  84. North Korea is a client of China. China's long-range aim is to remove American military presence from the Pacific Rim, and following that, American economic presence. Kim Jong Un's overture was just one more chess move in this twenty-first century version of the Great Game. And, sure enough, Trump took the bait and got suckered.

  85. Are you upset that China hasn't become a US colony?

  86. I get a kick out of Evans Revere's quote marks around the U.S. 'threat' as if it were all poppycock. The U.S. will never in a million years promise not to invade. Even though it's an entirely reasonable proposition.

  87. It's been obvious from the start that Kim Jong-un will never give up his nuclear weapons or at least what he calls his nuclear arsenal. He wants to sit at the table and be accepted as one of the big boys, but he's not. He is not a nuclear threat to the world and he shouldn't be given that level of respect. He's a tyrant who's playing nice now, but can change at any moment. Previous administrations and I don't mean just Obama have treated him as such. In Trump's quest to do something that no other administration has accomplished would be a commendable feat if it's on mutually acceptable terms. Treating NK as a nuclear power is not one of them. If we negotiate on Kim Jong-un's terms then we've already lost the negotiation, but a top negotiator such as Trump should already know that.

  88. I think its pretty clear that Trump's negotiation skills leave a lot to be desired. This skill lives mostly in his own imagination. He's gotten where he is in business through bullying and lawsuits.

  89. The DPRK is a nuclear power, and if not a threat to the entire world is certainly seen as a potential threat by South Korea and Japan.

    By treating the DPRK with condescension and disrespect, breaking treaties left and right, invading sovereign nations, and supporting the far-Right Likud against the Palestinian people it's the United States government that is the greatest threat to peace in the world.

    The entire world.

  90. All this self-righteousness about North Korea having nuclear armaments while we ourselves have thousands of such bombs at the ready and multiple ways of delivering them. And this "peace negotiator," Trump, this supposed Nobel Prize candidate, wants to considerably further enhance our own nuclear capability at the same time he insists on North Korea giving up nukes. It would make absolutely no sense for any nuclear capable country to disarm under such circumstances. It doesn't seem very politically correct around here to say so, but in all honesty, North Korea would be crazy to disarm.

  91. Actually, your point has a lot of support here.

    Many of us recognize the reasonable political position of the DPRK on this issue.

    We can abhor the dictatorship of Kim but still appreciate the logic of his actions in regard to the untrustworthiness of the Trump regime.

  92. surprise...to...no one. Except to the guy who will say "Who knew that overturning 50 years of acrimony would be so hard?"

  93. Trump and his lick spittle lap dogs ran around declaring "Mission Accomplished" complete de-nuking of the North. It was obvious that Kim would never entertain such a move. To have anyone involved in this fiasco #1327 (just a guess), or any of the preceding fiascos, is being payed by our tax dollars and is speaking in our name is completely and totally unacceptable.

  94. NYT has no clue about anything. you can read facebook for a more accurate view of the world.. and thats sad!

  95. Then plase do yourself a favor and stop reading it. Sad.

  96. When two unpredictable prima donnas make plans together, the outcome will beunpredictable

  97. But we HAVE to have the summit. Otherwise it will look as though the President of the United States is an idiot who has already cashed all his political chips for the cheap thrill of dumping a globally-valued treaty and snooting an unemployed Black man.

    Mr. Kim, we are counting on you to do the right thing - America is at your mercy in this matter, and Mr. Trump is counting on your leadership and probity.

    Excuse me while I go pound my head against a wall.

  98. No-bel! No-bel!

  99. Trump broke our word with our Allies by backing us out of the Iran deal. (our word means nothing now.)
    He acted against our own economic interest when he decided to start a trade war (ask the hardworking mid-west farmers who once supported him)
    And now that "great" move is starting to look like a piece of swiss cheese as he realizes all the exceptions he needs to carve out.
    And he repeatedly ignores the advice of the only grown up (Mattis) in the otherwise amateur hour WH when it comes to geo-politics, relying instead on the draft dodging Geraldo-look-alike (Bolton) who is eager to start shooting (and putting other people's kids on the line)
    Kim is a mean, murderous, paranoid sociopath, but can you blame him (or anyone) for not wanting to commit to an agreement with a former reality star and serial bankrupt, who lies, acts always on impulse. and has a testosterone fueled advisor who whispers in his ear from a dated 1980s script ?
    We need a new cast of characters.

  100. Kim Jung-Un rationally and reasonably does not want to end up like the leaders of South Africa, Libya and Iraq after they gave up their nuclear weapons programs.

    Mr, Kim rationally and reasonably wants to get away with and maintain a nuclear weapons program like Israel, India and Pakistan.

    Mr. Kim rationally and reaaonably does not want to end up like the leaders of Iran.

    Donald Trump has never been rational nor reasonable. Mr. Trump has never been brave nor honorable nor patriotic.

  101. John Bolton's mention of Libya was absolutely the worst example he could have offered. Kim Jong-un has repeatedly invoked the Libya outcome as a reason for keeping nuclear weapons. If John Bolton was trying to induce Kim Jong-un to reverse course, he couldn't have done better. Given that John Bolton believes that a military option is always the preferred option for resolving disputes, maybe that was his intent.

  102. If we assume Bolton is no fool (deranged, yes), then he apparently intended to poison the summit with Kim. Will Trump recognize that as back-stabbing? And why did Bolton feel the need to accelerate the collapse, when it was inevitable anyway? Is he a fool (pick 'em)? Analysis may not be able to discern a pattern in pure chaos...

  103. Bolton did this deliberately, of course. He knew exactly what he was doing. Malevolent, destructive, aggressive.. and a psychopath. That's our Bolton.

  104. If the summit doesn’t occur, President Trump will still emerge much stronger than before.

    He has demonstrated that he is willing to seek peace, but will remain firm in defense of U.S. interests. He has deftly handled complex negotiations not only with North Korea, but also South Korea, Japan, and China.

    If the current negotiations fail, the world will see more clearly than ever that North Korea/China has no interest in peace. Any future sanctions or military actions by the U.S. will be understood in this context.

  105. If the summit doesn't occur it will reinforce the stupidity of Trump's hiring John Bolton.

  106. No. If the summit fail it will be because of the naivety of the administration. Pulling out of the Iran deal which the IAEA says Iran is in compliance means the United States can't be trusted. Not having a diplomatic corps to do the prep work with the parties involved also means that little things . Trump will not emerge stronger, it will be validation that he's incompetent.

  107. Nobody in their right mind is going to believe Trump is "willing to seek peace". His administration is literally sabotaging peace talks arranged by our ally (South Korea) and tearing up another disarmament deal to the extreme dismay of most of NATO (Iran).

    We should not laud Trump with praise over his dealings with China. It appears his main accomplishment there has been to negotiate a $500m loan for himself to build golf courses in exchange for helping prevent an Android phone company from China potentially involved in espionage against us and our allies from becoming insolvent. This is hardly a victory for America, NATO, or world security.

  108. North Korea always said "denuclearization," not just that it gives up its weapons. That word always meant more than just the North gives us everything we want for nothing in return. It always was code for a whole deal. They'll give up their weapons in return for, and they'd said what. Now we act shocked they wanted it?

    That's disingenuous by us, not by them.

    Nothing changed. They just said what the code means, the same as it always meant.

    As for its objections to the exercises impact on scheduling talks, this is a new round of exercises they never said was okay. They agreed to the last round of exercises, so we immediately started another one.

    "Exercise" means in this case that we practice air attacks on the North.

    Either we talk peace, or we act threatening, but not both. Even if acting threatening got us to the peace talks [a debatable point], we can't keep doing it during the talks and expect the response to be sweetness and light.

  109. There seems to be Trump’s understanding that NK is about to collapse and any additional pressure would only precipitate that. Nothing further from the truth. First, they do function just fine despite difficulties, and second, China would do everything to prevent that from happening.

  110. They have a huge standing army that could overrun South Korea in an instant without ever having to resort to nuclear weapons. We cannot and should not reduce or eliminate our preparedness in return for denuclearization. We should lift sanctions and build economic ties. What I can’t see is the North allowing verification. So unless Kim has decided he really wants to join the world community, in which case he has no reason to fear our military, this whole dance is a farce.

  111. “We came, we saw, he died.”

    Gaddafi gave up his WMD weapons and programs, and ended up sodomized and dead in a culvert. And Hillary Clinton gleefully celebrated.

    Let’s be honest. Why would any authoritarian give up WMDs?

    The decision by Obama and Clinton to overthrow Gaddafi will continue to pay bitter dividends for decades to come.

  112. Gaddafi was murdered by his own people. There is no parallel with North Korea.

  113. The same can be said of the Bush administration and Saddam. Saddam gave up his WMD program and was invaded and ultimately hanged. Iran thought they had an agreement until Trump tore it up. North Korea ignored the international community , built a nuclear weapon and ICBMs and they're being taken seriously. The lesson is that if you want to save your regime and deter the United States; you need nukes.

  114. Roger:

    Yep.

  115. "Although Mr. Kim keeps his hard-line military under tight control, appearing weak in a confrontation with Washington could be devastating to his image among his soldiers, who consider the United States their archenemy."

    Is this really true? I agree Kim and the KPA have a shared interest in preventing a fate similar to Libya. However, I'm not so sure the rank and file soldier believes the anti-US narrative. The possible devastation exists in hinting weakness from the Kim regime. The threat of getting thrown in a North Korean gulag is what keeps the KPA considering the United States their archenemy. If that threat becomes untenable for any reason, Kim could face an internal coup. At least from Kim's perspective, this outcome is just as bad as Libya's.

    If Bolton and Pompeo are playing a double game, Kim is too. The rules are different though. Perhaps that's why everyone is frustrated.

  116. Just curious, how would the rank and file N. Korean soldier know anything about the U.S. other than what Kim wants him to know?

  117. Not surprising. After dumping the Iran deal, Kim knows the nukes will be his main leverage in any negotiation and he is not about to pre-empt that leverage anytime soon. Of course, the history of the US has been to disarm and conquer starting with our bad faith treaties with the Native tribes. Lately we have demanded disarmament, and attempted regime change to mostly ill effects in the Middle East and North Africa. North Korea IS a nuclear power-albeit a minor one, as is Pakistan, China, Israel, India and Russia as well as ourselves. This is the reality of today's world. The only reason we are even considering TALKING to Kim is because of NK nuclear reality, and not due to Trumps threats and bluster. Balance the power in Asia, and NK have nukes will be neutralized.

  118. I thought from the title that this article would say something about the Koreans backing out of the agreement with the Clinton administration. But no, seems everyone is trying to be optimistic and no one is willing to say that the Koreans haven't ever found an agreement in relation to their military that they are willing to agree to, ever.

  119. The DPRK didn't back out of the talks with Clinton.

    In 2002, George Bush upped the ante from what had been agreed upon between Kim and Clinton and sabotaged the negotiations.

    The US refused to continue unless as a prerequisite Kim agreed to give up his nuclear development. Since that was a point to be negotiated, making it a precondition was a deliberate act to kill the deal.

    It was all on Bush, not Clinton and not Kim.

  120. The Chinese analysts have this right. The shocking trend from NK was the decency of the diplomacy over the last few months and the conciliatory tone. What we are now seeing a a return to normalcy for the Korean Peninsula.

    The US could easily reap quite a bit of international political capital from this roller coaster of a situation if we played our cards right and with tact. Given our recent withdraw from the Iranian agreement, I am predicting we will instead throw the proverbial deck at NK and walk away screaming.

  121. The United States just can't seem to learn from past experience. President Trump has turned over military decision making largely to his generals and doesn't keep up to date on what they are doing. This kind of thing happened in 1960 when President Eisenhower was scheduled to have a Summit meeting with Premier Nikita Khrushchev of the then Soviet Union. IKE had spoken with his military leaders about sending spy planes over the Soviet airspace long before that and then didn't follow up to see what they were doing. Thus was Francis Gary Powers, one of our spy pilots sent over the Soviet Union in a U2 airplane, and shot down by the Soviets. The incident destroyed IKE's credibility and ended the Summit. That foolery was committed by Dwight D. Eisenhower, a five star general, who was Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe in WW2. A lot of the commenters here had two full sets of parents or grandparents because of how he ran the WW2 in Europe and he made mistakes. We just can't seem to learn from the past.

  122. I was around back then. The soviets knew for years that the U2 was over flying Russia but didn’t have the capability to shoot them down. The aircraft flights were being made on a regular basis and revealed the extent of soviet military developement. Actually the flights were planned and managed by the CIA and not the “generals”.
    Ike’s accomplishment during WW2 was to bring all the allied powers togeather into a cohesive fighting force. A feat which was no easy task.

  123. Clearly government is too complex to be left in the hands of amatuers. American voters of all perspectives need to be made clearly aware of the need for professionals in government. The current belief that naive and inexperienced civilians can run a modern government has disasterous consequences. Let's hope that it doesn't take all out war in Korea to make this clear

  124. Professionals have a nasty way of appearing elitist. You know, competent.

  125. Caveat: Except W Bush WAS experienced, having been governor of Texas and with an experienced father and brother, yet still stupidly invaded Iraq. Ditto for Cheney and Rumsfeld.

  126. @RG: I agree with you, and must point out to some of your other responders that @RG is speaking about professionals in the sense of professional diplomats, not professional politicians. Completely professional diplomats serve the US, not necessarily one party...or at least they used to do so. With the totally incompetent nincompoop trump in place, blind devotion to him is the requirement; there is nothing more outlandishly stupid than this situation, as trump has not a clue what he's doing, never has/never will...he slithered by since he was a child with pathological mindset that was totally braced by his parents and their money. There truly is "no there, there" with this clown.

  127. At the risk of being redundant, is there anyone who did not see this coming? Maybe an 8 year old second grader. Any one who knows any history at all, especially any history of the Korean peninsula, could easily expect this would be the upshot of all this hyperbole by trump et al.

    Who knew it could be so complicated? Everyone but the president.

  128. Who knew that international relationships could be so complitcated?

  129. The surprise of the Century from Kim Jong un. At least the three bargaining chips were freed. The only thing about this childish behavior on his part is that he may trump a Trump...Neither men deserve more attention than the minimum.

  130. To the DPRK; so many of us have feelings of repugnance towards John Bolton, and perhaps more than a few others who have seized the executive branch.

    But life must go on. You cannot be transfixed by bombastic breaking news, self-serving executive tweets, or endless scandals.

    DPRK, you have plenty to focus on. You do things no country on Earth currently does. The summit must go on; too many wait in trepidation. Show the world what you’ve got. Perhaps things will look rather different afterward.

    Or in the view of less casual observers, perhaps not.

  131. We are in no position to lecture North Korea, or anyone else for that matter. Maybe we will redeem ourselves in November, but I doubt it.

  132. Wow, that was a surprise, NOT. Since our "stable genius" thinks he can conduct policy by tweet with Hannity as his principle advisor while ignoring everyone else that has actually been working at a problem for decades, what else was to be expected?

  133. As the article states, this is par for the course for NK. I doubt this really caught administration officials like Bolton off guard in the least. Trump needs to not give an inch to this guy. Let Kim cancel if he wants. Better yet, use his games as an opportunity to require even more from NK, as their behavior suggests they are not serious. If bad behavior just costs them more they will be less likely to repeat it. The last thing to do is give Kim any concession for playing such games.

  134. No, it's par for the course for Trump & Co.

    Negotiations were going along swimmingly until Trump's military irresponsibly decided to resume exercises right off the DPRK's coast, and that screaming idiot John Bolton opened his big fat mouth and used Libya as an example of how the US treats other nations.

    Kim isn't playing games. He's responding to US provocations.

  135. I'm not surprised. After all, the US is increasing its military budget in order to upgrade weapons!

  136. After seeing Trump put Andrew Jackson's portrait as a background to honor Navajo Code Talkers and the U.S. history of subjugating and making Indian treaties only to break, I do not blame North Korea nor Venezuela for not trusting United States. I think Iran and most of Europe would see that logic, we shall see how that Special Interest religion helps spins things through their media ownership to rationalize the illogical.

  137. Across the USA people cannot agree to implement even the most basic controls on guns, much less surrender them completely. Supposedly these guns are essential to "self defense".

    Why then should it come as any surprise to these very same people that a sovereign government with nuclear weapons, paranoid about its self defense, is not going to just give them up?

  138. Well there you have it. Many thanks to Trump and Bolton for showing us all how to make a deal. I am reminded that Bolton was part of the Korea team of one of those earlier administrations which Trump derides as having been duped by the Kims.

    I am also reminded that Trump and Bolton have established that the only measure of success is North Korea’s entire nuclear capability, its equipment, it’s materiel, and maybe even its nuclear braintrust being removed to Oak Ridge immediately. Anything less is failure on the part of the President. I wish him well in that endeavor, but I suspect he will wind up being just like Obama.

  139. This entire thing is a made for TV farce. if NK "gives up" its weapons how do you ever prove that they really have none left? And you can never erase their knowledge of how to make more. And how does the US permanently "remove" military threats to NK when we will always have a military whose forces can be deployed at a moment's notice? Once again, Trump tries to appeal to the reality TV mentality of his base which will never result in coherent and effective policy.

  140. If I were Trump, I would offer, as a concession, to remove the American military from South Korea. This would force South Korea to take greater responsibility for its own security - which they are apparently willing to do. (It would also save us a great deal of money.) It would also be a huge "symbolic" victory for Kim and thus make it easier for him to get rid of all his nukes and associated apparatus without appearing weak.

    If Kim threatened South Korea after the U.S. withdrawal, the power of a couple of aircraft carriers should be enough to dissuade him.

  141. This was entirely predictable.
    North Korea is responsible for stringing other nations along, but Trump is responsible for counting his peace breakthroughs before they have been reached.

  142. @NM -- Mr. Kim isn't stupid. Just as this president tore up a nuclear agreement that bound Iran from further nuclear proliferation, a future US president could also deem null and void any agreement made between these two hotheads. The US president showed Mr. Kim how easy it is to change a policy just because. The president is playing with marked cards and Mr. Kim knows it.

  143. Trump's expectations as the Great Negotiator are that he can pull his bait and switch tactics while he expects his opponent to negotiate in good faith. Then when the opponent uses the same technique we're crestfallen. Maybe Kim's regime studied Trump's business negotiation history.

    Why anyone would think Kim would give up his nuclear weapons is puzzling. Gaddafi and Saddam are dead and the US is discussing regime change in Syria and Iran. Do we think that the North Koreans can't read English and that our intent hasn't been published in the news?

    Nukes are Kim's ace in the hole, a position he is likely to keep, particularly with brutal hawks like John Bolton the apparent director of foreign policy.

  144. How can anyone expect to really get anywhere with an agreement when dealing with a juvenile, unpredictable, erratic, untrustworthy psychopath? And then there's that guy in N. Korea.

  145. This is why it is called diplomacy. A give and take, with experienced negotiators. Neither Pompeo nor Bolton are diplomats nor negotiators. North Korea has been through this for years. They aren't about to "give away" the farm at this point. Another reason it has taken so long to get anywhere with North Korea is that there are great agreements to be made with China or even Russia. We are not first in line.

  146. Bolton continues to botch any effort at diplomacy. He's making Pompeo look like the coolest head in the American stable. From all indications Pompeo is the best that this administration can muster. Maybe he can salvage something before serious disintegration after some promising overtures from the North.

  147. It seems to me NK is playing Trump like a fiddle...Trump very likely had "his" generals ramp up military threat on NK. NK plays nice for a bit to de-escalate the situation, then does a 180. Now Trump can't invade this nice guy's country. Once again Trump gets people's hopes up and then dashes them on the rocks. We should expect nothing else, no surprise here.

  148. The North Koreans are using Trump's ego as a weapon against the US. Trump is so reckless, so desperate for a "win", and so inexperienced in the game of high stakes international politics that he is being played for a fool. He is SO desperate for a deal (got to get that Nobel Prize, right?) that he is going to make a deal that he would have lambasted Obama or any other US President for in years past.

    Prediction: Trump will allow NK to keep nuclear weapons as long as they get rid of their long range ICBMs. He will agree to draw down US troop levels in SK. He will agree to dramatically scale back joint training exercises with SK. He will sweeten the deal by offering to shower them with cash. It seems obvious that he is willing to sell SK and Japan out as long as he can claim that he has "protected" the US from attack. His base will proclaim him an astounding negotiator regardless of how bad the deal actually is. He will then sit back and wait for his prize to arrive in the mail (it will be a very long wait.)

  149. “This change of mind is more normal.” Gee, now why is that so familiar? We have two dangerous, volatile leaders engaged in a high stakes chess game, with each leader wanting to appear to be in control. This does not bode well for the outcome of any summit, especially when you have an architect of the war in the Middle East, John Bolton, whispering in the ear of Trump.
    If the objective of this administration is to get nations to de-nuclearize, then Trump should not have reneged on the treaty with Iran. If avoiding war is the ultimate goal, then super hawk John Bolton should not have not been brought on board as an advisor.
    We are indeed sending mixed signals when we conduct military exercises so near to the planned summit meeting with North Korea. They could have been postponed until after any agreement had been hammered out with North Korea. However, Kim-Jong-un changes his mind in whiplash regularity just as Trump does, so how can he be trusted to keep any agreement he signs? Conversely, how can Trump be trusted to not change his mind before the ink dries on any agreement? I think the ability to trust is in short supply whether you are dealing with Kim-Jong-un or Donald Trump.
    To borrow from Dr. Seuss, we have a north going and south going Zax , each vowing not to budge. In the meantime, someone please keep Trump off Twitter, until he matter of whether or not there is going to be a summit with North Korea is resolved.

  150. The obvious solution for Trump is to give in to North Korea's demands while pretending that he is not giving in.

    He is after all the author of The Art of the Deal.

    I expect that both Trump and Kim Jong-Un will manage to land on their feet while doing their complicated dance.

  151. In an ideal world North Korea should agree to give up its nuclear weapons and agree to live in peace. It is not an ideal world. As President Obama observed, we are living in a world in which dictators consider no sacrifice of their people to be too great for them (the dictators) to stay in power (paraphrase).

    All of that having been said, I believe the US is headed toward war with thinly disguised glee on the part of our leaders, especially John Bolton.

    One year ago we used a single MOAB bomb for the first and only time in combat. It is a conventional weapon which is six percent as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It blew an ISIS emplacement to smithereens.

    One wonders whether all of our diplomatic posturing has simply been to gain time to build up a sufficient arsenal of these weapons to strike all of North Korea’s multitudinous artillery emplacements simultaneously. Seoul is 35 miles from the DMZ and within range of NK fixed and mobile artillery, totally apart from any nuclear weapons.

    In the chess game of strategic warfare one hopes that a cornered Kim will not feel so threatened as to launch a preemptive strike. We could likely intercept his missiles, but Seoul would face annihilation from NK artillery

    One of the purposes of serious diplomacy is to cause your adversary to trust that you will not strike first, so that the other fellow will not feel the need to strike preemptively, simply out of mistrust.

    Our current bluster is extremely dangerous.

  152. Trump is about to learn just how infuriating it is to attempt to negotiate an agreement with someone as erratic as himself.

  153. Asking NK to give up its nukes is like asking Trump's base to give up their AR-15s.

    Same mindset. Not going to happen.

  154. "Let's use Libya as a model." What an attractive proposal. What's not to like?

  155. It did seem too good to be true.

  156. China is calling the shots. Kim Jong-un's train trip to China was not sightseeing. China will demand the US remove nuclear weapons from the area. Trump/Bolton are being played like the rubes they are.

  157. Agreed.
    However, US removed it's nuclear arsenal from the Korean Peninsula many years ago. What are you referring to?

  158. So Libya gave up all its nuclear weapons and sent everything to Oak Ridge just as Mr Bolton thinks North Korea should do. And how did that work out for Libya and Gaddafi, the then leader of Libya?

  159. Remember President Obama's public (and reportedly also private) offer to always be available to talk to President Trump at any time - an offer that likely has been extended by all previous presidents to the current occupant of the Oval Office? An admirable example of the respect, courtesy and friendship all U.S. Presidents have extended to each other, regardless of party affiliation or politics? Until now. Trump has personally (and falsely) accused Obama of criminality while trying to destroy all of his accomplishments, while publicly insulting the Clintons, the Bush family and Jimmy Carter. Yet it's likely Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter would all still be more than willing to talk to Trump when thorny issues like a meeting with Kim appear - all of these men have dealt with the Kim family in the past & could help Trump immeasurably here. But Trump's too stubborn and conflicted to be able to accept help & reportedly doesn't trust anyone, much less these esteemed men who know a 1000 x more about this situation (and the presidency) than Trump does. This is what electing an outsider political amateur with serious psychological problems has gotten us....

  160. Going ahead with war game exercises alongside ally South Korea at this time was an unwise decision by the US government.

  161. The US is so intoxicated with itself that it cannot see the equity in what the rest of the world might want.

  162. The upcoming talks were just a smokescreen anyway and pointless, and anyone who was getting excited about them is forgetful of history and NK's behavior. After years and repeated broken promises of trade sanctions relief and/or assistance in exchange for "dismantling" or halts to their nuclear program, the Kim's time and again have broken their promises every time and demonstrated that they cannot be trusted. Typical NK delay and distract tactics, dangling the carrot of nuclear cooperation only to deceive and renege.

    Sorry. For those of you that got your hopes up, you were being conned from the beginning. Trump and his stooges have been played.

    Real sinister genius on Kim's part as well, and real swindle of Trump. Kim postured himself well by releasing several prisoners and signing a treaty with the South, and dangling the carrot of "demilitarization" at Trump. Then Trump tipped his hand: embarrassed himself by graveling to Kim, boasted about nobel peace prices, demonstrated he cannot be trusted and that he won't honor international agreements by unilaterally pulling the US out of a similar type of deal with Iran, and to top it all off Bolton boasts about using the "Libyan model" on North Korea (cause that worked so well for Libya, after all), giving Kim the out he seeks. Trump has been owned.

  163. It can hardly be called a con by Kim when what the PDRK has reacted to were the US war games and John Bolton's idiotic rant.

    It required no special talent by Kim for the Trump regime to once again show itself to be stupid and irresponsible.

  164. So you are going to blame NK for responding to a military provocation on its borders, typical NYT right there.
    IF the US had really wanted to hold talks it would have suspended these "exercises" until they were over however the US never really wanted talks in the first place.
    Kim's sister bypassed the US at the Olympics and set these talks up without the approval of the US, had the US been able to they would have ended it right there but by the time they noticed it was a done deal so some other way was needed to put an end to them.
    These little war games are a perfect way to do that, the US knows that NK considers them a threat, that they would react the way they did if they went ahead with them during the talks and banked on Kim's reaction.
    Some day you'll actually report the facts here again instead of the decades of propaganda you've poured over us like effluent.

  165. Is anyone really surprised by any of this? Bolton should have kept his mouth shut until Kim and Trump meet during negotiations.

  166. Kim is taking a page out of trump's paly book. If I do not get my way I just will not show up!

  167. Trump was pretty transparent about wanting a deal if not any deal to bolster the GOP before the midterm elections. Trump got ahead of himself in thinking that North Korea was willing to hand over their nukes. Trump was so self assured he probably had his acceptance speech already typed up for the Nobel Peace Prize. In the end Trump got played for a fool with his pants down by the North Koreans.

  168. This article is dumb - the North Korea always said this sort of thing was something it would cancel talks over, and it was a condition for continuing talks that these drills would be ended in official statements.

    Kim Jong-un said he would give up nuclear weapons if the US stopped these drills, denuclearized the *entire* peninsula, and let South Korea handle its own affairs. The US would never let any of those things happen, so it was only a matter of time before these talks came to an end, but there's absolutely no indication that North Korea was being disingenuous. It was following its long-held line originally put forward by Kim Il-Sung and these movements were completely consistent with stated policy. The US, as always in international affairs, is the disingenuous country - its strategy for dominating global affairs requires it.

  169. The announcement that the U.S. was going to spend a few billion on updating our nuclear capability probably didn’t help either,and why should it ? No bel, for either of you despots.

  170. I wonder if the resistance of the North Koreans is fake to make Trump look more triumphant at the bargaining table.

    Could the whole thing be scripted for historical purposes, to extol the greatness of Donald J. Trump and for the 2020 election?

    Is this a stretch of the imagination?
    ==========================

  171. So, what "deal" can we expect "Nobody makes greater deals than Me!" to make to save face after acting like a 10 year old expecting to get a pony for Christmas?
    He was already crowing how he accomplished "more than anybody before him" and was pushing his Leggo's off the mantle to make room for his Nobel.
    I'm betting he gives them rights of ownership to a smaller state (or maybe Puerto Rico, since they are so much trouble to him and were very unappreciative of the neglect he provided after Harvey) to bring Kim back to the table and take some of the egg off his face.
    To quote a famous nincompoop: Sad!

  172. The most bitterly disappointed party must be South Korea. In retrospect, it only has itself to blame because it's acting like the American lackey child. Why did S. Korea go ahead with the exercise? Didn't it realize the stakes involved given its knowledge and experience dealing with N. Korea? Delaying or cancelling the exercise would have been a trust building gesture by S. Korea and it would lose nothing.
    The US-S. Korea exercise demonstrates that American diplomacy is both clumsy and uninformed.

  173. Diplomacy? The U.S. does not even have an ambassador to South Korea.

  174. I think the military exercises were just a convenient excuse. Not a the real reason for anything, but let's make certain to throw that blame on the South Koreans. Blame is the only thing Americans dole out generously.

  175. South Korea has been dealing with North Korea for 65 years. They know what is going on, having seen this script play out before.

    Both South Korea and the United States will simply play out the game. If they win, great. If they lose, things are as they were before. Stalemate.

    I suspect a deal will be done here. Donald Trump has put a lot of pressure on China, and they are feeling it. And that means Kim Jong Un is feeling it too. If he wants to hang on to his nuclear weapons, there will be a big cost. I don't think they are worth it to him.

  176. Kim Jung Un ids playing Chess while Trump is playing tiddlywinks. Unfortunately the threat of nuclear war hangs in the balance. I doubt that Trump will ever learn that one cannot bully a country with atom bomb tilled rockets. I just hope the Kim Jung Un is more of an adult the the trumpster.

  177. Now that I have you out there on the end of the branch I think I'll go ahead and saw it off just to see you fall.

    Or in other words "Rocket Man this!"

  178. Actually all this chest-pounding posturing is kind of entertaining knowing that nothing ever comes of any of it. Then the boredom sets in. Switching to the Mueller channel only reveals old reruns. The more that's on the less there is to watch. Good grief, at least Peanuts is still in the Comics section to maintain sanity.

  179. The world's most inflated egos of self-worshiping leaders are bound to clash, and I believe that to be the real reason for NK's threat to dump the nuclear talks. Trump's pride and boasts about getting NK to the table have grabbed all the publicity, so Kim is shoving him aside to be front-and-center -- which he is, for the next 15 minutes until the U.S. president trumps him. This is the most dangerous game possible, King of the Nuclear Hill.

  180. No they won't give up their nuclear weapons even if we ask nice - and we can't make them. The problem with an administration full of ignorant people who refuse to talk to experts and learn from the past is that they will repeat all the mistakes from the past - and make new ones that nobody could have even imagined.

  181. This is just another shoe falling. Kim is a big tabby cat playing with a South Korean and an American mouse. Both may well end up in his mouth. The fact that neither South Korean or America saw this coming says a great deal about the leadership and administrations of both countries. I know I saw it coming and so did many experienced diplomats and media in both countries.

  182. Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it.