U.S. Braces for Major North Korean Weapons Test as Trump’s Diplomacy Fizzles

President Trump’s summits with Kim Jong-un have failed to bring concrete results, and the diplomatic vacuum has given North Korea more time to build its nuclear arsenal.

Comments: 257

  1. It’s the United States’ diplomacy that fizzles. We need to stop blaming internal actors and band together as a country.

  2. @John US diplomacy has been hobbled at the gate by Trump's deliberately allowing diplomatic positions to go unfilled, as well as support positions within the State Department. Many career professionals have left the State Department in the past 3 years. The State Department is a shell of what it once was. That is why it "fizzles." Who else would we blame?

  3. @John Trump does not want war nor do most people in the world including the US (According to Chomsky, who keeps track of international and national polls). We want to resolve the conflict. How abou: No negative reinforcement; everyone agree to nuclear freeze and negotiate towards that positive goal (the positive reinforcement is freeing resources for constructive economic goals). Yes: Try to initiate diplomacy towards "global eradication of nuclear weapons" under UN auspicies. Anything less has the task of building trust in a nation that can destroy you on the basis of power. I doubt that is really possible, especially not with the only nation that used nuclear weapons and has relied on 'peace through (military) strength' in its foreign policy. It is time for 'strength through peace'. So, a negotiating strategy that uses positive reinforcement and no negative reinforcement (absence of overt threats) at each step. Genuine outreach each to all, all to each. The only negative reinforcement could be reality, outcomes resulting from real diplomacy, not a negotiating partner.

  4. @NickO How are you going to "freeze" them? They perfected the slow roll and ignore what you don't want to hear long, long ago. The only thing that might work is the "bloody nose," and that might result in at least a barrage on Seoul, possibly an invasion. The only thing left short of huge kinetic action would be a stand off destruction of missals at launch or in flight, an enormous risk unless it could be assured which I doubt is possible.

  5. I am getting tired of so much winning. And the "new" strategy will be the same old response - sanctions. Why will they work now? In dealing with North Korea Trump is no better, and no worse, than every President who came before him, except that he give the Kim regime legitimacy by meeting with him. Now we are truly in a no-win situation, and there is no clear path to any way out.

  6. @John Graybeard Nonsense. Giving diplomacy an opportunity to work is one of the few sensible things the administration has done. It was a clear path to link economic development with denuclearization. It did not work. The reality is that missiles will be launched for test purposes and will probably fly over Japan. I don't think our friends in Japan care one bit about Kim's legitimacy when the sirens start going off. The US and the world is no better or worse off for giving it a try.

  7. @Sendero Caribe - Trump seems to believe that "diplomacy" involves successive rounds of threats, followed by accolades and inducements to develop real estate. Essentially all of Trump's diplomatic efforts - Venezuela, NATO, Ukraine, Russia - have been either self-serving or abject failures.

  8. @Sendero Caribe This so-called diplomacy orchestrated by Trump was nothing more than an opportunity to poke previous administrations in the eyes, Obama in particular. It was also a photo op that was used to keep the adoring masses cheering so they wouldn’t realize this “diplomacy” was part of the show inside Carnival Trump.

  9. American relations with North Korea are failing. It is not "Trump's diplomacy" that is failing. What he tried would have worked. We are not doing what he tried, outreach to North Korea. That has been swamped by the hostility to North Korea that dominates the DC Bubble. War is the only answer that seems popular in DC. It is not so popular in the rest of the country. Thus, what Trump tried to do will be remembered as the better way, that once again was defeated by the DC Establishment. That is not a good look for the 2020 elections, at least not for Democrats. Think about that, and maybe give peace a chance for a change.

  10. @Mark Thomason I'm puzzled. The DC establishment wants war with North Korea? Which DC establishment? Our diplomatic corps is hollowed out and leaking professionals. The state department is led by a non-entity eager to bolt. The military understand a war with North Korea will be devastating to South Korea and likely Japan and will draw in Russia and China. The global economy will be left in tatters as supply chains are destroyed. Trump IS, now, the DC establishment and his vanity in believing he could buy Kim's acquiescence in return for waterfront developments was a pipe dream at best. The end game of North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons and program was Trump's opening demand. It failed. Miserably and predictably.

  11. @Mark Thomason Peace by letting the dictator do whatever he wants. Peace by letting the dictator get nuclear weapons. Yes, that definitely sounds like a winning strategy. (sarcasm)

  12. @Mark Thomason Trump's "outreach" has been nothing but photo ops - with all of the same Obama era sanctions in place. Trump has stated he has no intention removing them or compromising, which is consistent with the fact that threats, sanctions, and tariffs are Trump’s bread and butter in deal-making. Consequently, from the jump, the entire process has had a Bloomberg's chance in Iowa of actually succeeding. Now, on 12/18/19, Republican Senator Toomey has said that the best chance of changing the path North Korea is on is with even more “crippling sanctions” because, “The current sanctions regime is not enough.” Clearly, there’s no attempt by Trump and the Republicans to “give peace a chance for a change.” And it’s not a good look for the future, regardless of how it looks re: the 2020 elections.

  13. Why should Mr. Kim relinquish his nukes and ICBM's? North Korea didn't invent and has never used either. Unlike Israel, India and Pakistan, North Korea was once a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and had no nuclear weapons. While America and Russia currently have 95% of the world's nukes. Why are some nuclear weapons rogue nations more equal, forgiven and forgotten than others? Why are some nations allowed to hold the balance of nuclear weapons Armageddon?

  14. @Blackmamba The reason, quite simply, is that North Korea has never needed nuclear weapons for self-defense. It needs them to extort economic concessions from South Korea and the US. North Korea is not a real country, but a criminal enterprise masquerading as a nation. It is a mafia state with nuclear weapons which is holding South Korea (and very soon Japan) hostage to paying "protection money" in perpetuity. Pakistan, India, Russia and China all have legitimate reasons to have nuclear weapons, and they are "real" countries compared to North Korea. The reason that some nations are "more equal" than others is simply a matter of practicality. Russia and China are not in the same league as North Korea, and just because we tolerate Russian and Chinese nukes does not mean that we should also tolerate North Korean nukes.

  15. @Blackmamba ...."Why are some nuclear weapons rogue nations more equal, forgiven and forgotten than others?"...Because some countries have never sold their nuclear technology?

  16. @Gualtiero There is no North nor South Korea. They have the same ethnic sectarian historical heritage. Korea was once part of the Japanese Empire. The deadliest holocaust of World War II was 30 million Chinese killed by the Japanese Empire. Korea was a political pawn divided by Cold War superpowers America, China and the Soviet Union. Japan has more nuclear weapons grade nuclear material than any nation without nukes. You are confusing North Korea and Iran with Israel.

  17. Trump and “diplomacy” is an oxymoron. The more accurate title would be that “Trump’s pandering and flattery” failed.

  18. @J. What did Iran get out of it's nuclear weapons program deal with America plus China, France, Russia the United Kingdom and the European Union? What did Saddam Hussein and Moammar Qaddafi get out of giving up their nuclear weapons programs? North Korea has the 4th largest military on Earth. And more people per capita in a military uniform than any nation. North Korea is a royal autocracy posing as a Bolshevik state.

  19. @J. Absolutely correct J.

  20. Trump's diplomacy has failed to produce results? I'm shocked, I tell you. Shocked.

  21. @Kristin It has produced results. Unfortunately, these results are not satisfactory toward our overall objectives. It takes two to negotiate and reach an agreement. Diplomacy is low-cost and potentially has high payoffs. The Administration should be rebuked for walking away from the Iran deal, not trying diplomacy with North Korea.

  22. @Sendero Caribe I've been waiting for rebukes to Trump for some time, now. Where and from whom are they?

  23. @Kristin And yet half the country will die firmly believing he's done "amazing" things and saved us from North Korea.

  24. Yet another example of how our “great deal maker” has fallen short. Kim’s initial strategy of abject flattery was effective in appealing to Trump and making him think that they could strike a deal. After all, they were “in love”. But the standard combination we see in this administration of lack of planning and coordination, chaotic and contradictory staffing and messaging, over-confidence, inability to effectively work with other countries, and sheer incompetence has once again left us in a worse position than when this supposed diplomacy started.

  25. @LHW Not just "fallen short". He's significantly decreased our strength and ability to limit the harm North Korea can do to us and the world. In the process he's greatly decreased the world's respect for us and weakened our ability to effect outcomes around the world. He's made things far worse.

  26. @Mike Holloway We should also mention that Iran is now on a path toward possessing nuclear weapons. They had been in compliance with the terms of the Iran Nuclear Deal until Trump pulled the US out of it. They complied for while after that, hoping that the other nations party to the pact could hold it together and provide Iran with benefits for its ailing economy. But the loss of the US was too much, and Iran publicly stated that they would violate the deal and set in motion the enrichment of Uranium to weapons grade. When Trump took office, both North Korea and Iran's nuclear programs were in check. Now, due to his bumbling foreign policy, they are both quickly moving toward becoming significant nuclear threats, with the capacity to reach the US mainland.

  27. @LHW--All-in-all, trying diplomacy was worth it. If we somehow stumble into a war--a test missile lands on Tokyo by mistake--we have tried this. The road to war is littered with miscalculations. It was as clear at the time as it is now that Kim was highly unlikely to give up his nuclear capability at any price. Nevertheless, the US gave it a try. It is on North Korea and goofy generals taking copious notes with pencil and paper as Kim gives orders from the defensive position.

  28. At least when Neville Chamberlain declared “peace for our time” a year before the German invasion of Poland there had been diplomacy more substantial than elaborately staged photo-ops and ranty tweets. Magical thinking that a deal exists is no substitute for the real thing.

  29. Trump is too oblivious to see that he is being played like a broken down old fiddle by every strong-man on the planet.

  30. Even suggesting that DJ Twitler has diplomacy is a joke. What diplomacy? Given Trump's vindictive nature, coupled with his much-deserved impeachment sets everyone up to suffer the consequences of the tyrant. He will stop at nothing and his GOP comrades will not stop him. Should DJ escalate the fiasco that he created with North Korea into a war, the spineless GOP enablers will have the blood on their hands. The next year will undoubtedly be far worse than the first three. No one and nothing is off-limits for the stable genius.

  31. Some legacy! Beyond all the talk and deception and provocations and angry Tweets: what lasting impact has this president had? Are your lives markedly better, safer, more secure? I doubt it.

  32. @Andre Would they have been safer under a Clinton administration with respect to North Korea? Think about it. In terms of Iran, we would have stayed in the nuclear pact, so possibly, yes. North Korea is no difference. The world is a dangerous place.

  33. @Sendero Caribe But Clinton wouldn't have given NK the legitimacy they sought with a photo op on their soil, at least not without concrete concessions.

  34. @Sendero Caribe My point is that this presidency is about (ineffectual) image-making. forbidding immigration is not effective reform, nor did the dismantling of regulations or tax breaks improve industry (though the debt hangover will later be felt). Future American promises to allies will be mistrusted. The only serious work of this administration has been to take on China, which I applaud.

  35. There was no chance Kim was going to give up his nukes even before Trump pulled out of the Iranian deal. He saw what happened to Gaddafi and Hussein. Kim may be a dictator but he isn't stupid. If the Korean situation was that easy to solve it would have happened twenty years ago.

  36. Thank you, Mitch McConnell, beholden to the interests of your in-law/benefactors in the Chinese shipping business, for your service to other countries which are hostile to the United States. A special thanks for your vow to fail to allow removal a mentally unstable, bumbling tyrant from the presidency. I'm sure Kim appreciates the support as well.

  37. @Fern And thank you for pointing out that McConnell and his wife are compromised, almost certainly working on behalf of Chinese government and companies, with many covert sweetheart deals that "seemingly" violate ethics laws and other laws. Given that McConnell is also defying the constitution and rule of law by openly stating that he will defy the oath of impartiality in the Trump trial, NYT and others should dig deep into the connections between Chao, McConnell, and China. Anything that could help remove McConnell from the Senate would be almost as important as removing Grifter from the White House.

  38. @Fern Don't forget Vladimir! He's the happiest of them all.

  39. The North Koreans would have to be crazy to give up their nuclear weapons. Most in the Democratic and Republican Parties are dedicated to regime change. China can't be trusted. Now that they have nuclear weapons, why would they give them up. Since we don't allow them to trade anything else, don't be surprised when they start selling A bombs. We've trapped them in a corner and we blame them for acting hostile.

  40. What the article doesn’t mention is that Kim has the option of selling missile know-how, maybe parts, and the bombs themselves. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see that to break the sanctions and get foreign currency he’d look to offer nuclear terrorism to any buyer, sensibly priced.

  41. @F U Keith You raise an exceedingly significant issue. Of the MANY "provocations" in North Korea's playbook, there are a couple which are truly nightmarish, and which NK is likely to use if necessary to get what it wants: 1. Insinuating that it will proliferate its WMD (including chemical and biological weapons) in order to raise cash and to offset economic sanctions; 2. Significantly ramping up asymmetrical warfare against SK, Japan and the US to convince the US to lift sanctions; 3. Begin to use Japan and Guam as "target practice" for its medium-range ballistic missiles. NK has already threatened to "bracket" Guam with missiles; and 4. Conduct a nuclear-tipped ICBM detonation in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

  42. Kim wrote Trump a few flattering letters and Trump thought they were in love. All the while, Kim continued to develop intercontinental nuclear weapons. Trump is an extreme danger to our national security.

  43. It was always a photo op, and a way for him to look like he was doing something radical and different. He didn't care about the history or warnings. He gave the crazy young man status, and now a green light to continue. We're worse off because of it. But for Trump it's a win because his supporters think he masterfully played the world stage. The young man was right, Trump is a dotard.

  44. Do we actually have any Allies left after all of Trump’s insults, not keeping our word regarding most of the agreements we entered into with them including, but not limited to, the Paris Accord. Trump’s antics with North Korea are coming back to haunt him and us. He has put this Country in more danger than we have been in in a long time. I remember learning in a Religious class in elementary school from the Nuns that the “yellow race shall rule” It appears that this could happen China is now second to us in the world regarding economics and long term planing. It won’t be long until they surpass us. Put that together with North Korea and other Asian countries makes me think that when push comes to shove they will come to believe that it is in their best interests to join China. They might be right.

  45. @Jean "Do we actually have any Allies left after all of Trump’s insults" Boris, and Benjamin

  46. What a commanding position Trump has put America and the world in. Just shows how his negotiating and political skills are creating a safer world. Make America Gravel Again.

  47. @Dave Did you mean grovel? I think either is correct.

  48. Nuclear bombs have no use and will not save Kim. What Trump needs to do is to ignore Kim's tantrums, keep talking and praising, and try to persuade him to give up nuclear programs for immense prosperity.

  49. Nuclear weapons are the ONLY thing keeping Kim alive. If he gave them up, even for total lifting of sanctions, his generals would kill him in a week. Remember how Gaddafi died? This situation is unresolvable without enormous bloodshed. Trump literally has no idea what he's doing. He thinks photo ops are diplomatic progress.

  50. @Alex K Just having Nukes give a country leverage--plenty of it.

  51. @Alex K Trump is the one who has tantrums. Those tantrums have produced little but the world’s scorn and laughter.

  52. If I were the leader of a nation hostile to the United States and wanted to get the upper hand in negotiations on a dangerous conflict I would use flattery to "seduce" Donald Trump into believing he was a masterful leader whom I admire. Knowing that basically he is a superficial TV personality who has no substance, I would use my guile to create an artifice that he is powerful and strong and that it is my privilege to be partnered with him in such a PERFECT way. Then I would fly to my home country feeling triumphant and sharing cocktails with my attachés, looking forward to gullible Americans delivering me another victory in the 2020 elections.

  53. Kim will never give up his nuclear weapons. Negotiations from Clinton to Trump administration's have only allowed North Korea time to develop and perfect his weapons. Hopefully ongoing talks with the Seoul government about them paying for their defense will result in American troops leaving Korea and a peace treaty signed with the South. President Moon I believe desires a treaty with the North. With our exit from the South, Kim has no reason to threaten the US.

  54. Trump's diplomacy? That's an oxymoron. Trump is totally devoid of the knowledge and skill required to engage in diplomacy. He cannot find North Korea on a world map. Trump's concept of diplomacy is to sit in a room alone with a Kim, a Putin, an Erdogan, and think that exchanging pleasantries passes as diplomacy. The author of the Art of the Deal is neither artful nor an adroit dealer.

  55. @nzierler : And, also, he isn't the author of The Art of the Deal. Tony Schwartz wrote that book, every word, after choosing to spend a year 'eavesdropping' on Trump's daily life and being forced to listen to Trump's word salad nonsense he's always spewed like a volcano that never stops flinging fire into the air. Tony feels guilty for that book that gave Trump, a very stupid thing, the cover of being wise and smart in business. Trump is without a doubt the very worst dealmaker in the entire world. I fear for all of us in the coming year.

  56. @nzierler Trump was incapable of writing the Art of the Deal--it was ghostwritten for him by Tony Schwartz.

  57. It is a disaster when Trump has one-on-one meetings with foreign leaders. Even Trump's closest aides have only a dim understanding of what went on, as Trump is incapable of giving a thorough, honest report even if he wanted to, which he does not. Trump views his meetings as a PR event, to show himself in glory as a great dealmaker. Trump made substantial concessions to Kim, without getting anything in return except for photo ops and statements that the world no longer is threatened by NK nukes, Trump deserves a Noble prize, and he and Kim are best buddies. Kim undoubtedly saw through Trump's buffoonery.

  58. @Edward B Every world leader, in fact everyone in the world knows of Trump's buffoonery. Everyone has his number and knows exactly how to play him. Just flatter him. Tell him how smart and brave and handsome and you have him eating out of your hand. Make him think he's getting the better of you and he'll do anything for you. Tell him he can build hotels all over your country for pennies and he'll sign anything and sing your praises. No matter what. THIS is the most powerful leader in the world? I hope there is a God because we need one.

  59. Trump and his surrogates around him would still deny reality, lie and advertise this as greatest diplomatic success the US ever had against North Korea. His party, Fox news, and core supporters will cheer on that as usual.

  60. @Bonku Very good. What insight into the issues related to the Koreas. BTW, can you locate the Korean Peninsula on a map?

  61. Pres. Donald Trump did not listen to Pres. Obama that North Korea would be present a problem but oh no. Pres. Donald Trump try twice to negotiate a deal with North Korea and bring peace North Korea it was all in vain. You can never negotiate a deal with a mad man that killed his brother his uncle his fellow countrymen. But try to tell Pres. Donald Trump that. One thing you should not forget that North Korea is supported by Russia and China what ever North Korea does it response from both countries are the same. If you think one thing the missile program from North Korea is designed from the Chinese, and also Russia I hope they can try to bring this madman to the table before he starts another war. How can you trust both countries let this dictator threatens the West is a dangerous recipe for China and Russia.

  62. @Rick Johnson I'm sorry but Obama did absolutely nothing to control NK. Obama is the one who basically created the problem that trump is trying to deal with.

  63. @bored critic The problem in NK started long before Obama was in office--Bush, Clinton and Bush has the same difficult issues. In each case, NK was not trying to negotiate with the US in any meaningful way. And won't change that policy with Trump or his successor.

  64. @Rick Johnson So Trump should have continued Obama's policy of Strategic Patience? Obama kicked the can down the road and you criticize Trump? Priceless.

  65. Maybe trump should call Ukraine or some other countries and talk to their leaders about withholding aid unless they help influence Kim Jong Un. I don’t think trump could successfully negotiate himself out of a recyclable paper bag without help, and that can only be obtained with threats. Cheater! You’ll get us all killed someday.

  66. To be fair, the loser is allergic to recyclable and eco-friendly products. At least that would explain why he is so zealously eager NOT to support non-lethal energy and keep our oil and gas IN THE GROUND, where it belongs if we'd rather NOT fry ourselves to death. But yeah, if he weren't, he'd STILL be bagged for good.

  67. @Steve Ell, I burst out laughing. Good one buddy.

  68. Trump’s “diplomacy” was quite a show, a side show, that will garner no Nobel prizes, little high praise save for his adoring masses, and historians will write how a person 30 years younger than Trump played him like an old banjo. Trump and his mouthpieces, along with his supporters, kept their bleating and braying at a fever pitch in making sure we knew that previous administrations have never met Kim face to face and he, the grand negotiator, will accomplish more than those previous presidents, meaning Obama. Well, perhaps those previous administrations knew it was fruitless to negotiate with Kim and all they would do was the only thing Trump accomplished-give legitimacy to Kim. So, I congratulate Trump on a job well done. You managed to cower before, be played by. and give legitimacy to Kim.

  69. @Dan North and South Korea are united by their penchant for selecting corrupt family grifters for leaders backed up by arms, finance and diplomacy supplied by competing foreign superpowers. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea are models that the Trump Organization is hoping to imitate from their occupation of the White House.

  70. @Dan Trump gave Kim a photo and nothing else. He wasn't played. He wanted to see if Kim would bite the economic apple but Kim wants a future of apples not just one.

  71. @Dan well said - Christmas fast approaches and Kim promised DJ a surprise; so we all are dragged under with the insanity of two unstable vindictive leaders.

  72. “The president even offered to help build hotels along North Korea’s east coast.” That in a nutshell is the Trump foreign policy: “Hotels For Peace”. Right out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel.

  73. And right into his pocket, which is the basis for every, single action in his life.

  74. @GW Monty Python might be more accurate, less thinking required.

  75. @Swannie No, this administration really feels as dire as WWII survivor Vonnegut, and not the least bit like the Ministry of Silly Walks. [Vonnegut was then deployed to Europe to fight in World War II and was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. He was interned in Dresden and survived the Allied bombing of the city by taking refuge in a meat locker of the slaughterhouse where he was imprisoned.] Wikipedia

  76. I hope that no one is surprised here. NK has controlled the narrative from the beginning and feckless Trump, the "Bully of America", who narcissism knows no bounds, has been manipulated by a master. The same goes for Saudi Arabia and every other leader that has faked fawning at Trump's feet. It's all about personal loyalty to a mad man. Trump is no leader; he's a cheap crook seeking fake respect. I do not at all favor NK or Kim, but for the United States to be so poorly represented by a fake, now-Impeached president is a disgrace to all of our diplomats, legitimate politicians and civil servants. Instead of admiring and supporting great leaders, Trump denigrates them. Does that make Any sense other than overwhelming evidence that Trump is working for Moscow? Our next administration, hopefully headed by a smart, honest human instead of this damaged child, will deal with Kim without being manipulated by him. Another reason to get rid of Trump before he forces a nuclear war.

  77. @RealTRUTH That should become the new standard usage. Whenever trump is mentioned it should be noted that he is an "impeached-president."

  78. @RealTRUTH When an ostensibly professional athlete fails to perform, the first thing the coach does is to replace him/her with someone who can. Welcome Trump and his Republican Congress. They won't even finish the season let alone win a game. Irresponsible oversight and executive performance will sink us. No trophies for Trump and his cult - they can take their football and go home.

  79. ""Obama is one of the worst negotiators on everything I've ever seen..." Trump, January 2016 At the same time hair-on-fire Republicans hammered home the messaging that Obama was "weak," letting foreign nations walk all over us. Oh the irony. Oh, how so many of us wish we could go back to those "weak" days.

  80. @LindaP The irony is too painful to face. But thank you for pointing it out nevertheless as it becomes clearer every day to most of us. I fear that with the McConnell led Republican Senate and the Barr Justice Dept. we cling to hope this Christmas. It's all we-the-majority have.

  81. Consider the fact that North Korea has never built a weapon it was not prepared to sell — now that's something really scary.

  82. @Ag How often do you hear trump crowing about arms deals? How many billions in arms do we sell each year? The truth is that we, the USA have only placed a few of our weapons on the do-not-proliferate list.

  83. consider the fact that the US sells weapons of mass destruction all over the world.

  84. There is a difference between diplomacy and deal-making. In the case of North Korea our president and his staff have failed in both to the detriment of the Korean peninsula, southeast Asia, and the world.

  85. @vm What do you seriously think diplomacy or deal can realistically accomplish on the Peninsula? The fact is that we are on the precipice of a new era. The US policy toward in this region has enjoyed over 65 years of peace. How many administrations have tried to contain the nuclear impasse that has been building? Hint--it goes back 25 years at least. We now have a nuclear North that may have the capacity to deliver a weapon to the US mainland. The fact is that negotiations are the cheapest means of containment at this point until either the US and its allies decide to live with the threat or end it militarily.

  86. @Sendero Caribe We will probably have to learn to live with the threat. But, with an UNSTABLE "genius" in the WH, who knows. His nasty impulses must be controlled. His "foreign policy" is an across the board failure.

  87. @Sendero Caribe I’m not seeing how you and vm disagree.

  88. Trump's "outreach" has been nothing but photo ops - with all of the same Obama era sanctions in place. Trump has stated he has no intention removing them or compromising, which is consistent with the fact that threats, sanctions, and tariffs are Trump’s bread and butter in deal-making. Consequently, from the jump, the entire process has had a Bloomberg's chance in Iowa of actually succeeding. Now, on 12/18/19, Republican Senator Toomey has said that the best chance of changing the path North Korea is on is with even more “crippling sanctions” because, “The current sanctions regime is not enough.” Clearly, there’s no attempt by Trump and the Republicans to “give peace a chance for a change.” And it’s not a good look for the future, regardless of how it looks re: the 2020 elections.

  89. Someone needs to tell Trump that sanctions are a declaration of war, not a peaceful way to settle disputes, and they don't work in the end. History shows they only bolster the opposition forces in power and weaken civilian resistance. If Trump was serious, he would have signed a treaty ending the Korean War, that has been over for almost 70 years, instead of trying to twist the meaning of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula into a declaration of surrender by the North.

  90. @Dino Reno I think Trump already gave away enough to North Korea by personal meeting with Kim "the great leader". He provided more prestige and attention than that country merits and got nothing in return.

  91. @Reader Trump doesn't negotiate meaningfully with any of his adversaries. He only negotiates with himself in public. In the end, he always ends up in the same place where he started.

  92. @Dino Reno How long have the sanctions been in place?

  93. Further proof that "love letters" and real negotiation are entirely different things. One more failure for the Don.

  94. @jimlve Or proof that our so-called president can do neither effectively.

  95. Add it to the list

  96. Kissinger and Nixon used a triangularization strategy to leverage an entry to China to weaken the Soviet Union and get a minimally acceptable peace in Vietnam. (One that allowed us to get out.) Based on recent Russian and Chinese behavior such a plan seems to be a non-starter. Why? What other options are raised given the current set of facts? What has been fundamentally lacking is a gathering of minds that can develop a strategy. Until we have some kind of strategic base from which to operate, we will bounce along from crisis to crisis, from face to face and from quid to quo. Dealing is not a strategy. Luxury hotels are not a strategy.

  97. Oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Trump took a bold gamble for peace, and it appears to have failed. But it was worthwhile nonetheless. 1. It demonstrates that North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons. Not with sanctions, not with bribery, and not with negotiations. The U.S., South Korea, Japan, China, and the entire world can now accept that nuclear non-proliferation has failed in North Korea, and probably eventually across the world. 2. It demonstrates that the U.S. really wanted peace and therefore undermines North Korean propaganda to the contrary. 3. We can now move along a strategic path that recognizes 1. and 2. a. A continued military presence in South Korea, sanctions, regime subterfuge, etc. b. Eventually South Korea, Japan, and perhaps others acquiring nuclear weapons of their own. c. FINALLY move the U.S. to rapidly build its EMP defenses, because at some point North Korea will be tempted to launch an EMP attack as a last ditch effort to break out of its corner. d. Strengthen efforts to block any North Korea exports of nuclear/ballistic weapons and technology. Perhaps there will be a last-minute breakthrough, though probably not. We should at least be thankful to Trump for extending an olive branch, even if the North Koreans eventually used it as firewood.

  98. @John It is the latest and probably last in a set of policies that date back at least 25 years to stop the North's drive to nuclear weapons and the means to deliver these weapons. The US position in South Asia managed to maintain peace for the last 65 years. The options are limited going-forward--living with it or knocking it. We are going to see a military build up by Japan.

  99. @John Too simple. Didn't you read that our allies in the area, Japan & South Korea are in China talking to them? Why? Because tRump jacked up the demands on them to pay for their defense which is in our best interest. OK, Republican talking point: they have to pay more, I can buy that, but they agreed to pay more and yet tRump is demanding as much as 400% above the actual costs - why? Was the original point to paint Obama weak? Maybe, but he talked to Putin in the meantime and look where we now are - again he does Putin's bidding and the US is dramatically weakened!

  100. @John Thankful for what? And that olive branch was from the guy who said he had the bigger button.

  101. Trump and diplomacy are mutually exclusive.

  102. at this point, it's become glaringly obvious that all of trumps' diplomatic efforts have failed. he's made this country a global laughingstock as he himself has become an international pariah. the country has been left in a state of chaos and weakness that it will take a generation or more to recover from.

  103. If ever there was an example of Trump's fundamental inadequacy as a commander in chief and president, this is it. As one observer described it, his "weightless, gaseous psyche" is an unsurprising liability for the U.S. I am afraid for our broken nation.

  104. The power vacuum created by America’s first reality TV President is immense. It has made an unsafe world less stable by putting a rogue regime on stage with Donald Trump, elevating their dictator and lowing the office of President to a level where the best chance for global stability is in the hands of Russia and China. Looks like the KGB strategy was a big win. Kim is smiling as people starve there blaming Presidents and glad that he has no opposition to call him on his corruption. The only difference here is our TV Personality leader smiles that it’s always someone else’s fault.

  105. Let's face it, Trump has zero negotiating skills, and is out classed and out played with every encounter he's had with North Korea. For goodness' sake, he can barely speak the English language (Trump, not Kim) with 'perfect' and 'amazing' being uttered so often as to make one cringe when he hears him speak. Kim is up to no good. I do not want this and neither do even some moderate hawks I know, but Trump will need his hands duct taped to his sides when the incoming missile lands a few hundred miles off US shores. That will be a time for supreme wisdom and confidence rather than an "I'll show you" response that so many of us fear.

  106. It seems to me that our policy, past and present, is misguided. North Korea is, perhaps justifiably, paranoid. Its nuclear capability is defensive. And, it has allowed them to sit on the world stage. Why do we think that they will ever give it up? At the same time, it is impossible to think that they would launch an unprovoked attack on the US or even Japan which would surely end in their total destruction. The real danger is from a misstep or that they would be forced to sell their technology to a rogue state or terrorist organization because their economy was so crippled by sanctions. Better to accept that they have nuclear weapons and negotiate an effective monitoring and control protocol, with full transparency. Independent verification would simultaneously put the world on notice that they have the capability to defend themselves while also ensuring that such capability will not be misused.

  107. @Peter ..."Why do we think that they will ever give it up?"...North Korea will give up nuclear weapons when it is in China's best interest.

  108. The 'stable genius' who claims to know more than any general, diplomat or professor of international relations has failed yet again to grasp every nuance of international diplomacy with North Korea. Like Putin, Kim Jong-un has played Trump like a puppet, and this is the result. For the sake of world peace, Trump has to go — immediately.

  109. What Trump has been doing is not nor will it ever be diplomacy. It's PR he thinks will get him a Nobel, nothing more. It's all about the "Emmy" for him, nothing else.

  110. Not only did he fail to achieve his promise of a no-nukes deal with Kim but he also unilaterally (unless you consider Putin's pressure) gave up our military exercises with South Korea. Not only that but our strong relationship with South Korea is in tatters. As soon as we learn that this test has occurred Speaker Pelosi should announce an investigation into "Trump administration diplomacy failures." If for no other reason than to push his hot-buttons.

  111. Donald J. Trump: Giving autocratic leaders everything they want including missile tests. The great negotiator could not negotiate a transaction correctly at a kids' lemonade stand. Failure at his businesses, failure at all foreign policy unless you are Vlad Putin, failure at keeping his promises, failure at any and all immigration reform, failure at his tariffs, giving more bailouts to the farmers than the bailouts of the automotive industry, failure to protect our national interests, failure to tell any truths whatsoever and last but not least, he is impeached. What a great legacy he will leave.

  112. The words, "Trump" and "Diplomacy" do not belong in the same universe, much less the same headline. Made-for-reality-TV moments are not diplomacy.

  113. This is a particularly dangerous time for our country. Trump is desperate to turn our attention away from his impeachment, and would welcome the chance to appear "presidential" in the run up to 2020. Living on the West Coast, I feel especially vulnerable to Trump's instability and whims. His wanting to prove he's a tough guy could get me and millions of others blown to smithereens. If Congress won't get rid of him, I'll do my part next November. As long as he's in office, I don't think I can feel truly safe.

  114. "the Trump administration will turn to allies" which of our alienated allies are going to sign on to efforts led by a "leader" for whom they have zero respect and confidence? And who among Trumps true allies (think Putin) are going prop him up?

  115. @NotSoCrazy Our "allies" will do what they have always done. Stand with us when it suits them and go their own way when it doesn't. Trumps blustering and threats won't have any more effect than Obamas cowtowing to the euros did. They are in it for themselves just like we should be.

  116. Good points! About the only “allies” the US has now are Russia (good buddy Putin), which of course has little interest in confronting NK, any more than China does. Oh, and maybe a handful of countries with dictators for leaders that would offer little in the way of military, diplomatic, or economic support. Trump’s egotistical and uninformed approach has seemingly brought America (and South Korea and Japan) closer to armed attack or confrontation than in a long while. We should take these failures seriously: it should be clear even to the Trump base that a nuclear attack on American shores will affect them, too. Only the evangelicals, Pence and Barr among them, will welcome this as the Rapture they all want and believe in. The Trump family, at least, won’t be able to build hotels over there; probably needless to say, they would never come to the aid of America.

  117. @Al "Our "allies" will do what they have always done. Stand with us when it suits them and go their own way when it doesn't. " Not how I remember post 911 afganistann, Our based on lies war in Iraq. Maybe you can enlighten me. When, where, and who? How has what you described ever happened? (Graduate of social media university?)

  118. The President of the USA walked out of talks and followed that up by calling Kim on the phone and crawling on his belly to shake his hand in North Korea. He did the same thing with the Chinese in the trade war. He walks out of a deal with the Chinese threatening American consumers with huge increases in products we love like Apple phones and calls Xi. He reduces the tariffs he threatened to impose on US consumers in exchange for nothing. Trump thinks of himself as a great negotiator because he has always negotiated deals with himself.

  119. @HL: Trump never did deals with people who see right through him.

  120. Scant mention of the South Korean angle in this piece. The Trump administration was successful last year in getting South Korea to pay more to have U.S. troops stationed in Korea. The bill comes to about 900 million per year. This year the Trump administration asked for five billion an almost 400 percent increase without much rationale behind it besides the fact that South Korea is a rich country. It’s debatable weather or not the South should pay that much but it seems foolish to antagonize the primary ally in the region which has the most to lose if a war should happen. The current administration in Korea is of the opinion that the U.S. should ease sanctions as North Korea draws down its weapons in order to build trust. The U.S. has maintained an all or nothing position for a long time. I personally have no preference, the North is unwilling to follow the U.S.’s demands, and the U.S. has every right to have the upmost skepticism with everything said by the North. Yet the U.S. demand for a 400% increase in defense spending from South Korea, gives the South motivation for pushing stronger for the gradual option. Moon could say, “You can have your money after you make a nuclear deal.” If South Korea pays the fee it could send a sign to that the North of how committed the South is to the alliance and give the North a propaganda issue. Hopefully there will be a day when the U.S. is a reliable ally again.

  121. @Fred Thank you for your message from the frontlines. It brings greater insight to this discussion. The South has a lot of fine lines to walk here with the US and the North. The last sentence sums it up. Best to you and yours this holiday season.

  122. @Fred: Oh what a peril it is to the world that everyone wants to be a pixel in a mass display of adulation of Kim Jong Un.

  123. This is just wonderful. The greatest! The stable genius has managed to bring us to the point where we have a similarly unstable leader who now is rapidly approaching having the ability to deliver nuclear weapons to the US mainland. How much better we can sleep with Trump in office.

  124. North Korea is just the latest foreign relations failure for Donald Trump. If we learned anything from the Cold War with the Soviet Union, it is that the goal of complete denucleariztion never worked. What does work is containment and a gradual step-by-step reduction in nuclear armaments. Patience is a trait that Trump lacks. He wants a big splashy Reality TV event like the "Mission Accomplished" fiasco of the George W. Bush Iraq War event. North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons, but it may be willing to gradually reduce them to a level where they pose only a regional threat. That takes diplomacy on the level of Acheson, Kennan, Shultz, and Kerry. With a now hollowed out State Department sublet to Rudy Giuliani, that will take a new administration to achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

  125. If NK does launch an IBM, it will indeed be a great Christmas gift to the US, i.e. it will give the Dems a very powerful talking point about Trump's failed presidency, and why we he should be voted out of office.

  126. @Paul-A No, Paul. It will point to the failure of 25 or 30 years of policy. They didn't start these program on Trump's watch. It will give the US something to talk about in terms of formulating a policy going forward. Do you think the Dems will do well on this? Containment or confrontation?

  127. @Paul-A: Kim will get the US to spend $5 trillion on anti-missile defense weapons.

  128. Except no other president has fawned over, given cover to, and normalized North Korea like Trump. This is HIS mess now.

  129. "U.S. Braces for Major North Korean Weapons Test as Trump’s Diplomacy Fizzles" This is obviously a manifestation of North Korea's lack of trust in Mr. Trump and his administration. In fact, with few exceptions, there is no country in the world today that would take seriously any commitment made by Mr. Trump or his administration. The US lost its credibility by unilaterally abandoning the Iran nuclear agreement; an international agreement to which the US and five other countries were a signatory. The North Koreans saw that and figured that the best that they can get from Trump administration, after years of tough negotiations, would be another agreement. But, demonstrably, such an agreement means nothing, since Mr. Trump would abandon it the minute he feels the agreement does not serve his interest, bet it politically or financially. The Chinese have a saying: "Keeping a good reputation is as essential as bark is to a tree". Without its bark not only a tree is vulnerable to its enemies, but it is doomed to perish. The Koreans see Mr. Trump as the architect of the US lassitude, if not its demise. Hence, they are suddenly not in a hurry to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. They seem to be waiting to negotiate with a US that has become more isolated and, therefore, weaker and desperate to pacify them by making tangible, irreversible, concessions to them.

  130. @Eddie B. Per a recent interview with John Bolton on NPR, NK will never give up the nuclear pursuit. They have been playing everyone for 30 years.

  131. @Eddie B. "This is obviously a manifestation of North Korea's lack of trust in Mr. Trump and his administration." Do you seriously believe that the North would trust any US Administration? Look at the past 65 years or so and report back.

  132. @Eddie B.: China established North Korea.

  133. I am by no means a Trump supporter. But, if, by chance, his "negotiations" with North Korea were to bear some fruit, wouldn't that be a good thing? Things have been pretty quiet on the Korean peninsula for the last three years. President Obama's essential (general) foreign policy program was to sit on his hands. Specifically, he DID admit that he was "kicking the can down the road" on North Korea. All of the snark in many of the comments here belie the fact that, at some point, some U.S. President is going to have to finally face the end of our dilemma vis-a-vis North Korea; be it war or peace.

  134. @Joanna Whitmire Obama's approach was essentially a continuation of the policies of previous administrations. The fact is that it was obvious to Obama that a policy failure regarding nuclear weapons was on the horizon with the respect to North Korea. It did not begin on his watch and its manifestation would not occur on his watch. The options were limited then and are more constrained now.

  135. @Joanna Whitmire Obana is gone however, "Not only did he fail to achieve his promise of a no-nukes deal with Kim but he also unilaterally (unless you consider Putin's pressure) gave up our military exercises with South Korea. Not only that but our strong relationship with South Korea is in tatters. "

  136. If they’re more constrained now, it’s entirely because trump’s whiled away the sunlit hours attacking our allies and alliances in the region, made Kim look good, and fumfuhed around the world as the North built more missiles and stockpiled more nukes.

  137. It was always obvious that Kim had been leading Trump by the nose, with Trump willingly going along in exchange for love letters and the self-deceiving belief that he was actually establishing some sort of personal rapport (as he consistently does with tyrants) to perhaps win his Nobel Peace prize. To be fair there are few easy, good solutions, but there was a time when NK was very vulnerable, when their test site collapsed, after which they hurried to the negotiating table with misleading claims of ending or reducing their testing in the name of peace (when it was because they were forced to). Trump eagerly swallowed the whole thing, believing his own ego, thus undermining himself, when he might actually have scored a real win since the collapse of the site had resulted from the escalation of tests and words.(thankfully hurting no one at the time). Instead he gave Kim the time to rebuild and restart his tests. Of course, there was really little the US or South Korea could do militarily, as long as China (and probably Russia) have their interests in propping up NK. But perhaps they could have insisted on actual inspections, as with Iran, and at least control or conduct closer surveillance.

  138. For over four decades North Korea has either preserved or developed more nuclear weapons. This has been their main tool of defense, with the outside world. Using it as a way to threaten the neighboring countries, the US and others. NK sees that as their strength. That being the case, why would NK want to give up on their nuclear arsenals or their future programs? The way to deal with NK is to confront them as a group. This is not just a US problem. NK has always been a threat to the region and to the world. To counter that threat, the US can provide the leadership. To do that, the US must not act alone. Instead, bring in all concerned and related parties - China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, even Russia to the negotiating table. Mr. Trump may have the best of intentions. To deal with a nuclear rogue country like NK, cannot be done on pure personal instincts. This is not like dealing with a political opponent at home. Mr. Trump must listen to counsel, and work with our allies to address the growing threat from North Korea.

  139. @CITIZEN - Unfortunately, he won't.

  140. @CITIZEN: When Japan invades Asia or Asia invades Japan, it is generally through the Korean Peninsula.

  141. @CITIZEN That's incredibly optimistic. Trump doesn't listen to anyone. Never has. Never will. He operates entirely on his "gut feelings" and only responds to "love letters."

  142. The US was obsessed with shutting down Iran's nuclear program, even though the International Atomic Energy Agency, (IAEA), had stated that Iran was in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, (JCPOA). The US has recently announced even more crippling sanctions on Iran. Meanwhile, the North Koreans are quietly perfecting their arsenal of nuclear weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver those weapons on target. Still, the Trump Administration seems to believe that the "love letters" exchanged between Kim Il Jong and Trump will prevent a nuclear exchange between North Korea and the US. It's a faith-based assumption that I do not share.

  143. @Jim K. Well, at least Trump did make an effort and the NK launch has not yet happened. It may, but Obama just ignored NK and pretended it was not there.

  144. @Mark Shyres Every POTUS since Eisenhower has basically ignored or pretended that the Korean issue did not exist. Taking a shot at President Obama is a typical right-wing response to any criticism of President Trump. Time to give that tired and worn-out tactic a rest.

  145. @Mark Shyres ...That is not true. Perhaps you never heard of TPP. But to explain it someone would have have to be willing to listen for 5 minutes.

  146. The failure to build a meaningful diplomatic relationship with N. Korea is of course not unique to Trump. What is distinctive though is the laudatory praise our national leader bestows on despots and dictators while insulting our closest allies. European leaders see Trump for the fool he is. Kim got from Trump all he could and now casts him aside, love letters and all. The GOP couldn’t care less. Trade war with China? Iran with a nuclear weapon? This is just one more failure from the White House that they’ll rationalize, blame on others, or outright deny. Who needs effective foreign policy strategies when you’ve got big crowds at MAGA rallies?

  147. @PeterKa What did Kim get from Trump besides a chance to talk? Maximum Pressure a gift but Strategic Patience is something that hurts him? You live in Bizzarro World or the Real One? Obama said he was not going to do anything except twiddle his thumbs and kick a can. Trump tried to talk and put on a Maximum Pressure Campaign. You seem to think Obama's approach was the better one.

  148. @PeterKa The crowds aren't that big. North Carolina had about 7,000 people after venue limits. To give you an idea: Bonnaroo, a trendy music festival in Tennessee, regularly hits around 65,000. Even the New York Jets, arguably the worst team in the NFL, averages close to 80,000 fans in attendance per home game. Trump had an attendance of about 1.4 million spread across over 300 rallies in 2016. That's an average attendance under 5,000. He's losing to the Jets. He's losing to the Jets in multiples exceeding ten. Just think about that one for a minute. We're talking about the team where fans are more liable to injure their own players than anyone else. Trump is losing to that stadium.

  149. @GregP: "You seem to think Obama's approach was the better one." As the article points out, the Trump administration is now doing what each of the previous four administrations did. But that only happened after Trump badmouthed the policies of previous administrations and claimed he was the "only one" who could solve the North Korea problem. On June 13, 2017, Trump even tweeted: "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” and for months after the Singapore summit he continued declaring that "total denuclearization" was occurring. The net result of all this? After three years of Trump, the entire world knows that he's all hot air and incapable of serious negotiation.

  150. Read the Pulitzer-winning book The Orphan Master's Son for a truly shocking, gruesome and accurate depiction of what it's like to live in the bizarro cult world of Kim Jong Un. Then recall that while Trump was busy slagging women, Democrats, law enforcement, prosecutors and immigrants, he was saying that he and Kim Jong Un "fell in love." This was no surprise, given the love Trump has shown for Putin, Duterte, Erdogan, Bolsonaro, MBS, and other dangerous despots. Trump's lack of intelligence and wise judgment has made the world a much more dangerous place.

  151. Is the love affair over? Weren't they trading letters with each other? Either way, trump got played. Again.

  152. It should be clear to any American citizen how dangerous it is to have as president an individual such as Trump, obsessed with self and totally dependent on flattery which, in turn, feeds the obsession of self to make it worse, ie, addiction. As president, Trump is a risk to national security and world peace. How can it be more clear? And the fundamental reason? Immaturity ... an unruly, self-absorbed child unable to grow up, but is so easy to manipulate. The civil divide this nation now suffers, along with impeachment that became necessary for at least the sake of accountability, have made the matter of national instability far more favorable for adversaries to exploit than otherwise. And in terms of “Christmas gift” Kim mentions to mock: He probably has it mostly right ... the sham that many Americans have made of Christmas, the Mass to celebrate Christ, as well the meaning of what gift is. We are being insulted, and most don’t even realize it. But the economy is good!

  153. Dealing with an insane dictator is not easy. At least President Trump reached out and tried to talk some sense into the N. Korean leader. If/when the time comes to act with military force, no one can make the claim that the US did not try to address the situation peacefully. N. Korea and the entire world have seen just how irrational Mr. Kim is, and President Trump has done his part to expose this and to try to de-escalate the situation.

  154. @G G All Trump did was to give Kim standing on the world stage. That's something that Kim has wanted for a long time. And who does that benefit? The only one it benefits? Kim. Certainly not the U.S. or the world.

  155. @G G ...."Dealing with an insane dictator is not easy....To whom do you refer?

  156. It takes an insane dictator to know one...and support one I’m sure

  157. Trump's diplomacy? Now there is an oxymoron...

  158. Sure glad Trump has a great relationship with Kim. Kim probably gave up his country's aspirations and family's ambitions so he could win Trump's friendship. I wonder if Putin is having a dog leash measured.

  159. Trump did something few others tried, with a regime that remains one of the world's most dangerous. Mocking him and stating in headline that his attempt "fizzled" is, I am sorry to say, beneath this paper, and just smacks of hyperpartisan score keeping. One of the few things he did right to keep the world safe should be met with accolades, not scorn

  160. @joey8 ...Well what are you supposed to say when the attempt fizzled? Stand up and cheer and declare it was a grand success?

  161. @joey8 The only thing Trump did was to give Kim a standing in the world that Kim wanted and did not deserve.

  162. Now Trump's so-called diplomacy will have to focus on returning to square one with China to make sure they keep their junkyard dog leashed. The bright side for Trump is that his friends in the Military Industrial Complex will see this as an important step in the Arms Race that Putin has worked out with Trump over the past three years. Notice that pushing for increases in NATO military budgets did NOT lead to a reduction in US military spending. And what has Trump done to set the tone? Tearing up treaties Testing formerly-banned missiles Establishing a new military branch Removing military restraint concerned with limiting collateral damage Promoting the views of murderous dictators Convincing the World that we are no longer a reliable ally

  163. Of course they are going to proceed with the test. When will there be another time that a US President hands them a "victory" for nothing in exchange? It makes NK look strong and the US weak. NK is an embarrassment, and the GOP let them bring us down to their level and lose.

  164. The president of the United States held two "summits" with North Korea's leader. The summits were actually stunts to get Trump massive, world-wide press coverage. Trump had previously threatened, insulted and demeaned Kim, but changed his tune and gifted Kim with international relevance in order to benefit from the attention the summits garnered. Trump did exactly the same thing with the Parkland school shootings. The students' activism started dominating the news, so Trump invited them for a White House visit to get the attention back on him. Donald Trump's interest in North Korea is the same as his interest in any topic: How can he make it about himself? Three years of this quest for ratings is starting to rack up consequences, as it must. America, in its wisdom, elected an amoral, vain, narcissistic bully to be their leader. Trump lives in his own delusional world, rarely interacting with reality directly. It's all rallies, sycophants and Fox News. America, and likely much of the rest of the world, may pay dearly for elevating this dangerous fool to power.

  165. Just another in a long list of Trump's unfulfilled promises.

  166. Apparently all it takes is a "love letter" to our own Dear Leader and then you can do whatever you like. If only half the diplomatic effort expended on Ukraine had been spent on North Korea, things might have been different today. A success with North Korea definitely would have helped Trump's re-election efforts far more than what we have today.

  167. Criminal trump has no policy toward North Korea, unless you think shaking hands is a new type of international commitment.

  168. @Rsq: Evidently Kim didn't take to golf.

  169. Thanks Mr. President. You tried your best to do something that couldn’t be done by anyone.

  170. I remember it clearly agent orange in a long coat, long red tie ambling across the White House grass toward reporter with that somnolent way of his, off hand stating "we no longer had to worry about North Korea," his administration had met with them and all was good, no more nuclear testing worries. Here in lies the great danger of this administration, the ability to speak non-truths about a world that is evermore dangerous, because to HIM the sound bit is more important than anything else.

  171. Quick: name one president whose diplomacy didn’t fizzle.

  172. @EGD The thing is, with Trump there is no such thing as "diplomacy" not only because he's temperamentally incapable of it, but because he has no Foreign Policy and there's no State Department able to carry it out.

  173. @EGD ...Well, when Obama was President Iran agreed to stop their nuclear program and was in compliance when the stable genius Trump stomped all over it.

  174. @EGD: Lincoln. Alaska was a steal.

  175. It was obvious from the beginning of the disingenuous Trump/Kim bromance that the U.S. was being played. Kim was flattering Trump so he could get meetings and legitimacy, in exchange for nothing. Trump failed and it’s no surprise to any sentient person.

  176. If Trump's diplomacy "failed" just because North Korea is testing missiles again, Obama diplomacy was much bigger failure. North Korea was shooting missiles over Japan at will during Obama presidency and Obama couldn't do anything about it.

  177. This is sort of like putting a top research scientist on par with a seven year old, because neither cured cancer. "But Obama..."isn't an excuse that makes the horror of watching an American president trade love letters with one of the world's most brutal dictators more palatable. Trump degraded our nation and praised a mass murderer, for nothing. To excuse that is to abandon decency and self-respect.

  178. @Asian man NK has been doing making some type of military incursion for decades. Obama didn't take the "bait." Trump isn't as smart.

  179. Oh, stop. Dealing with the North Korean family business has never been easy for any administration. One might easily say that any administration's efforts "fizzled" for the past 50 years.

  180. This foreign policy disaster is emblematic of how Trump’s naïveté, bluster, and incompetence as a deal-maker inevitably lead to failure. First he threatened Kim with fire and fury. Then Trump agreed to meet with him without any preconditions, thereby giving Kim one of the things he wanted most—a face-to-face meeting with a US president— without getting anything in return. After signing a vaguely worded agreement, Trump absurdly declared that the nuclear threat from North Korea was over and that we could “sleep well.” All the while, Kim moved ahead with developing long range missiles that will pose a real threat to the United States. According to the article, Trump had said if he’s proven wrong about Kim’s sincerity in wanting to de-nuclearize he’ll admit he was wrong. I’m not holding my breath.

  181. Actually, all of his foreign policy initiatives have failed or are failing. In addition to North Korea, one can just run down the list Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela (getting Iran contra retreads involved was truly inspired), relations with Europeans, caving to China on the trade deal etc. The only success of sorts was the USMCA treaty but that took a lot of fixing by Nancy Pelosi to make it acceptable. Blustering, throwing tantrums and then caving is the way Trump handles all negotiations. That is how our “Art of the deal” master went bankrupt so many times and that is how he is destroying our standing in the world. The only thing he seems to know how to do in international relations is run a money laundering operation for foreign oligarchs.

  182. @IndependentVoter "He has supported the UK in their desire to leave the EU." Yet, when Barack Obama mildly advised the UK to remain in the EU - on a single occasion - it was shouted down, on both sides of the Atlantic as 'intolerable interference'. Trump wasn't even President when the UK decided to leave. We certainly don't need his 'support' to do so.

  183. @IndependentVoter I amstounded that you believe your statements. Let's take them one at a time. He has done more to weaken Nato and drive a wedge between the U.S. and European nations. He now wants the U.S. to back him agains North Korea. The question is why should they when they know he has no strategy and he could turn on them at any moment to impose tarrifs on European car imports or something equally stupid. The real message when the mocked him was that think he is selfabsorbed idiot who they have to pretend to put up with when he shows up at summit meetings. Trump did indeed extort Mexico into helping institute the gratuitiously cruel white nationalist immigration policies. While regugees will suffer they will not stop coming because their alternative is death. Trump has caved at key moments often enought that chinese hardliners knew he would do the same on trade. With no real strategy Trump's fumbling on trade with China has gained us nothing on the important issues like theft of intellectual property all at significant cost to the U.S. economy. The U.K. was slow to join the E.U. because of pride. They joined when the realized they had to to save their economy. They will be forced to join again when they realize they are isolated from the rest of the world. Trump really did nothing either way. Russian interference in the Brexit referendum did much more.

  184. @JS He shamed the NATO member nations into paying a greater share of the costs of the organization. He got Mexico to help in curbing illegal immigration. He has confronted China in running over us where no one else has ever had the courage to do so. He has supported the UK in their desire to leave the EU. Unfortunately the media hides these successes.

  185. No amount of negotiating will ever cause the North Koreans to give up their nuclear program. Past experience with the USA by Qaddafi in Libya proves the point. Qaddafi gave up his nuclear program. And when he went to put down a domestic uprising, the United States (Obama and Hillary) decided that they were going to protect the rebels. Well, the protection turned out to be air cover that tilted the table to allow the "rebels" to win. Qaddafi had to hide in a sewer pipe, and when caught by the rebels, was brutally killed. And the "rebels" turned out to be worse than Qaddafi. There is no need to repeat the full story. If Qaddafi had retained some nuclear capability, we would not have taken military action against him. But he had no such capability any more, so the USA felt free. Don't think that any of this was lost on Kim, or any other international despot. Would a sea urchin voluntarily shed its spines? Not one that wanted to survive.

  186. @RM: Don't let the fact that Qaddafi's militia of foreigners were expected to cause a vast boat-lift of Libyans to Europe complicate your strategic thinking.

  187. Another day in the obvious unfolding disastrous fact of the Trump presidency, and how a third of the country refuses to see, or are incapable of seeing, what is happening. From the day of his golden escalator debut, his has been a fool's errand in every category. He gave the filthy rich a big payday, gutted long standing environmental regulations, and put two neo-conservatives on the SCOTUS. That summarizes his presidency. After three years of chaos the rest of the world is picking up the pieces. With McConnell and his lock-step Republican Senate who have turned over their souls to him, we can only hope and pray as we mourn. We have no other choice.

  188. @Oisin You left out that he has driven unemployment to the lowest level in 50 years. The third of the country that you reference have had stagnant wages for decades and unrelenting competition from legal and illegal immigrants. Stop being so condescending towards your neglected fellow citizens!

  189. The NK's are ramping up the pressure because they want money. That's what they always want. Their economy is garbage. Almost no one buys from them. Meanwhile they import energy and other costly, vital essentials. I might grant them money. It's cheaper and less deadly to help them out economically than fight with them. In exchange I'd expect them to hand over their weaponry. Let's get this niggling annoyance over, once and for all.

  190. @MIKEinNYC: At best, building nuclear weapons is a completely unproductive activity.

  191. There is the niggling issue of tens of thousands being tortured or killed in prisons. I am sure money can fix that, too.

  192. @MIKEinNYC You are applying your ideology to the NK government and Kim....it really doesn't work that way.

  193. Trump must publicly tweet a final warning to Kim that if he dares a long range test, we will send troops to instigate a brazen and overt revolt by his people. And, our troops will make him glow -- in person and literally. I don't think China or our allies will mind. China has bigger economic problems to worry about. Macron and Trudeau have smaller concerns like pranks and snickering.

  194. It’s not just Trump’s “diplomacy” that fizzles.

  195. Kim played trump like a fiddle. He cozied up, flattered his ego, and all the while kept building his arsenal unabated. Now Kim can make demands of the US president and expect to be treated on equal footing. trump has sold our country down the river and we are now at the whims of a third world nuclear regime.

  196. @CP: How did the US get stuck in this when Korea lies between China, Russia, and Japan? I doubt North Korean military planners intend to nuke South Korea.

  197. Trump has been played by Kim Jung Un, just as he has been played by Vladimir Putin, Xi Xinpeng, and Recep Erdogan. He has no foreign policy and is incapable of engaging in diplomacy. He has damaged our country's standing in the world nearly beyond repair.

  198. The facts are trump gave NK and we got nothing in return. Is that the definition of winning?

  199. I recall Soviet agents post Cold War saying they were stunned the US ever considered not installing missiles in Europe and that US peace overtures were a waste of time because it never was going to come to terms. For the US not to have obliterated NK nuclear sites in the 90's when we had the chance is unforgivable. No nuclear state needs to negotiate. China needed the US to develop and would have done nothing to stop us. We'd have been doing it a favor putting its client state back on a leash. The warning would've been if it shot a missile to the South we would attack its capital. Now all we can do is hope to contain and surround nuclear NK in a colossal waste of resources. It knows it cannot use the weapons but it can use them to blackmail the world for economic benefit. Welcome to appeasement. Trump assumed minimal appeasement would work but NK is a big time blackmailer.

  200. @AG I do not believe that it will be possible to contain or to deter NK, now that it has a noteworthy arsenal of nuclear missiles which can destroy SK, Japan, Guam, and soon the continental US. When push comes to shove, NK will threaten all kinds of provocations (including asymmetrical warfare and WMD proliferation) to compel the US to lift sanctions, then to withdraw from SK. The most likely outcome will be the relaxation and eventual abandonment of sanctions over time, plus a US military withdrawal from SK and de-facto termination of the US/SK defensive alliance. Both SK and Japan will need to acquire their own independent nuclear missiles. The catastrophe began no later than 1994 under the Clinton Administration (if not sooner with Bush I). The US was unwilling to go to war then, and much less so today. Surrender is so much easier than war, especially when the "targets" of NK aggression are SK and Japan, not the US. Here is the proof: the US is reportedly unwilling to shoot down NK ICBMs in flight (which it has an absolute right to do, especially if they threaten the US or its allies), let alone to destroy them on the launchpad. The reason: too great of risk of triggering yet more severe NK provocations, or outright war. This is what happens when your goal is PEACE AT ANY COST.

  201. @AG: ... and Patton didn't want WW II to end before his tanks took Kamchatka.

  202. There was no diplomacy at all on the part of Trump in dealing with North Korea except to present himself in the company of a brutal dictator however isolated and disliked he may be in the world. It was Trump who lent legitimacy of sorts to the North Korean leader.

  203. Every expert said it wouldn’t work so they got rid of the experts. My kids will be sitting out Korean War II but I’m sure trump supporters are ready to pitch in.

  204. So much for Trump's Nobel Peace Prize. It's been a bad week. But, on the bright side for Kim Jung un, he got Trump to raise is country on the World stage to the level of the United States. And he gave nothing in return. The least that he could do is to announce (but not pursue) an investigation of Joe Biden.

  205. You guess trump will turn to his allies. It will be interesting to see what level of support he gets from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Phillipines, Israel and possibly Turkey.

  206. There is no there there, there never was, and there never will be. North Korea never / never had any intention of compromising on its missile or nuclear programs. It made that clear numerous times in its official state-controlled publications. We just weren't reading / listening. As for the "Christmas gift": North Korea will not harm militarily the US or our allies, because it is not willing to risk what might well be a disproportionate response. Kim Jong Un is surrounded by old military men -- they almost always appear in photos with him -- who have seen war and do not want to re-experience it. This will all go down in history as one more unproductive US attempt to tame a rogue regime.

  207. @Jgarbuz I disagree. Peace treaties with the US do not guarantee an attack from China, Japan, or another nation state. I'm not saying such an attack is likely, but the North Koreans will want to be prepared for any scenario.

  208. @David H Should there be danger to the US, we can feel sure that Mr. Trump will consult his dear friend Putin as to how the US should respond....

  209. Why would this failure be a surprise. Trumps mafia style of diplomacy has in his 3 years delivered disaster after disaster with more to come and one of them could end up to be disastrous for our country. But what do his followers care about our country as they blindly trust their a man who after multiple bankruptcies is now fast on his way to add America to his list of failed businesses.

  210. December 21, 2019 How good of Kim Jong-un to add to Trump's diplomatic agenda in response to the weapon testing. As well Trump is dealing with both Nancy Pelosi congressional politicking and Jong un fire making for perfect opportunity to engage in reality governing for a happy great times.

  211. @Jgarbuz "Now if Schumer called for a peace treaty with North Korea, and if Pelosi offered a peace treaty to Trump, maybe the wars could end." That is the job of your State Department, which would be Mike Pompeo. Nothing to do with Schiff and Pelosi. Read up on your own government before making foolish statements like this.

  212. Trump has made a number of enemies with his ham-handed handling of diplomacy. Any nation, if you are listening: feel free to interfere with his re-election attempt. He said it was fine.

  213. It’s disappointing that many people are using this to bash Trump. What specifically could any president do to stop NK’s drive for nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles? Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama all failed with their strategies. Now it looks like Trump will have failed with his attempt at peace. Perhaps we should just accept that there is no strategy to stop NK from having nuclear weapons and delivery systems, because rightly or wrongly, they really, really, really want them. What is the benefit of Trump’s attempts at peace? Even in failure, it at least shows the world, and especially South Korea, that the U.S. sought a peaceful solution. That alone is a victory. What was lost in Trump’s attempts at peace? Nothing. The U.S. is still militarily engaged in SK and Japan. Maximum sanctions remained in place throughout. Some people are so blinded by hatred for Trump, that they can no longer think clearly. Sadly, such people are just weakening the U.S.

  214. @John The only thing Trump "lost in his attempt at peace" was the cover of TIME magazine.

  215. @John: What good has it done for the US? Cleaning up Hanford Reservation alone is expected to run past $6 trillion.

  216. John, Trump announced that the nuclear threat was over after the meeting in Hanoi. Kim saw he could take advantage of a man who was only interested in photo-ops and declarations of victory not substantive progress in limiting their program. He ended military exercises without receiving anything in return. Trump has earned this criticism by his horrendous manner of negotiation.

  217. Photo ops are not diplomacy. Trump has neither the intellect, character, or integrity necessary for foreign policy.

  218. Is it too much to hope for a missile defense like the one Ronald Reagan mused about, a "star wars" interceptor of sorts? I used to think that with the passage of time, something like that was made possible, but if it was I am now sure that Trump has told pals Kim and Vladimir about it and how to avoid it, jus, you know, among friends.

  219. Should we be surprised Trump's diplomacy fizzled? The man is the least diplomatic leader on earth.

  220. The only thing to save this is for Biden to be the next President and to have President Obama appointed as special negotiator with outlier regimes like this one. He has a successful track record with the Iran nuclear deal and perhaps the most honest Administration in American history. Integrety matters.

  221. @Ernest Ciambarella Bin's son has good relationship with China State Owned Corp

  222. I will wait with interest to see how our President frames this in order to claim another great success due to his great friendship with Kim Jong-un. Or, perhaps it will be time for him to pivot back to threatening destruction and warning about using his big button on his White House desk that will start a nuclear war. I think the first option is by far the better one. In any case, no one else has been able to solve the North Korean problems.

  223. It’s a little late now, but in retrospect we should have made clear to NK that there would be very serious consequences before they first tested a hydrogen bomb or an ICBM. The Russians should also have paid a price for facilitating the transfer of Ukrainian missile technology to NK.

  224. @Michael Tyndall Consequences like what? Are we going to starve the common people of North Korea? Does Kim Jong-un appear to be suffering from the sanctions? Or maybe we can start and lose another ground war with them. I mean, look how successful that's been in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, and North Korea...

  225. @Michael Tyndall Going back further, it would seem that perhaps MacArthur was right.

  226. The official policy of the previous administration was "Strategic Patience" but you call Trump's effort a 'diplomatic vacuum'? Really? NK is trying to gain concessions Trump doesn't want to give so no progress has been made. We just might shoot this missile down, or maybe its time for a bloody nose. Kind of sad what side its clear some are on here.

  227. @GregP on the side of success. Trump is on the side of great failure. His making, not ours

  228. Fuggedabout Trump's bromance with Kim Jong-un and let's see if Kim is testing his ICBMs that can reach our shores. Another Christmas gift Donald Trump needs? Our American dotard president already has too much on his plate this holiday season and is nursing his battered ego here in Palm Beach right now. No recent declarations of warmth and love in the icy reality of Trump's and Kim's former fire and fury relationship. Still some festive hope is hanging on the colorful peace ribbons near the DMZ between South and North Korea today. Hope fluttering in the cold breeze like prayer flags in the Himalayas. Hey, this isn't the first time our impeached president has been wrong! Things haven't worked out the way either leader had hoped in their promises to break the deadlock on the Korean peninsula. What's lurking in Donald Trump's and Kim Jong-un's futures? Kim won't be deposed from his absolute dictator's throne any time soon.

  229. It is ‘better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.

  230. Diplomacy, what diplomacy?

  231. Wait. You mean our stable genius who believes in photo op diplomacy hasn’t brought Kim to heel? Trump would certainly sell out his own country for luxury beach condo developments (or maybe a billion dollar Trump Tower in Moscow), so why hasn’t Kim? Maybe the secret foreign policy advice Trump gets from Putin isn’t really in our best interest. Maybe Putin actually wants us to fail on the Korean Peninsula, in Syria, in Ukraine, and essentially everywhere. Maybe Putin wants us divided at home and neutered abroad. Maybe Trump was duped about Ukrainian interference in our 2016 election just as he’s been duped about how best to engage with North Korea. But at some point you have to wonder if our impeached president, aka IMPOTUS, is a willing accomplice doing exactly as a malign foreign power intends.

  232. i hear the new missile is extremely evasive and doubles down. they're calling it the "Donald."

  233. Kim turns the lights off each night and now it seems it's lights out for Trump's "diplomacy".

  234. In spite of his talk and his tweeting Trump’s flirtation with Kim seems fleeting Kim will start up testing And I doubt he’s jesting So much for granting him a meeting

  235. Rather disconcerting to note that the ace cadre of dedicated, heroic, patriotic Foreign Service Officers haven’t rushed through regular channels to deal with North Korea. They must be otherwise occupied?

  236. @J Brian What an absurd comment. Our diplomats execute the official policy of our country. That policy is set by the president. In Ukraine Trump sent Giuliani to conduct a clandestine policy while our diplomats tried to execute our official policy. Trump could have changed the official policy but he didn't. Are you capable of wondering why? BTW we don't have diplomatic relations with North Korea so there's literally no way for our diplomats to rush or even mosey through regular channels. But I am speaking of reality which means nothing to you Trump Cultists. Reality TV is not reality.

  237. Trump is and ever will be All Hat and No Cattle. Kim Jung Un is No Hat and All Cattle and he needs to give us a taste. He just wants recognition. Sadly, there's just too much else going on in the World right now.

  238. This is really about Dictators Xi and Putin pulling the strings to try to pressure Trump. After all, N Korean is but a client state. The US has many ways to push back including a full blockade, crushing cyber-attacks, full scale leafleting of NK, and propaganda against itsy-bitsy Kim.

  239. When will politicians learn that you can't reason with terrorist regimes. Let Kim have his missile test. It's meaningless. The understanding is that if he uses live ammunition threatening an ally, then he and his country will be nuked to dust. With that threat over him, Kin Jong Un will do nothing beyond firing inert missiles into the ocean.

  240. @MJG If we nuke North Korea to dust how many South Koreans, Chinese and Japanese will die from the radioactivity? And how many nuclear armed missiles will they manage to launch? Perhaps if they keep testing they'll have one that can reach Valley Stream. You say we can't reason with them but you assume they'll be rational enough not to start a war which they would lose. The chance of a North Korean attack is low to be sure but a situation could arise which would make if far more likely. If our sanctions provoke unrest there who knows what Kim might do. It's not an easy problem. I wouldn't criticize Trump for not solving it, no president has been able to. I do criticize him for so valuing a photo op with Kim that he gave Kim leverage.

  241. @Jack Toner North Korea is so backwards and poverty-stricken that they will never have the ability to strike the US, despite the pablum the media feeds us. Let them fire missiles into the ocean with abandon, with the understanding that even one live missile fired at an ally triggers their nuclear annihilation. Tactical nukes will have less radioactive fallout on our allies than Hiroshima did. I could care less about China. You dance with the devil then you love with the consequences. And if all North Koreans are destroyed, then sorry to hear it. Better them than our friends.

  242. To be honest, my cat when dealing with birds and dogs is more of a diplomat than Trump could ever hope to be.

  243. The NYT seems happy to report that Trump has failed to correct a problem that has been festering and started back in 1950 and has continued to this day. Each President after the Korean war ended almost 70 years ago has failed in their efforts to stop North Korea from becoming more of a menace. This entire mess should have been stopped when the US was the World’s only nation with atomic weapons. I was a child when General MacArthur was fired for insubordination during the Korean War, but I do recall we were given a day off from school to honor his service. today people try to re-write history, but the reality is that if we got it done then it wouldn't still be here today. Today there are two Asian countries that give us the most problems. North Korea and China. It did not have to be that way and is not Trump's fault. He at least is trying where all the Presidents before him since the end of the Korean War failed to even speak to North Korea to try to settle things.

  244. @NYChap If only Truman had let MacArthur start WWIII. Trump claimed great diplomatic progress but there was none. And of course we did negotiate with North Korea in the past, we just didn't reward Kim with a summit.

  245. Amazing that most people commenting have nothing but blame & hate towards Trump. One reply states it all that the North Korea situation has been going on for 30 years and if anyone is to blame, go back to the Clinton administration when he gave authorization allowing N. Korea to go nuclear. Check out who the deputy under secretary of state was and fast forward to Iran. You can’t make this stuff up but yet, by all means lets blame Trump.

  246. @Linc Maguire we don't blame him at all. After all, he has achieved great success at being a failure.

  247. @Linc Maguire Authorization? You Trump folks sure like to make things up. For the record no one authorized North Korea. They decided they didn't need any such authorization. They negotiated in bad faith for relief from sanctions. We realized their bad faith but still sanctions did not get the job done. It's not that Trump didn't succeed--it's a very difficult problem. It's that his approach was all about getting photo ops and cheap publicity and apparently he didn't realize that he was giving Kim leverage. Leverage which he is now trying to use.

  248. @Linc Maguire I blame Trump for his arrogant dismissal of previous efforts and his grandiose claims that he could settle the issue with photo ops but no homework. Respect for the complexity of the problem is essential. A hollow man with empty policies and predictable results,.

  249. Fizzles? When was there a time when anything was a possibility with The leader of North Korea. I totally missed that. A headline in search of some facts. No, maybe click bate? However, this, North Korea, may be a good example of what happens to a country when military might becomes paramount to the prosperity or well being of its people.

  250. Donald Trump is as believable in his expertise in diplomacy as the tooth fairy is to those over 10 years old. With apologies to astute nine nine year olds!

  251. The simple (and cheapest) solution to the Kim Dynasty costs 35 cents, and takes one millisecond to execute. The trick is getting the gunman close enough to do the deed. Later, when the cameras show us how the DPRK's Auschwitzs and Dachaus operated (before Korea reunited) and the world, once again, thanks the brave liberators, we can let the back benchers debate why it took 70 years to end this horror show.

  252. @Dr. Tim Dosemagen Do you suggest that the zone be flooded with assassins rather than send soldiers or missiles? Sounds like an idea to be considered.

  253. @Dr. Tim Dosemagen Will you be the first to volunteer to volunteer for this act of brave liberation? Sounds like the sort of plan 'backbenchers' would dream up.

  254. @Dr. Tim Dosemagen Great movie script! My recollection is that this did not work with Hitler, so I don't expect it to work here either.

  255. As long as NK does not fire a nuclear missile, Trump diplomacy is doing fine. Trump has not given anything to NK and he should even though NK is unlikely to give up it nuclear program. The rockets are the security for the rocket man. What happened to Libya's Gadhaffi for giving up the nuclear program is best said by Ms Hillary Clinton and I quote "We saw, we came and he died" and then when 4 brave Americans died in an embassy in Benghazi she said in the investigation "What difference does it make" What I cannot understand is why there are so many Democrats still hate with Trump for defeating their darling in a free and fair Democratic exercise called elections. Trumps endeavors and efforts in giving Kim a lot of time has helped in improved relations with South Korea, release of hostages and release of remains and de-escalation of tensions. It was certainly not a fruitless useless effort unlike the stupid baseless partisan impeachment sham of the Speaker Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler. I expect Trump in 2020 will have another meaningful meeting with Kim where he will make some humanitarian concessions to NK and gift NK with agri products.

  256. @Girish Kotwal I expect Trump in 2020 will have another meaningful meeting with Kim where he will make some humanitarian concessions to NK and gift NK with agri products. Please remove the rose colored glasses.

  257. @Girish Kotwal you make it sound like Trump has some strategy for NK, when I reality he does not. Going over there and shaking hands is not a strategy.