Foreign Policy

The North Korea Meeting is Canceled

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump announced this morning that he has canceled his upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In an awkward Dear John letter, Trump says Kim should "not hesitate to call" him for pillow talk.

Now that this charade is at an end, I want to revisit how it started because Trump's letter includes a demonstrable lie.

This began when Trump summoned South Korea's national security adviser Chung Eui-yong to the White House on a whim and asked him to arrange a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un. Mister Chung then held an awkward, late-night briefing at the White House to announce the meeting. Trump did no advance work or preparation for a meeting, and did not set any preconditions, when he extended the offer.

The South Koreans stuck their necks out and invited Kim Jong Un into their country first to set up the future meeting which Trump has now canceled and thrown back in their faces.

I'm not an expert, but my impression is that going through with this meeting could have been worse than canceling it, but the meeting never should have been agreed to in the first place.

Trump's decision to cancel the meeting will push China back toward North Korea and could destabilize our relationship with South Korea. Trump will have less than nothing to show for it in any case because he agreed to a meeting with Kim Jong Un with no concessions or pre-conditions.

From the beginning, Trump made it obvious that he wanted to meet more than anyone else did for purely political reasons (Nobel! Nobel!) and that now allows his foreign critics to take the high ground.

Speaking of which, Iranian officials must have smiles on their faces today. Trump just handed them a win and they weren't even involved.

  • Badgerite

    South Korea is being put in the position of those people who invested in trump’s casino businesses that predictably went bankrupt. Dear Mr. Chairman? Seriously.

  • KanaW

    Jeebus, that letter sounded like a 16 year old girl breaking up with her boyfriend.

    • ninjaf

      To me, it sounded like when a kid writes themselves a doctor’s note for school and tries to sound like a “parent” so that the office staff will buy it as legit.

      • KanaW


      • Draxiar

        Signed, Epstein’s Mother

  • “long-planned”?? It was like what, two months? He can’t tell the truth EVER.

    • ninjaf

      In his gnat-like attention span, that is a VERY long time.

  • Badgerite

    I was wondering, now that the flake-in-chief ( see the ‘art of the deal’) has canceled the summit that was going to make North Korea ‘great again’, is the ‘Supreme Leader’ commemorative coin available for purchase on Amazon?
    Kim Jung Un was never going to give up his nuclear capability. There is only one reason he developed it in the first place and that is to up the cost for the United States if and when he invades (see ‘reunification’) the South. Now, I think that Kim Jung Un has seen the power that it gives him internally with the military, I don’t think he would give them up even if trump agreed to a unilateral withdrawal of US forces from South Korea and trump agreed to open the gates for the inevitable invasion.
    The Korean War started with an invasion from the North.

  • muselet

    The US/North Korea summit was always going to be a spectacular own goal from Donald Trump, no matter whether it happened or not. Kim Jong-un got everything he could possibly have wanted without actually having to spend time in the same room as Trump, and I doubt China will have much interest in helping Trump save face by reining in North Korea.

    Also, Ali Khamenei has issued six demands of the UN and Europe for abiding by the JCPOA, most of which can charitably be described as non-starters. As a result, we can expect to see Iran use its threat to restart its uranium enrichment program to gain more concessions from sane countries.

    The sooner Donald Trump’s stubby-fingered hands are prised off the mechanisms of international diplomacy, the better for all.


    • Badgerite

      It would have been nice if Tillerson had managed to develop some moral concerns about democracy and the necessity for our policies to interface with reality rather than political propaganda before he was inevitably booted to the curb. As a people, we’ll be paying for this stupidity for a long time. John Kerry and President Obama worked hard to achieve that agreement and the GOP has just crapped all over it. Again.
      Just as they did with Bill Clinton and the agreement that was in place with North Korea when Bush and the Neo-cons wormed their way into the Oval Office. The problem is, they never really had or have a Plan B.
      South Park strikes again. The Gnome Underpants Theory of International Diplomacy.