Trump held a surprise meeting with Kim Jong-un at the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea over the weekend where he shook hands with and praised the dictator for no particular reason at all.
Publicly, the United States and North Korea have not retreated from their rhetorical positions, but the New York Times reported that the Trump regime is leaning toward the idea of recognizing North Korea as a legitimate nuclear power.
Now, as you might have imagined, that came as a surprise to National Security Adviser John Bolton; a man who is clearly in deep denial.
Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, dismissed a report in The New York Times on Monday that Washington is seeking to soften its approach, floating an idea of accepting a nuclear freeze - instead of complete dismantlement - and giving tacit recognition that North Korea is a nuclear state.
“I read this NYT story with curiosity,” Bolton said in a tweet. “Neither the [National Security Council] staff nor I have discussed or heard of any desire to ‘settle for a nuclear freeze by NK.’ This was a reprehensible attempt by someone to box in the President. There should be consequences.”
Bolton did not even accompany Trump to the demilitarized zone. Bolton was shipped off to Mongolia for whatever reason.
The idea that Trump ultimately cares what Bolton or the National Security Council thinks would be hilarious if the consequences of Trump's fleeting whims were less severe.
Trump probably understands that making a substantive and equitable deal with North Korea is virtually impossible and it shouldn't surprise anyone in the least if he decides to change course and moved toward legitimizing the North.
In many ways, Trump has already legitimized and normalized North Korea and their leader Kim Jong-un. All that remains is to make it formal. And if that happens, Kim Jong-un will have gotten everything he could have ever wished for and more.