North Korea

Trump May Have Given Up More Than We Know

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The vague, one-page document Trump and Kim Jong-un signed does not commit the United States to lifting sanctions on North Korea, but North Korean state media claims Trump told Kim that he will lift sanctions.

From Bloomberg:

The report from the Korean Central News Agency, which was published after Kim returned home from his meeting, noted Trump’s vow to suspend U.S. military drills in South Korea. It also said Trump committed to unspecified “security guarantees” for Pyongyang, and to “lift sanctions against it.” [...]

Trump said sanctions would stay, at least until the isolated nation moved to give up its nuclear arsenal. But there have been slight differences in recent comments among senior U.S. officials as to whether that means North Korea must first complete denuclearization -- and have it verified -- or if some goodwill steps would be enough.

Now, this is North Korean state media so we can't be certain if what they say is true, but this certainly rings true, doesn't it?

The fact is we don't know know what Trump and Kim said to each other during a short period of time when they were only accompanied by their translators. And, for his part, Trump has a documented habit of blurting things out (including classified information) when he meets face-to-face with dictators he admires.

Moreover, Trump tweeted this morning that North Korea is "no longer a nuclear threat" even though Kim Jong-un hasn't given up anything.

With Trump declaring that North Korea is no longer a threat, it's only a matter of time before he calls for lifting economic sanctions and possibly even withdrawing American forces from South Korea.

And Kim Jong-un will keep his nukes.

There is another threat here and that's the possibility that Trump will eventually realize he's getting nothing and will attempt to reassert dominance over North Korea with another threat of "fire and fury." Who knows what Trump will do if he suddenly feels like he's been humiliated in front of the entire world?

What North Korean state media is telling their citizens is significant in itself, even if Trump didn't pledge to lift sanctions, because there was no mention of giving up their nuclear weapons.

  • How would they even know what they agreed to when there are NO FUCKING RECORDINGS OR EVEN NOTES taken during their meeting?

    What kind of stupid, insecure asshole has such an important meeting and doesn’t have people there recording what was said/promised/agreed to?!?

    (We all know the answer.)

    • katanahamon

      Oh, there were recordings..NK recordings..

  • Badgerite

    North Korea never was a nuclear threat because of the assured US response that would follow any attempt to strike the US that was made by them. trump was the threat. He created it. And he removed it as part of his con. He is surrendering the region to China and the Korean Peninsula to Kim Jung Un. North Korea will not disarm and if the US withdraws all forces South Korea will be very vulnerable to a North Korean invasion and take over. trump is trying to create the impression that that would be a good thing because at least there isn’t a nuclear exchange involved. If this behavior continues on the part of the US at some point Japan is going to consider arming itself with nuclear weapons. As will others who have relied on a world order based on the US being an active participant in the world ensuring that order.

  • muselet

    I see two possible explanations for this, neither of them good.

    1) Kim Jong-un is setting the stage for abandoning the agreement with Donald Trump. If Trump denies committing to either security guarantees or the lifting of sanctions, Kim will claim the US negotiated in bad faith, noisily repudiate the agreement and redouble North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Kim gets everything he wanted: the appearance of international legitimacy wihtout making any meaningful concessions, plus he gets to make the US look foolish.

    2) Trump really did commit to security guarantees and to lifing sanctions. Kim gets everything he could have dreamt of without making any meaningful concessions.

    Either way, this story will pop up again and again as long as Trump is president.