North Korea

Trump Saves Pompeo From Another Embarrassment

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to visit North Korea next week where he would once again try to persuade Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear weapons. You know, the weapons that Kim supposedly agreed to give up when he signed a meaningless piece of paper with Pompeo's boss. But Trump has canceled Pompeo's trip.

Pompeo's last trip to North Korea did not go well, with officials giving him the run-around and never allowing him to meet Kim Jong-un who was busy visiting a potato farm, and Trump now says Pompeo shouldn't visit North Korea because they haven't made enough progress.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he had canceled a planned trip to North Korea by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying progress toward the U.S. goal of a denuclearization of the Korean peninsula was too slow.

“I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Trump said on Twitter.

It's not clear how calling off Pompeo's trip is suppose to lead to more progress, but I think Trump is playing a different game here and has no particular concern for wasting Pompeo's time.

It looks like Trump is making another futile attempt to blame China for his own failure.


Trade war or not, North Korea is never going to give up their nuclear weapons.

Trump getting owned by Kim Jong-un actually predates the bulk of Trump's trade war which saw the largest amount of tariffs imposed in July following Trump's meeting with Kim Jong-un the month before. So it's not as if things were going well before Trump decided to throw a monkey in the wrench by waging a trade war with North Korea's closest trading partner.

There's some evidence that China (and Russia) has eased enforcement of sanctions on North Korea, but Trump made that possible. He did that.

Trump declared victory and told the world that North Korea is "no longer a nuclear threat." And the rest of the world knew that was bullshit, but why not take Trump at his word anyway? It would be foolish not to. Why shouldn't they resume trading with North Korea if Trump says everything is great?

If it were anyone else, Trump would be lashing out with the typical, childish insults we've come to expect from him, but Trump has a twisted affinity for dictators that compels him to send his "warmest regards and respect" to the man who owned him.

Our "trading relationship" with China will never be "resolved" on Trump's terms so Mike Pompeo can rest easy knowing that he'll probably never be called on to visit North Korea again.

I think it's actually more likely that Pompeo will be out of office before Trump gives up his trade war.

  • muselet

    China has always just wanted to keep large numbers of North Koreans from flooding across its border. As long as that doesn’t happen, China’s been content to let North Korea do more or less whatever it pleases.

    Chinese leaders have long prided themselves on taking a long view of international relations. They know Donald Trump won’t be president forever, so they’ll wait him out, even if that means another fifty rounds of tit-for-tat retaliatory tariffs.

    I miss intelligent presidents.

    –alopecia

    • KanaW

      “I miss intelligent presidents.”

      Me, too. 🙁

      Isn’t it interesting that the last two intelligent presidents have been Democrats, and the last two stupid presidents have been Republicans? That should raise red flags with everyone, but sadly will not.

      • Draxiar

        We can apply the same metrics to deficits too. They go up with Republicans and go down with Democrats.

        • KanaW

          Very true. And sadly, the Republicans only care about deficits when the Democrats are in the majority. It makes my blood boil.

    • They also want a buffer zone between China and any American allies.