Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was traveling to North Korea, to meet with kim jung-un. But that meeting has been canceled.
Excerpted from Emily Shugerman’s article for the UK Independent:
Very interesting, and very telling.
First, of course, is the fact that kim jung-un is not coming across on denuclearization. Is this a surprise? No, not if you have any understanding of kim jung-un – who he is and what his reliability level is likely to be about this or anything else.
As we have discussed in this blog, the value of President Trump’s meeting with kim was that we got our hostages back, we got at least a start to the return of our fallen soldiers from the Korean War, and we got a dialogue started between South and North Korea for the first time since 1953. Denuclearization should always have been a point of maximum skepticism.
But the last paragraph of that excerpt is its most troubling. Is kim jung-un reneging (so far) on denuclearization because he is a liar who never intended to come across in the first place? Or is this being influenced by China – i.e. as long as we put the screws to them on our current, insanely unfair trade tariff situation, China will make it easier for kim not to denuclearize?
Those are more than interesting questions. Those are major ones.
If this is the case, it would mean that when China at least partially folds on trade (which seems inevitable, since with its huge advantage over us in tariffs, they have far more to lose than we do), denuclearization might come along for the ride?
We’ll see. And, given that China has been/will continue to be hurt dramatically more by a trade war than us (its stock market has dropped through a trap door), I doubt it will take much longer.