The President cancelling the Korean Summit is a massive, huge, terrible mistake.
Kim Jong-Un (Jong-Un Kim, in Korean) is the same despot today that he was 3 weeks ago. Let’s not accept the false premise that offensive language, harsh, rhetoric, or anything else detailed this effort. Hell, just on the garbage Trump has tweeted, Kim should have never agreed to a meeting.
Unfortunately, that begs the question: was this ever even real from Kim’s side? Maybe, maybe not.
Kim’s actions at the DMZ recently certainly gave me cause for hope, as those small, symbolic actions are very meaningful in that culture.
We must consider the possibility that Kim is smarter than the average bear. It is entirely possible–if not probable–that Kim sought out dischord.
Koreans are very nationalistic, and that isn’t limited by a border (as we witnessed during the most recent Winter Olypmics). Kim making big moves at the DMZ and offering cooperation actually helps him tremendously if his goal is to unite the Peninsula (at least in spirit), making it more difficult to accomplish our goals there.
The reality is that Trump should have never even agreed to meet with Kim. Access to POTUS has immense value and the allocation of that access reflects our values. The reason prior Presidents didnt meet with Kim or his father was because they were withholding something of tremendous value in order to elicit a desired behavior. Even sending Pompeo was far more than the dictator deserved. Far more.
Now, Kim can promote on his domestic propaganda how HE spurned us, thereby strengthening his position by reinforcing his narrative. We effectively have him a win…a big win.
Beyond that, we really should consider just how juvenile and ill-planned this entire thing was.
The Koreans were already making progress on their own, therefore, U.S. involvement was far too premature. We should have let them figure out some details and build up some momentum before jumping in.
This sad, insecure, little man we have in the White House is so desperate for validation and praise that he rushed to judgement, prematurely spiked the football, and even had a challenge coin made on which they referred to Kim by his preferred moniker, “Supreme Leader”. This ridiculous move (both the coin and the moniker) further elevated Kim and actually created the easily avoided opportunity for disruption by even invoking imagery and language.
We had a real chance to reach a “Separate Peace” on the Korean Peninsula and effectively neutralize the most significant military threat to the Western Hemisphere. Instead we have more animosity, more conflict, and created less incentive for Kim to play nice.
I have honestly tried to acknowledge when this President has been effective, but I must state here unequivocally that this is a colossal failure that threatens our very existence.
Although there are literally dozens of unfortunate events over the course of this presidency that I could classify as damaging to our democracy, decency, and mankind, this event may be judged to be the worst.
Our President allowed his ample vanity to rush a process, only to have the fragility of that ego completely wreck a potentially positive outcome.
So, there’s that.