President Trump is right to try to pursue diplomacy with Kim Jong-un, and to meet with him personally.
It’s typical that Trump does game-changing stuff and everyone objects that he’s breaking protocol by not having deals in hand first. How well has “protocol” worked before? That’s the point of Trump.
But I hope there is more than meets the eye here. What I’ve seen isn’t very much – more promises from North Koreans. That’s very old school. But hopefully there’s a lot we don’t know about.
Either way, Trump should not be weakening the military option. The perception that he would use force is what brought North Korea to the bargaining table. But weaken it is exactly what he did during his press conference Tuesday when he described how horrific a war could be.
Question: Thank you, Mr. President. Could you talk about the military consequences for North Korea if they don’t follow through on the commitments that you’re talking about? Could there be military action?
Trump: Well, I don’t want to talk. Yeah, I know. That’s a tough thing to talk about because I don’t want to be threatening. I don’t want to be threatening. They understood that. And you’ve seen what was, perhaps, going to happen.
And you know, Seoul has 28 million people. We think we have big cities. Seoul has 28 million people. We think we have big cities. You look at New York, where it has 8 million people. We think it’s a big city. Seoul has 28 million people. Think of that. And it’s right next to the border. It’s right next to the DMZ. It’s right there. I mean, if this would have happened, I think — you know, I’ve heard, oh, a hundred-thousand people. I think you could have lost 20 million people, 30 million people. This is really an honor for me to be doing this because I think, you know, potentially, you could have lost, you know, 30-, 40-, 50 million people. The city of Seoul, one of the biggest cities in the world, is right next to the border.
Mr. President, don’t get carried away by the effect you think you are having on Kim. You have done the right thing by meeting with him. But he is a venomous snake who runs concentration camps and kills his own brother and uncle. His goal is to keep his nuclear weapons and to unite the Koreas under his rule.
I suspect Trump understands that and is doing “art of the deal” stuff by entering a phase where he pretends Kim is his best buddy. But he still has to send the right signals, and horror of war isn’t one of them.