A North Korean statement Saturday seemed to call into question progress purportedly made during Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent trip to capital city Pyongyang.
“Seemed” is a bit of an understatement.
And “bit” is a bit of an understatement.
Pompeo’s two days of dialogue with NK ended Saturday, with the Secretary telling reporters the following day, “The road ahead will be difficult and challenging and we know that critics will try to minimize the work that we’ve achieved.”
Minimizing it is being made easy, courtesy of North Korea’s rejection of unilateral disarmament. Here’s another Sunday statement for ya:
“The US is fatally mistaken if it went to the extent of regarding that the DPRK would be compelled to accept, out of its patience, demands reflecting its gangster-like mindset.”
I suppose “progress” is a relative concept.
Things appeared to be looking up, after President Trump’s historic meeting with dictator Kim Jong-un in Singapore last month (please read about that incredible soap operatic chain of events here, here, here, here, here, and here). Yet, as of the weekend, cuddles between Kim and The Donald seemed unlikely any time soon.
I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake. We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea. China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade-Hope Not!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2018
In the statement, NK pointed to its destruction of a nuclear site, saying the U.S. had failed to give anything of value in return and calling Trump’s order to stop joint U.S./South Korean war games “highly reversible” and largely for show. Furthermore, no attempt had been made, they lamented, to formally end the Korean War of 1953 (related to that, please read my story on the remains of Korean soldiers returning home here). There was also this insult:
“We thought that the US side would come with a constructive proposal which accords with the spirit of the DPRK-US summit meeting and talks. But this expectation and hope of ours were so naive as to be gullible.”
Between these statements and Dennis Rodman’s description of Kim Jong-un’s inability to find people he can trust (I consider it a veritable must-read, here), North Korea sounds like a very high-maintenance lover who perpetually feels taken advantage of.
Nevertheless, Pompeo stuck to his guns (perhaps a bad choice of words, concerning peace talks):
“These are complicated issues, but we made progress on almost all of the central issues, some places a great deal of progress, other places there’s still more work to be done.”
Moreover, responding specifically to the North Korea comment, Pompeo had this to say:
“If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster.”
And as for this weekend:
“We had detailed, substantive conversations about the next steps toward a fully verified and complete denuclearization.”
Okay — detailed talks. But do those details include the fact that they aren’t going to do it?
Even the slightest look at North Korea’s back-and-forth with other countries betrays the fact that they are ruled by a dictator. The temperamental uncertainty of everything is a dead giveaway. Which begs the question: can we really ever trust a dictator? The answer to that question, despite the confidence of Mike Pompeo — and the President — may be “no.”
What do you think of this latest development? Please sound off in the Comments section.
For a more well-rounded understanding of this story, please explore the links above in the article.
Also, here’s my write-up on Donald and Kim’s potential resort vacay.
For something completely different, check out my piece on the end of Miss America.
Find all my RedState work here.