I’m writing this before the President’s trip to Vietnam to meet with North Korean (NK) leaders has happened. The President is on his way, but there is no possibility, none at all, that his putative objective (denuclearization of NK) will be realized.
While there are many interim steps that could be taken on that path, such as a list of what such weapons NK possesses, where they are kept, where they are manufactured, where they are tested, etc. no realistic progress will be made. There are also steps that can be taken to limit or remove the delivery devices and systems (artillery, missiles, aircraft, etc.). These steps, though easier to take (and renege) will not be significantly accomplished either.
Why is that? Let me suggest an analogy. The regime in NK can be seen as a guy in a suit of armor standing up to his neck in a piranha-infested pond. His armor is the possession of effective nuclear weapons.
The ridiculous position we have taken and frequently repeated is that once NK has divested itself of all nuclear weapons (and perhaps delivery systems, although I am not sure about that) then all the political, economic, cultural pressure we and our allies have brought to bear on NK will be relaxed. And, of course, the piranha will then go to work. Now, if you were that guy in the pond, how willing would you be to give up your armor and trust that we and our allies will keep the piranha at bay?
So, what’s all these summit meetings about? Laying the groundwork for successive meetings to discuss the possibility of further meetings to examine how attitudes might be adjusted such that future meetings could work toward a concerted effort to move forward on constructing a framework within which progress might be made to achieve whatever the hell we are talking about?
Or are we just observing the preliminary steps to the building of the new Pyongyang-Trump Tower?
But, I am absolutely sure about this: There will be nuclear weapons in NK, under NK control, next year, the year after that, the year after that, the year after that, and so on. And, if you doubt that, here’s a way to put your money where your mouth is and make some cash as well. I’ll give anyone, anywhere, 10-to1 odds on any bet concerning the voluntary surrender of NK’s nuclear weapons this year, next year, the year after that…
Pick a time frame. I’m an older guy so let’s limit the betting to the next fifteen years or so. Get your money up and let’s talk about an escrow agent.
Since governments can fall, and totalitarian governments tend to fall very quickly when they do go, we’ll make the bet a push if a representative government replaces the oppressive NK regime now in power. But, if one dictator takes over from another in NK, I’m perfectly willing to continue the bet.
So, think about how much you can afford to lose, and bet accordingly.
In the meantime, do you think that if we make reservations in the Pyongyang-Trump Tower now, we could maybe get a discount?