While Donald Trump has pointed to his interactions with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un as one of the major diplomatic successes of his presidency, the reality is that outside of some ego-boosting photo-ops the United States has little to show for Trump’s special relationship with “Rocket Man,” as he calls the man with whom he claims to have fallen in love.
Despite all of Trump’s boasting about the importance of the personal relationship that he has with Kim, The Washington Post reports that North Korea had conducted a “very important test” at a rocket launch site, that “paves the way for North Korea to launch a satellite or intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) around the end of this year, experts said, fulfilling a threat to give the United States an unwelcome “Christmas gift.”
The bellicose move comes just days after North Korea reprimanded Trump for reviving the “Rocket Man” nickname for their revered leader and threatened to revive the war of words that saw Chairman Kim label Trump as a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”
“If any language and expressions stoking the atmosphere of confrontation are used once again on purpose at a crucial moment as now, that must really be diagnosed as the relapse of the dotage of a dotard,” Choe Son Hui, the first vice-minister of Foreign Affairs for North Korea, said in response to Trump’s latest comments reserving the right to use military force against her country.
While the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is the golden ring of Trump’s attempts to reset America’s relationship with the diplomatically sanctioned North Asian country, the president suffered another setback that proved the futility of his efforts to date when Kim Song, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, said yesterday that denuclearization is no longer on the negotiating table without major concessions from the U.S. and that lengthy discussions with Washington are not needed.
One would think that each of these recent developments would lead the president to adjust his strategy in his dealings with his supposedly bosom buddy who wrote him such “beautiful letters.”
Yet Trump instead announced this morning via Twitter that he finds it inconceivable that Supreme Leader Kim would “void his special relationship with the President of the United States” by engaging in active hostilities.
….with the U.S. Presidential Election in November. North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, has tremendous economic potential, but it must denuclearize as promised. NATO, China, Russia, Japan, and the entire world is unified on this issue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2019
Trump’s irrational trust in his personal magnetism as the glue that holds the prospective bonds between the two nations is a sign of both his unparalleled narcissism and his diplomatic naivety as a president in so far over his head that he’s likely to discover sea monsters in the murky depths he’s reached.
By defying decades of American policy that specified that no North Korean leader would be afforded the privilege of meeting an American president without meeting a series of carefully negotiated preconditions, Trump has allowed himself — and subsequently the nation — to be played by Kim Jong Un like a fiddle.
Trump is so eager to be seen as the bold iconoclast — destroying the “deep state” infrastructure that helped govern U.S. foreign policy for decades of relative peace in Asia and trying to gain praise and a Nobel Peace Prize for finally bringing a formal end to the Korean war that has been simmering at the armistice level for many years — that he ignores the fact that his strategy has failed and that North Korea is just inches away from being able to launch a nuclear attack on the continental United States.
If the fact that Trump’s narcissism could lead our country into a nuclear holocaust isn’t enough reason on its own to convince Republicans to join Democrats in working to remove him from office, then it’s likely that no amount of evidence of his crimes in the Ukraine scandal ever will. That partisanship has now clouded the GOP’s minds when national security is at stake is one more reason to vote every Republican out of office next year.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.