Kim-Trump Summit: Thank God It’s Over

About a week ago, I wondered if Trump would cave to Kim Jong-un at the Hanoi summit. It turns out he did. However, it wasn’t enough to get a “deal,” for which we should all be very grateful.

Prior to the summit, there was widespread concern about what Trump might offer the bloodthirsty tyrant of northern Korea. As it began, we found out (NBC News).

U.S. negotiators are no longer demanding that North Korea agree to disclose a full accounting of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs as part of talks this week between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, according to current and former senior U.S. officials.

The decision to drop, for now, a significant component of a potential nuclear deal suggests a reality that U.S. intelligence assessments have stressed for months is shaping talks as they progress: North Korea does not intend to fully denuclearize, which is the goal Trump set for his talks with Kim.

Negotiations between U.S. and North Korean officials in advance of Trump and Kim’s second summit…have focused heavily on a core component of Pyongyang’s program, the Yongbyon nuclear reactor, officials said.

To be fair, Donald Trump is not the first president to decide a deal with the Kim family is worth jettisoning key priorities in the American interest. In this case, he was merely repeating the mistakes of his three predecessors.

Within hours, however, he ventured into territory none of them dared – and that wasn’t a good thing (NBC).

Kim Jong Un was not responsible for the horrific injuries sustained by American student Otto Warmbier, who died shortly after being released from 17 months of detention in North Korea, President Donald Trump said Thursday.

“Some really bad things happened to Otto — some really, really bad things. But he tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word,” Trump said, referring to the North Korean dictator.

The president added that Kim told him that he “felt very badly about it.”

There’s no way to spin this: that was utterly nonsensical and offensive to the Warmbier family – who made their feelings clear afterwards (NBC).

“We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto,” Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement. “Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.”

The concessions and “lavish praise” were not followed by a codification of surrender, although Trump did cancel a military exercise with South Korea (Fox News via Twitter), likely to make Kim happy.

So while the summit was not the failure it could have been it certainly wasn’t a success. Avoiding a bad deal can be done without any meetings. All one has to do is look at the disastrous proposal from the other side and turn it down. Instead, we got … well, we got the aforementioned – with some added “likes,” if you will, afterwards (Fox News via Matt Gertz).

A few years back, the UN Human Rights Commissioner reported on the regime led by the fellow Trump “likes.” Now, I get the “UN” and “Human Rights” have been hard to say in the same breath sometimes, but this paragraph in the report says it all.

“These crimes against humanity entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation,” the report says, adding that “Crimes against humanity are ongoing in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea because the policies, institutions and patterns of impunity that lie at their heart remain in place.”

Oh, and they developed and produced nuclear weapons despite promising not to do so in 1985 … and in 1994 … and in 2007.

Donald Trump has a horrible blind spot when it comes to tyrants: from Vladimir Putin to Kim Jong-un. The only nice thing to say about his meeting with the latter is that it could have been a lot worse …

… but that was a reason not to have the summit in the first place.