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Kim Jong-un

How nuclear-armed North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is just playing Donald Trump

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2018, 5:12pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2018, 10:28pm

Kim Jong-un has a problem. Time for the hermit kingdom is running out. Never-ending spasms of threatening America with annihilation, and internal starvation, are unsustainable. War is no longer unthinkable, and the people might even rise up.

Kim is in a trap. The sabre-rattling has reaching its only possible conclusion: shut up or fight. You can be sure, he does not want to fight. This will mean his own annihilation. But no prior American president would give him (or his father Kim Jong-il) what he wanted: normalisation.

Kim Jong-un wants North Korea to be an accepted dictatorship, like China. He wants to be welcomed by banks and corporations and other countries. They are all so happy to overlook so much. Why can’t he get in on the deal?

Why do I say Trump is being played? Because North Korea will not give up its nuclear weapons

Until Donald Trump, he was stuck. No American leader would reward his threats of nuclear terrorism.

But Trump is different. He likes political dictatorships, and wants to be a dictator himself. Trump would be happy to help Kim, if it can be positioned as a success.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump welcomes Kim, and without North Korea having to give up its nuclear weapons (at least for a very long time).

A meaningless promise will be enough. Kim will get his normalisation. North Korea will start opening – transitioning to the China dictatorship model.

Along the way, investment will flood in, which Kim and his top cronies will steal. Through all of this, the family dynasty will be transformed to a plutocracy. It’s the norm in almost every country. It will be welcomed for North Korea as well.

Soju diplomacy: how Kim Jong-un used a Pyongyang dinner to ease path to Trump meeting

Why do I say Trump is being played? The answer is, again, because North Korea will not give up its nuclear weapons.

Trump will have been outmanoeuvred. The US will not be safe.

Also, this was meant as a distraction from the Russia investigation. Trump may even be hoping for leniency, if he can claim to have ended the North Korean crisis.

Here, though, Trump is mistaken. Robert Mueller will not stray from his mission, of defending American elections from foreign interference.

Roland Watson, Philadelphia