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Unread 2018-06-13, 15:24   #1
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aarkieboy
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Feb 5 2003
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"North Korea remains a big and dangerous problem. And it’s also dangerous that Trump, in his recent tweets at least, doesn’t seem fully aware of the pitfalls that American officials have repeatedly encountered over the last 25 years of nuclear talks with North Korea. Hours before Trump’s summit with Kim, the Republican Senator Jim Risch, who has discussed North Korea with the president and his top aides numerous times in recent weeks, told me that “nobody” in the Trump administration was wearing “rose-colored glasses.” “We have been taken by the North Koreans at least a couple of times [in previous rounds of negotiations], and that’s not going to happen again,” he said. “We’re [not] at a point right now where they say, ‘Okay, we’re going to denuclearize the peninsula,’ and then the president says, ‘Well, okay, we’re going to lift the sanctions.’ That is not going to happen. The president has been very, very clear that there is going to have to be positive, doable, ongoing things that are happening before anything happens from our side.” And yet, in Singapore, North Korea said exactly what Risch predicted: Sure, we’d love to eventually denuclearize the peninsula. And Donald Trump responded by proclaiming an end to the nuclear threat from North Korea.

It’s one thing for Trump to declare the summit a victory despite its modest results. But it’s quite another thing to pretend to have solved a threat decades in the making with a few handshakes and a 403-word statement. One has to imagine that, in Pyongyang right now, Kim Jong Un and his advisers are pulling up Trump’s Twitter feed. Fresh off a meeting in which they committed to nothing concrete and the president of the United States implicitly acknowledged North Korea as a nuclear-weapons power by noting their “very powerful nuclear weapons” at a press conference, they might be marveling at Trump’s boasts and asking themselves, “Is that all it took?” (More)
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