Trump’s just-announced North Korea stance is less apocalyptic, but still pretty much doomed to fail.
Donald Trump’s speech in the South Korean capital of Seoul on Tuesday night wasn’t the disaster that many observers feared. There was no bombastic threat to hit North Korea with “fire and fury,” nor any descriptions of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “Little Rocket Man.” Trump even offered to negotiate with Pyongyang.
There was just one problem: The condition that he set out for negotiations with the North to even begin — that Pyongyang give up its nuclear weapons before talks start — is almost certainly unattainable. There’s virtually no chance that North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons under any deal, let alone as a condition of even beginning negotiations.
“There is very little chance that we are ever going to talk this guy out of his [nuclear] weapons, and none of us who have been watching the situation closely for years really thought we were going to,” Mira Rapp-Hooper, a scholar at Yale Law School who studies North Korea, told me earlier this year.
The policy that Trump laid out Tuesday night is far less scary than his past rhetoric, and it’s enormously reassuring that Trump seems willing to negotiate with Kim rather than demean him while threatening actual war. The grim reality is that it may be doomed to failure all the same.
Trump’s diplomatic opening is a complete non-starter
To be fair to Trump, the position of the last several presidents was also that North Korea’s nuclear program program was unacceptable and that Pyongyang would have to give up all of its nuclear weapons. But there are two major reasons why Trump’s policy is different, and even less likely to succeed, than what came before him.
The first is that Trump is Read More Here