The Art of a North Korea Deal

May 23, 2018 |

There now seems to be some doubt as to whether President Trump will hold that meeting on North Korea’s denuclearization on June 12th. Kim Jong-Un is suddenly balking at actions he’d already agreed to and seemingly looking for excuses to pull out, such as protesting joint US-South Korean military maneuvers that he knows were routine and long-scheduled.

Many of Trump’s critics are displaying an unseemly amount of joy over the potential cancellation of the summit. One would almost suspect that they'd rather see Trump denied a foreign policy win their side couldn’t accomplish than to see North Korea stop threatening the world with nukes. But if they think this rattles or embarrasses Trump, then they don’t understand him any better than they understand how adults in the real world conduct hardball negotiations – and it’s not by telling the other side right upfront that you’re desperate for a deal and will give them whatever they want to get it signed. This is why I never ask John Kerry to help me buy a used car.

If Kim is trying to scare Trump into giving him concessions by threatening to cancel peace talks simply because it’s worked with previous Administrations, then he’s barking up the wrong tree. Vice President Mike Pence says that Trump is thinking about peace, not public relations. Pence said, “It would be a great mistake for Kim Jong-Un to think he could play Donald Trump,” and while the White House hopes the summit will take place and a peaceable solution will be reached, the military option “never came off the table.” Your turn, Kim.

Frankly, I’m surprised that Kim and Trump’s critics in the media would be surprised that Trump is willing to walk away from the negotiations at the last minute if the other side tries to pull something he won’t accept. That’s one of the key elements of “The Art of the Deal.” Doesn’t anybody read books anymore?

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Comments 1-2 of 2

  • Ernest Ostrander

    05/25/2018 04:34 PM

    You are on target.

    Never in a million years should Trump yield to populist pressure.

  • Jonny L Whisenant

    05/24/2018 04:07 PM

    Mike, agreed, we elected a "businessman" with demonstratable record of world class success, someone primarily concerned with "results"...and results are ultimately what everyone depends on. Results, aren't always about making everyone feel good in the short run but necessary for feeling good in the future. Ie...you can't ride on the train until you do the hard work of building it first. Sadly, politicians largely seem to be mainly concerned with trying to offend as few people as possible in order to keep their party in power for the moment and building little if nothing. Again, we elected a businessman, an outsider to build, something that takes time and sacriface, not a speak easy politician like Neville Chamberlin to offer us "peace in our time" resulting in war a year later. On my part I would prefer to hear "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat" from a Churchill, and do the work for real lasting results.