…what Kim’s move reveals is a broader strategy at work. In the lead-up to the Singapore summit, should it still take place, Trump may be preparing for the wrong game: a two-player round of checkers when Kim is steeling for a multiplayer two-board chess match. On one board will be the future of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs, what Trump came to negotiate. On the other will be what Kim and the other participants know is also crucially at stake: the future of geopolitics in northeast Asia. – Foreign Affairs
Xi and Kim’s Second Meeting
Did President Trump Just Have An Epiphany?
President Trump may have finally had an epiphany that China’s President Xi and Kim Jong Un are engaged in three-dimensional diplomacy and may be playing him. After today’s press conference it sure sounds like it.
Here is what President Trump said during today’s impromptu presser in the Oval Office with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. His comments, by the way, caused stocks to sell off into the close. We warned about these risks yesterday.
I will say I’m a little disappointed because when Kim Jong Un had the meeting with President Xi in China, the second meeting — the first meeting we knew about, the second meeting I think there was a little change in attitude from Kim Jong Un.
..there was a difference when Kim Jong Un left China the second time. And I think they were dedicating an aircraft carrier that the United States paid for, OK?
QUESTION: … China maybe discouraged Kim?
..I think that President Xi is a world class poker player…I will say this, there was a somewhat different attitude [from North Korea] after that meeting, and I’m a little surprised.
…maybe nothing happened.., But there was a different attitude by the North Korean folks when — after that meeting. So I don’t think it was a great meeting.
Nobody knew about the meeting and all of a sudden it was reported that he was in China a second time. The first time everybody knew about, the second time was like a surprise. And I think things changed after that meeting. So I can’t say that I’m happy about it, OK? – President Trump, May 22
President Xi, a world-class poker player, indeed. Even your so-called friends covet your poker chips.
President Trump is learning by doing, Lord Palmerston’s dictum, “in international relations, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests.”
History Of Korea And China
We believe there is no way in hell President Xi will allow a unified Korea under western influence. Losing Korea on his watch? NFW!
Let’s go back just to 1950 to understand China’s strong national interest in Korea, which probably hasn’t changed much from a strategic perspective, even though the world is entirely different. Also, keep in perspective, Xi is the new Mao.
If we allow the United States to occupy all of Korea, Korean revolutionary power will suffer a fundamental defeat, and the Americans will run more rampant and have negative effects for the entire Far East. Threat of U.S. Bombing – Mao Zedong, Secret Cable to Stalin, Oct. 2, 1950
Two weeks after the Stalin cable, China invaded North Korea, surprising American troops, who were heading the United Nations military effort to protect the South Korean Government of Syngman Rhee. Thankfully, for us, Stalin reneged on his offer to supply air cover for the Chinese invasion force.
General Douglas MacArthur, the commander of the U.N. forces, openly doubted China’s resolve to move into Korea. The entry of 260,000 Chinese troops into the war, shocked the American commanders and forced them into “the greatest retreat in United States military history.”
Different Time, Same Chinese “Permanent Interest”
Of course, the times are different.
China is now a nuclear and rising world superpower and beginning to challenge U.S. hegemony. They now control the South China Sea.
China, will, no doubt, have a seat at the table at the Singapore summit, if there is one, maybe not literally, but in the form of the deal already cut with the North Koreans.
Who knows what kind of deal Xi and Kim have cut, but there is no doubt they have an agreement of some sort, which is also playing into the U.S.- China trade talks, and that realization is now in Trump’s head. Go no further than today’s presser for proof of the latter.