At least, not yet.
President Trump did the right thing by canceling the SecState’s visit. He signals that the U.S. can’t be played, and he won’t be duped into diminishing the U.S. role in the region while the Chinese grow stronger. Don’t get us wrong, we would love to see a good deal with Korea.
Our Base Case Playing Out
We took much grief for our skepticism on a quick de-nuke deal with North Korea.
In fact, it looks like our base case scenario is playing out. From our post, Trump Says Unified Korea Could Happen,
Do you think President Trump has consulted with President Xi about a unified Korea?
It is highly doubtful China will allow a unified Korea, one under Western influence.
Our best case scenario is the South and North move closer together, but also closer to China. China’s influence and power in the region is on the rise while the U.S. is in decline.
Our base case is no “complete denuclearization”, lots of happy talk, some arms control and integration, including cross-border labor and travel between the North and South, and a slow positive trend moving away from the status quo.
Our low case (which has a much higher probability than the best case, in our opinion) see here and scroll down to Segue To Korea. The upshot is the Trump-Kim summit ends in a complete debacle.
Why is Kim at the table? Because he now has the nukes and delivery system.
Time to curb your enthusiasm for a Trump Nobel Peace Prize. – GMM, April 28th
Some of our other comments on North Korea,
Trump Plays Checkers, Xi And Kim Play 3-D Chess
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.
We have been pounding the table about this in several posts over the past few months. See here, here, here, and here.
President Trump is learning by doing, Lord Palmerston’s dictum, “in international relations, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests.” – GMM, May 22nd
“Déjà vu All Over Again” In Korea
Curb Your Enthusiasm
George W. doesn’t have a Nobel Peace Prize that we know of.
We also hope it is not an all or nothing negotiation with Trump and Kim. The environment seems ripe to make the world safer and the lives better for the Koreans even if it just incremental and without achieving total victory as the administration sees it. – GMM, April 29th
QOTD: North Korea Deal Or China Deal?
Kim Jong-un was in Beijing Tuesday talking strategy with Xi; there frankly won’t be a deal between North Korea and the U.S. without the Chinese leader’s blessing. So what does Trump want more: a “deal” with Kim Jong-un, or a fight with China? – GMM, June 19th
China In Charge
Let’ face it, folks. China is pulling the strings behind the curtain.
No coincidence, at least in our minds, that Pompeo’s visit is canceled the day after the lower level trade talks with China ended with no progress and Xi’s retaliation tariffs kicked in.
You are dead on. We have to live with a nuclear North Korea. Better surround them with anit-missile defense.
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