Bruce Burleson – March 9, 2018


     My apologies for not writing here since January.  I found out that my job will vanish as of July 1st due to contractual changes taking place at my present job.
     But Kim Jong Un is having a much rougher go of it as I am!  Unlike me, he faces military strikes by the United States if he does not stop developing nuclear weapons.

     Yesterday, the North Korean dictator asked to meet directly with President Donald Trump, and the president accepted his offer.

     Naturally my first reaction was one of skepticism.  How many times have we hammered out deals with North Korea in the past, only to have them go back on their word and develop more, not fewer, nuclear weapons?

     But if anyone can pull this off, it’s Donald Trump, author of The Art of the Deal.

     For Trump, everything is about winning or losing.  The president tends to see the world from the lens of things either leading to total victory or total disaster.  And those are the two options in his dealings with the North Koreans.

     There are two possible outcomes.  First is victory: Kim Jong Un agrees to give up his nuclear program—and his nuclear stockpile—in exchange for a relaxing of economic sanctions.

     Second, he tries to play Trump for a fool, leading to Korean War II.

     Like any foreign policy endeavor, this is all about outcomes.  And it’s also about strategy.  Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all relied upon lengthy negotiations and good will.  All of them failed, and their feckless foreign policies led to a nuclear North Korea.

     Unlike the previous three presidents, Donald Trump’s approach is to sit across a table from Kim himself, look him in the eye and lay the cards on the table.  Give up the nukes or you’re history!

     If successful, Trump will go down in history parallel to Ronald Reagan, who famously met—several times—with Mikhail Gorbachev.  The result? The end of the USSR.

     President Trump has backed Kim into a corner, or forced the North Korean strongman to paint himself into one.

     Kim is running out of paint, and Trump holds all the cards.

     I think the president will succeed at this just as he has succeeded in making America great again!