Jong-un, like his father and grandfather, is a brutal and sometimes maniacal leader, willing to kill people in gruesome ways and to starve his people for the sake of his nuclear ambitions. But he is apparently at least to some degree a realist and Trump has pushed him into a corner that offers few options. Trump's sanctions against the nation are tough and are making his lifestyle difficult, and even in a dictatorial nation, when things get too bad for the elites someone could very well be sowing the seeds for his internal demise. Dictatorships are like that and a dictator always has to look closely at all who surround him, often making examples of loyalists to maintain power through fear.
So, Donald Trump says he will meet with the tyrant sometime between now and the end of May with the desired result being the denuclearizaton of the North. The first step will be coming up with an agreement that both parties will sign, a requirement that must first be met before any lifting of the sanctions is even considered. And the President also knows that the North has been down this road over and over and failed to honor the commitment to which they agreed. How? By refusing to allow valid inspectors unfettered access to the sites to verify they are doing so.
President Trump has also made it clear that that the process could fail and if so, he will resort to reinstatement of the sanctions policy and pressure the world to actively engage similarly. After all, the Korean issue which came shortly after the end of World War II, resulted in the United Nations agreeing with the necessity for troops to enter the fray when the 38th parallel was breached. The UN, a largely useless body these days, needs to step up to its obligations as well but probably will not.
In this writer's opinion, here are just a few of the things which Trump needs to demand as part of pre-formal talk discussions:
- North Korea must be willing to scrap all nuclear weapons and weaponized materials and agree to de-nuclearization. This can be accomplished peninsula-wide if the process can be verified regularly and with unannounced inspections. That will be an ongoing process to insure compliance.
- Interraction with the known rogue state of Iran must be eliminated. Iran, the number one sponsor of terror, has been coaching the North and working closely with them. This cannot be allowed to continue.
- China must be willing to go along with the effort. After all, China has significantly ramped up her military strength, has declared international waters to be her territory in building military support islands in the South China Sea, and his positioned herself through state led businesses in operating to a significant degree major ports around the world. These include the western entry to the Panama Canal, in Italy, Spain and now Djibouti at the entry to the Red Sea. Some military theoreticians think that these moves are part of a larger plan to gain control over the major shipping lanes around the world and the actions continue unabated. Control the world flow of shipped goods puts you in the driver's seat internationally. Thankfully, the American government stopped their attempt to control our own Port of Long Beach in California.
There are many other issues that must be dealt with prior to any success, but we must look at the big picture and the realities of today's world, however much we might not want to face them. Trump is to be congratulated for trying to do just that. The process is a difficult one and it is one that has been ignored by American administrations for generations. But Trump has brought to the surface the real issue being faced. Doing nothing as has been our record is never a good answer to dealing with a tyrant.