Malacandra.me

Dear Kim: I love you but it’s my way or the highway. Yer bff,  Don

Dear Bff: I love you but it's my way or the highway

by digby

I guess there really is some turbulence in Trump and Kim's epic bromance:

The top US diplomat tasked with negotiating with North Korea just laid out a denuclearization plan that’s destined to fail.

In his first public comments since President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Vietnam last month, Stephen Biegun, the US special representative for North Korea, told a Washington audience Monday that the administration wants Pyongyang to give up all of its weapons of mass destruction before anything else.

“We are not going to do denuclearization incrementally,” the envoy said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s nuclear conference. “The foundation of US policy is denuclearization.”

But it’s not just nuclear weapons: The Trump administration also wants the complete removal of chemical and biological weapons from North Korea, Biegun said, meaning the US wants Pyongyang only to have conventional weapons by the end of the process.

Let’s be extremely clear about what this means: If the US maintains this position, any chance for the US to convince North Korea to part with its nuclear arsenal is gone.

Pyongyang for years has said that the only way it would consider giving up its nuclear weapons is through a step-by-step process where both sides offer reciprocal, commensurate concessions. By resolving smaller disagreements, like lifting sanctions in exchange for the closure of an important nuclear facility, over time the US and North Korea would eventually arrive at the grand prize: the end of Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

But Biegun said the US won’t do that. Instead, the Trump administration wants to see North Korea dismantle its nuclear arsenal before it offers any economic or diplomatic benefits. That’s just not going to work, experts say.

“If we don’t move off this position, we have nowhere to go,” MIT nuclear expert Vipin Narang told me. “There’s no zone of agreement if we insist on everything — I mean everything, complete surrender — up front.”


I guess maybe that Nobel Peace Prize isn't going to happen this year. Maybe he can give himself another phony golf championship instead.

Seriously, this is very bad. I'm not sure anyone could do a lot to change things. But we know for a fact that the dotard is very capable of making things a lot worse. Every day that he doesn't create a crisis is a bonus.