Department of Peace by @BloggersRUs

Department of Peace

by Tom Sullivan

The next president of the United States should reserve space on the mantle for a Nobel Peace Prize. The last president got his in the wake of George W. Bush. The next follows Donald J. Trump.

The world this morning tries to wrap its head around the prospect of the “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” bringing his bigger button to a summit meeting with "Little Rocket Man." Trump has accepted an invitation to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to discuss, among other things, “permanent denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula.

South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong made the announcement to reporters last night outside the White House:

"I told President Trump that in our meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he's committed to denuclearization. Kim pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests. He understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue. And he expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible. President Trump appreciated the greeting, and said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization."
Reports say the North Korean offer came not in a letter, but by telephone. A case of diplomatic telephone, Axios notes, with all the potential to lose meaning in the handoffs.

For some reason, there is much skepticism about the meeting actually taking place or that anything good will come of it.

Foreign Policy columnist Jeffrey Lewis observed in a tweet such a meeting is a longstanding goal of of Pyongyang: "This is literally how the North Korean film 'The Country I Saw' ends. An American President visits Pyongyang, compelled by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs to treat a Kim as an equal."

The reality show U.S. president may have accepted a role on Kim's reality show.

Commenting on Trump's "head-snapping display of incoherence," former Weekly Standard contributor Max Boot writes in the Washington Post that talks are better than an exchange of missiles, but:

Moon and Kim have, for their own reasons, snookered the credulous American president into a high-profile summit that is likely to end in disaster one way or another. Kim is evidently willing to suspend his nuclear and missile tests while the talks are under way, but this is a minimal concession that can easily be reversed. He is most likely willing to do even that much only to buy time for his engineers to finish developing a nuclear warhead that can fit on an ICBM capable of reaching the U.S.
The Post's David Ignatius runs through a list of Trump's foreign policy messes created just one year into his term. Ignatius agrees talks beat "duck and cover," but likens Trump to Wile E. Coyote, "Trump doesn’t seem to understand why the dynamite stick keeps blowing up in his hand."

Adding to the prospects for failure, is anyone left in the State Department to waste their time trying to prepare Trump for summit where he'll do whatever his gut tells him anyway?

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