Trump’s Korean Legacy
For years, the world watched as American presidents, inheriting the never-ending Korean War and the quandary of dealing with the increasingly ambitious Kim dynasty in communist North Korea, failed to come up with a sensible strategy — or the intestinal fortitude — to confront the problem effectively. Now, at last, the world, or at least the semi-rational minority faction within it, has to be pining for the good old days when American presidents were merely passive and feckless on the North Korean issue.
For Donald Trump, doing actively and proudly what previous presidents were accused of doing through inaction, has declared North Korea legitimate, fought for its international recognition and respectability, and demanded that the latest capo of the Kim family be honored by the rest of the world as a great and able leader and a good and honest man. In other words, he has made the defense and promotion of communist totalitarianism in Korea official American policy.
And so now the North Korean cuckoo regime has rewritten the country’s “constitution” — what does that word mean, when the document may be rewritten at the regime’s whim at any time? — to grant Kim the more Westernized titles “head of state” and “commander-in-chief,” a change which can be interpreted as preparation for signing a peace treaty to officially end the Korean War. In other words, the North is continuing the process of normalizing their savage totalitarian regime, in line with Trump’s exhaustive efforts to give them everything they want for nothing in return.
One of the more interesting tidbits in the new “constitution” is language declaring Kim “the supreme representative of all the Korean people.” All the Korean people? Hmm….
Trump is doing everything wrong, all rooted in his childlike cowardice, and as usual his cult is calling him God and demanding a Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless efforts to glorify and aggrandize a communist slavery-and-starvation regime.
There is a short, accurate summary of Trump’s North Korea policy and its likely outcomes at The News Blender site, echoing many of the points I have been making here in Limbo for a long time. One quibble I have with the News Blender article, however, is the author’s slight misunderstanding of the Korean dynamics, and Trump’s role in recent events. Specifically, the article says,
The US has, under President Trump, pushed South Korea to engage in reunification talks, engaged in one-on-one diplomacy with Kim without preconditions, spoken glowingly and respectfully of the dictator in many public venues, ended most joint military operations with South Korea, heightened friction between SK and Japan (thus isolating SK from non-socialist allies) and approached Kim not merely as an equal but as a lessor [sic] in public meetings, all culminating with a visit to North Korea and an invitation to visit the White House.
I agree with most of that, except the opening premise about Trump “pushing” South Korea to engage. It is quite the opposite, in fact, since Trump has neither the understanding nor the guts to “push” anyone to do anything.
He is, as always, being led around by the nose — in this case by a combination of the lunatic progressivism of Kim, the calculating progressivism of Xi Jinping, and the “populist” progressivism of Moon Jae-in. Moon was an architect of South Korea’s original (and failed) “sunshine policy” a generation ago, is a lifelong socialist currently undertaking the fundamental transformation of Korea’s vibrant economy into a social justice regulatory regime, and has built his presidency largely on fantasies of reunification through capitulation.
Moon’s champagne glass clinking and hand-in-hand DMZ strolls with Kim (independent of Trump) have been very divisive here in Korea. The leftist activist types, young and old, are North Korean sympathizers, and therefore love this sell-out of South Korean sovereignty. The rest of the country is becoming increasingly skeptical of Moon’s motives — particularly as they are simultaneously watching their economy tank under Moon’s welfare statist and social justice warrior “reforms.”
Otherwise, however, the author’s criticism of Trump’s North Korea policy is correct. Trump has capitulated, normalized, and aggrandized the Kim regime, giving them every reasonable hope of achieving all their devious and destructive goals without so much as a disagreeable burp in reply from America, which has repeatedly, under Trump’s “stewardship,” helped Moon spit on South Korea’s security and dignity in a desperate attempt to appease the communists.
On top of all that, Kim will likely get an official end to the Korean War out of Trump, and one that, rather than merely being presented as America disengaging from “someone else’s problem,” will come with all the glamor and pop-pomp that his submissive toady, the billionaire reality television producer and internationally-famous flim-flam man Donald Trump, can muster. It will come, that is, with official American approval for North Korea’s dictatorship, the mortal enemy of former American ally South Korea. The “supreme representative of all the Korean people” will have his way, or at the very least he will continue to have his way with the vain weakling in the White House.