The solace in this story, if there is any, is that maybe the U.S. position in this summit is now so hopelessly compromised and weakened that any ill-advised "breakthroughs" are no longer possible. Indeed, this summit, which should never have been agreed to in the first place, ought to be summarily deep-sixed. Then you remember the "tough, shrewd negotiator" who alone thought this was a whiz-bang idea and agreed to it on the spot before his sane advisers could talk him out of it. It's doubtful anybody can keep Trump from [Singapore] now, where he might effectively concede all of northeast Asia to Kim and Xi if he thinks it will get him his ersatz Nobel. He's got his predecessor's legacy to complete, after all.
Well, it looks like "Little Rocketman" can. Or, to put it in terms that even Donald Trump should be able to grasp, Kim knows he's got the upper hand, and he's using it to drive an even harder bargain to shake the POTUS down for even more concessions:
North Korea on Wednesday called into question a much-anticipated and unprecedented summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, the South's Yonhap news agency reported.
Pyongyang also canceled high-level talks due Wednesday with Seoul over the Max Thunder joint military exercises between the U.S. and the South, Seoul said.
The U.S. will "have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus," Yonhap quoted the North's official news agency KCNA as saying.
Remember how we discussed a couple of weeks ago North Korea's inceptual objective of conquering the ROK and unifying the Korean Peninsula under their control? And how U.S. withdrawal from South Korea was integral to that goal, and the leaked report that Trump ordered the Pentagon to begin making preparations for just such an evacuation? It would seem that Kim was paying attention to that, and considered a U.S.-ROK defensive military exercise (the aforementioned "Joint Thunder") to be....inconsistent with the signaled willingness to leave the South to Pyongyang's tender mercies.
But that's not all. Remember also how I pointed out the obvious fact that the Norks developed nuclear weapons in order to make "regime change" against the Kim dynasty functionally impossible, and consequently they would never, ever "denuclearize" under any circumstances? D'ya also recall the overhyped hoopla at the Un-dictator pretending to possibly contemplate the consideration of maybe thinking about entertaining the notion of conceivably looking at one day taking tiny rabbit steps toward "denuclearization" that fueled the Trump Nobel frenzy like pouring napalm on an industrial furnace?
North Korea threatened to walk away from its meeting with Donald Trump next month if the U.S. makes a “one-sided demand” for the regime to give up its nuclear weapons.
North Korea’s first vice foreign minister, Kim Kye Gwan, said the regime was disappointed by provocative comments from the U.S., according to a statement published Wednesday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. The statement cited comments by National Security Adviser John Bolton urging a “Libya model” for the rapid dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
“If the Trump administration comes to the summit with the sincere intent to improve DPRK-U.S. relations, then it will deserve a good response,” Kim Kye Gwan said, according to KCNA. “But if it forces us into a corner by pushing for the abandonment of our nukes only, in a one-sided demand, then we won’t have an interest in such talks anymore and will reconsider whether to respond to the upcoming summit.”
So not only are North Korea's nukes off the table, but as far as Kim is concerned, American denuclearization is now part of the summit agenda. Now where did he ever get the idea that he was entitled to believe that he was an equal partner, on equal footing, with equal status, to make such demands of the United States? Oh, wait, that's right, Donald Trump did by snap-agreeing to a face-to-face meeting with "Little Rocketman" without preconditions.
Can effusive appeasement and transparent bribery not be said to have been Trump's best shot in this pie-in-the-sky/look-there-goes-another-rubber-tree-plant fiasco? And now it has failed rather spectacularly - and blessedly, I might add. What it indicates is the unseriousness, bordering on contempt, with which Kim and his ChiComm sponsors are taking The Donald. One might almost expect another, or even entire series, of these reversals, back and forth and back and forth, like a cat batting around a mouse, to see what additional concessions this White House coughs up in service of the Narcissist-in-Chief's questing, grasping ego. Since this summit is, in his fevered mind, Trump's idea, he's got a large chunk of his perceived prestige invested in it. Getting humiliated by his new close, personal friend pulling the plug on it in an effective double-cross should, logically, produce a dual Trump response: an utter, screaming rage, and a desperate willingness to do anything he can to get Kim back to the table. Since his Twitter feed hasn't yielded the former as yet, I'm betting on the latter. Which, given the mega gonza tanker Big Gulp-sized "carrots" Secretary Pompeo has already preemptively dangled in front of Pyongyang, will to be tough act to top.
Not that there hasn't been the perfunctorily lame attempt by the White House to save face, which obligatorily fell to designated BSer Sarah Colonel Sanders:
The White House said on Wednesday that it “fully expected” North Korea to threaten to scrap plans for a meeting between Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and President Trump.
“This is something that we fully expected,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “If they want to meet, we’ll be ready, and if they don’t, that’s OK too….The president is very used to and ready for tough negotiations.”
Surrrrre he is. Surrrrre they did. Well, I'm sure that his foreign policy and national security advisers weren't caught that off guard by Kim's yelling "psyche!", but Trump doubtless was. While #Cult45 will eventually resort to lauding him for "trying," the problem is that the Nobel Committee doesn't dole out Peace Prizes as participation trophies. Other than to Barack Obama, of course. And while Trump and Obama are alike in a great many ways, the Nobelers aren't going to see it the same way. Of course, they never would have even if the DMZ and Kim's nukes evaporated and olive-branched doves poured from every nook & cranny of North Korea, up to and including Kim's bodily orifices. But surely Trumpies were aware of that, at least, right? Right?
[I]t ought to be obvious that Kim's acquiescence to any of this is inconceivable. And when he refuses those demands, how will the Trump Regime react? Will they uphold national strategic interests and our allies and walk away from the table or will they keep making concessions in the vain pursuit of a piece of paper, a signing photo op, and a(nother) unearned Nobel Peace Prize for another narcissistic White House occupant, producing another disastrous "deal"?
I want to believe the former. I really, really do. But as with so many other instances regarding the 45th president, I'm reaching the point of only believing it when I actually see it.