Donald Trump really does not need anyone's help to make him look foolish; he seems perfectly capable of doing this all by himself. Over recent weeks, I have been following his comments on North Korea with disdain and North Korean President, Kim Jong-un, must be relishing the propaganda victories that Trump has continually presented him.
My wife was born in Seoul, so I tend to follow events on the Korean peninsula with more interest than many. Events north of the border are often disturbing, sometimes weird and occasionally comical. This Telegraph report about Kim Jong-un's father provides some flavour to this
. The people of the South are also incredibly proud of their small nation. Koreans are typically a passionate people and are sometimes referred to as being the Italians of Asia. If you are ever in search of an entertaining evening, I would strongly recommend taking a drink in a Korean bar when the national football team is playing.
Trump's inflammatory comments such as threatening 'fire and fury' on Pyongyang do nothing other than provide North Koreans with confirmation of America's imperialist desires. Despite atrocious economic mismanagement for decades, the Kims have remained in power thanks to brutal domestic oppression and painting the picture of the external threat represented by the US along with their South Korean 'puppets'.
I get exasperated by journalists who describe North Korea as being somehow unpredictable, North Korea has been playing the same card for forty years. Kim's foreign policy can be essentially described as little more than an international extortion racket. Those seeking some fun summer reading could do worse than look at Peter Tasker's thriller to learn more about the North Korean mentality. For years, the Kims have ratcheted up international tensions only to step back in exchange for concessions. Trump's rhetoric is nothing but win-win for Kim Jong-un, both in building tensions and cementing domestic support.
Trump, outside of the cataclysmic scenario, is almost completely impotent when dealing with North Korea. The key to the conundrum lies with China which can literally turn the lights out of the Kim regime. However, it is clear that China prefers the status quo over the uncertain mess that would be left by the collapse of the Kim regime. Kim Jong-un is fully aware of this. Meanwhile the Chinese must be quietly delighted as Trump paints himself into a corner. Korean tensions may be a useful card to play in China's ongoing territorial land grab in the South China Sea.
The way to treat North Korea is how a teacher might deal with a disruptive and attention seeking child. Shouting across the classroom is counterproductive, since it merely reinforces errant behaviour and highlights the dearth of the teacher's sanctions.
Currently rated by 1 people