I was saddened to hear the news over the weekend that the North Korean leadership had walked out of the nuclear programme talks. North Korean diplomats were left looking like statesmen in their press interview as they portrayed the US as being inflexible and not able to 'give up their old viewpoint and attitude'.
For those who have followed North Korean developments for years, the news is not a surprise. Throughout the period of 'friendship' between Trump and Jung Un Kim, North Korea has delivered nothing of worth. The "big" success was the Punggye-ri nuclear test site closure but there were indications that this decrepit base had already being scheduled for closure. Since when, the DPRK has continued with its missile testing programme, most recently, a successful launch from a submarine.
I blogged two years ago
that I thought Trump was making a mistake in his approach to North Korea. Indeed, Jung Un Kim must be delighted with how things have gone. North Korea has a decrepit and small economy; the US spends more on its pets than the Kim dynasty spends on looking after the well-being of its people. Trump has elevated Jung Un Kim to an equal, legitimised his regime and has massively cemented the Kims' hold over the nation for virtually no concessions by the North Koreans. This I feel is a sad, sad outcome but one which was quite predictable from the outset.
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