What North Korea wants is the legitimacy that comes from diplomatic recognition and assurances of regime survival, along with a peace treaty that ends the Korean War and paves the way for economic aid from the US, South Korea, Japan, and others.
Trump is grasping for straws—anything that will lead the media and investigators away from the Russia matter, all the more so now that Jared Kushner’s meeting with the representative of a sanctioned Russian bank has become known.
Mel Gurtov: News of actual events—hurricanes, floods, drought, sharp temperature changes, and other distortions in weather patterns in the US and around the world—typically are being crowded out by Trump’s tantrums, fake news, and conflicts of interest.
Mel Gurtov: With Trump too busy attacking his critics and Stephen Bannon evidently in charge, the administration is incapable of developing a coherent foreign policy supportive of traditional allies.
Mel Gutov: Turns out Emperor Trump has no clothes; his “unconventional” behavior is often criminal, corrupt, duplicitous, unreliable, and incompetent.
Mel Gutov: Officially, Bannon is now on par with Michael Flynn, the special assistant for national security; but in terms of real access to the president, Bannon’s only peer is Jared Kushner. “It is a startling elevation of a political adviser,”
Mel Gurtov: Trump’s “way” is to shout foul any time he is criticized, for as we have discovered, this man is innately incapable of acknowledging error, much less apologizing.
Mel Gurtov: Trump’s approach irreparably harms US relations with its neighbor, just as it seriously undermines relations with Japan and other Asian countries that wanted the TPP as an offset to China’s economic dominance.
Mel Gutov: I’m sure many journalists knew what was coming: a show, orchestrated by The Apprentice executive director so as to reveal precisely nothing but used instead to revile his critics. Vladimir Putin couldn’t have done better.
Mel Gurtov: Donald Trump, soon to be commander-in-chief, has become a threat not only to democracy but also to national security.
Mel Gurtov: The central question before us is, How can such an egotistical, power-hungry person who has created a wall around him that defies access be upended?
Mel Gurtov: You can’t flatter a dictator, interject comments about another country’s domestic affairs, praise one country at the expense of another, or bring family into high-level meetings without consequences.
Mel Gurtov: While the paralysis in Seoul might be thought of as an opportunity for North Korea, the opposite is more likely going to hold.