At The American Conservative, Pat Buchanan says Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons placed his country—which has a per capita income lower than Haiti’s—on the map. Pat wonders if Kim will “give up his most reliable deterrent against an attack by the United States or China.” Pat writes (abridged):
President Donald Trump appears to belong to what might be called the Benjamin Disraeli school of diplomacy.
The British prime minister once counseled, “Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to Royalty you should lay it on with a trowel.”
At his Singapore summit, Trump smartly saluted a North Korean general and then lavished praise on Kim Jong Un as a “strong guy” with a “good personality” and a “great negotiator.”
As leader of a country with a per capita income smaller than Haiti’s, Kim is being told he must surrender the weapons that placed him and North Korea in the world’s most exclusive club, to which only eight other nations belong: the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France, India, Pakistan and Israel.
Will Kim, whose nuclear weapons have enabled him to strut on the world stage and trade insults with the president of the United States, give them up to become the leader of a poor backward nation, with half the population of South Korea and not even 4 percent of the economy of the South?
Will he give up his most reliable deterrent against an attack by the United States or China?
In the Kim-Trump relationship, this is where the rubber meets the road. Kim has seen how Americans treat nations—like Gadhafi’s Libya, Saddam’s Iraq, and Iran—that decline to develop or surrender the kind of weapons his country took decades to plan, test, produce and deploy.
Should Kim give up his nukes, what U.S. president would fly halfway around the world to meet him one-to-one?
Hence the crucial question: Will he ever really give them up?
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