With President Donald Trump expressing optimism that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will denuclearize after their Singapore summit, all I can picture is Clinton administration Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and then NK leader Kim Jong-il raising a toast over an agreement for Il to halt missile testing.
I don't believe it should be a "trust, but verify" situation with North Korea's nuclear program but rather (as radio host Hugh Hewitt once indicated) "VERIFY, VERIFY, VERIFY." If at any moment designated inspectors are denied access to NK's nuclear sites, pull the plug on the deal. The U.S. has all the leverage here plus the knowledge that Un's predecessor (also his father) had hoodwinked a previous administration.
Some other thoughts:
- There are those who say Trump is utterly delusional given that he expressed pessimism of the Iran nuclear deal but seems so naive after his meeting with Un. And while I concede that the effusive praise Trump heaped upon a known brutal dictator was downright nauseating, there are stark differences here. First, as Trump said to ABC's George Stephanopoulos, "we’re not paying $150 billion" like the Obama administration did with the Iran deal. Also, Un seems to enjoy being a tin pot dictator and has always been fascinated by western culture. As such, he's not nearly as interested in mutually assured destruction whereas that would seem to be the endgame for the Iranian mullahs.
- I find it amusing that many of the same people who fawned over Un's sister at the Winter Olympics because she gave VP Mike Pence the "side-eye" are suddenly "WOKE" to how evil the North Korean leadership really is. Trump Derangement Syndrome is as real as ever.
- While I was not even 3-years old when President Richard Nixon visited China in early 1972, many are equating the Trump-Kim summit to Nixon's meeting with Chinese leader Mao Zedong. After a trip which many have said normalized U.S. relations with China, Nixon won reelection nine months later, garnering forty nine states. If Trump's meeting with NK yields even modicum success, where does this put the President's 2020 reelection prospects? As always, time will tell.