Trump Cancels Summit With Kim – China & North Korea Played The United States

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May 25 2018
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After weeks of excitement about a potential historical meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un, the meeting is finally cancelled. Earlier Thursday, Mr. Trump scrapped the summit with Mr. Kim – originally scheduled to take place June 12 in Singapore – to discuss the “denuclearization” of North Korea.


Interestingly, not only Trump blamed it on North Korea, but also on China. North Korea, meanwhile, said it was surprised by President Donald Trump’s decision. Adding spice to the drama, the North said that the country remains willing to meet with the U.S. at any time. Yeah, right. So, why did the U.S. president chicken out from the summit, or at least he appears to be running away from it?


In his letter to Kim pulling out of the summit, Trump cited “tremendous anger and open hostility” in recent statements from Pyongyang. Trump wrote – “I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.” But why can’t he continue with the summit anyway, and if he doesn’t like it, he can still walk away and blame the North Korea.

President Donald Trump Cancels Summit With Kim Jong-un - Letter

Apparently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. had tried in recent days to put teams together to prepare for the meeting but “had received no response to inquiries from” the North Korean government. But why did the North suddenly stop playing balls? The North Korea was upset over remarks by Vice President Mike Pence and the White House national security adviser, John Bolton.


Bolton, either foolishly or deliberately, infuriated North Korea by proposing the voluntary disarmament of Libya in 2003 as a precedent for North Korea. Under that deal, Libya gave up its entire arsenal without receiving any incentives. Then, Pence warned that Kim could meet the same fate as Libya’s leader, Col. Muammar Qaddafi, if he did not make a deal with the U.S.


Colonel Qaddafi, of course, was killed during the Arab Spring upheavals in 2011, when Libyan rebels together with NATO forces launched its bombing campaign. The provocation from Pence has prompted Choe Son Hui, a North Korea vice foreign minister, to call him a “political dummy.” President Trump was actually looking forward to the summit to boost his popularity.

National Security Adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence

However, the North Korea was not as eager as the United States. Prior to Bolton and Pence’ provocations, Kim had threatened to cancel the planned summit due to a joint military drill conducted by South Korea and the U.S. The White House was caught off guard as the so-called joint US-South Korean military exercises should not be used as bargaining chip to begin with.


But that was exactly the Kim Jong Il (Jong-un’s father) playbook on negotiations: – raise expectations of a diplomatic breakthrough, suggest Pyongyang might cancel the meeting and then push for more concessions to have the meeting. Even without the military exercises, the North Korea will definitely find something else to blame, and throw tantrums.


After all, back in March, when South Korea’s national security adviser happily told reporters at the White House that Kim had invited Trump to meet, he also said that Kim “understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue.” Clearly, Kim had planned to play Trump from the beginning.

Donald Trump Meets Kim Jong-un - Flags

But Kim Jong-un wasn’t the only guy playing Donald Trump here. President Xi Jinping seems to be playing the U.S. president too, despite Trump often brags about his special friendship with his Chinese counterpart. Before he reluctantly pulled the plug, Trump had suggested Xi might have played a role in a recent toughening of North Korean rhetoric.


Trump suspects that North Korea’s tone changed after Mr. Kim met President Xi Jinping of China in the coastal Chinese city of Dalian in early May, after both leaders met in March. Trump said – “There was a difference when Kim Jon-un left China the second time. There was a different attitude after that meeting and I was a little surprised.”


President Trump also suggested that President Xi might be using China’s influence over North Korea as leverage in trade negotiations with the U.S. It’s nice to know that Trump, and other analysts, finally realised how much influence the Chinese still possess over the North Korean. For many months, the so-called ignorant experts have failed to see the importance of China-North Korea relationship.

China President Xi Jinping Meets North Korea Kim Jong-un - At Garden Laughing

But trade negotiation isn’t the only reason why China is moving its chess piece North Korea. On Wednesday, the Pentagon arrogantly withdrew its invitation for China to join maritime exercises in the Pacific because of Beijing’s “continued militarization” of the South China Sea. Trump, perhaps thinking he has no use of China anymore, foolishly underestimated the Chinese influence.


China hit back at the decision to disinvite it from the Rim of the Pacific exercises, calling it “very non-constructive” and saying it was taken without due reflection. Beijing is sending a message to Washington that the Yankees can’t have the cake and eat it too. Now, it’s harder to blame the North Korean for the failure of the summit. Trump cancelled it, not Kim.


As Russian President Vladimir Putin said – “Kim did everything he promised in advance.” North Korea had blown up an underground nuclear testing site before foreign journalists gathered to witness the demolition, never mind the site was not needed anymore. Still, it was part of a series of gestures by the North meant to smooth the way for a summit meeting.

North Korean Kim Jong-un Meets South Korean President Moon Jae-in - Hugging

Trump’s abrupt cancellation of the meeting raises questions about whether he can handle the cunning North Korean leader, let alone the Chinese leader. South Korea President Moon Jae-in, who was caught off guard by Mr. Trump’s decision, may opt to continue its own diplomacy effort with Chairman Kim Jong-un, further moving away from its ally America.


China is now armed with stronger legitimacy to relax its pressure on the North, particularly because it was Mr. Trump, not Mr. Kim, who pulled the plug on the summit. If South Korea and North Korea is ready to talk further about a new era of peace on the Korean Peninsula, after both had held a historical talk recently, it would be harder for America to justify military threats on the North.


It appears that the notorious Kim, like his father and grandfather, has once again played the Americans. The “divide and rule” strategy seems to work wonderfully for both North Korea and China. After Kim Jong-un made history, crossing the DMZ line and stepping into South Korea for the first time since the 1950-53 Korean War, the Koreans have been talking about unification.

China President Xi Jinping Meets North Korea Kim Jong-un - Unification


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