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Friday, May 11, 2018

Lord save the world - The Washington Post

Eugene Robinson - "The one area in which any president has almost complete latitude is foreign affairs. Lord save us.

Lord save the world, actually. President Trump is making rash and risky moves that promise either brilliant success or catastrophic failure. Given that it’s Trump we’re dealing with, I do not like the odds.

I can only applaud his achievement in securing the release of Kim Dong-chul, Tony Kim and Kim Hak-song, the three Americans who were being held in North Korea on baseless charges — apparently as bargaining chips. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Pyongyang to bring them home, and Trump was there to meet them when they arrived before dawn Thursday at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington.

“We want to thank Kim Jong Un, who was really excellent,” Trump said. It was an odd way to describe a dictator who leads one of the most brutal and secretive regimes on Earth — a man whose nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, according to Trump and his advisers, pose a grave and unacceptable threat to the United States and its allies.

Trump announced later Thursday that he and Kim the Excellent (formerly known as Rocket Man) will hold their much-anticipated summit on June 12 in Singapore. I remain skeptical that Kim will ever give up his hard-won nukes and missiles, even for an ironclad U.S. promise never to attack or seek regime change, which is what Kim says he wants. I believe Kim looks at Trump and sees unprecedented opportunity.

Kim is finally getting one thing that North Korean leaders have always sought — one-on-one negotiation with a U.S. president as equals. I believe Trump was right to agree to a summit, since the policy of not talking hasn’t worked. But a lot more groundwork should have been laid, and I fear Trump will return with a bright, shiny package full of promises that turn out to be empty.

I understand why Kim would want to get out from under international sanctions and offer his oppressed people enough economic growth to make his own position more secure. I also understand why he might want to signal officials in neighboring China that if they are not more forthcoming with money, technology and other goodies, North Korea has another suitor knocking at the door."

Lord save the world - The Washington Post

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