June 6th 2018
Korea summit, Big Red Car?
Big Red Car here on a lovely Texas day thinking about the impending summit between North Korea and the United States to be held next Tuesday in Singapore.
What is at stake and what are our reasonable expectations?
This is the guy, Kim Jong-un who is the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army. Like his father and grandfather before him, he is the dictator of North Korea.
Korean summit, bottom line it, Big Red Car
Let’s eat dessert first, shall we, dear reader?
This summit will be the first time that a serving American President has met face-to-face with a North Korean leader. It is being held on neutral territory in Singapore. Great selection, sayeth the Big Red Car.
If successful – the Big Red Car predicts the initial meeting will be successful – it will be part of a seven to ten “touch” process which will take at least two years to come to a final result. Every step of the way, there will be progress and setbacks. The driving force is that NK is broke and doesn’t have two years to deal with this. Time is on the American side.
The North Koreans are anxious to make the American and United Nations sanctions go away. The sanctions are killing North Korea and they are embarrassing China as they get caught cheating.
The meeting will go swimmingly and there will be a lot of handshaking and picture taking with an American President, Donald J Trump, and a blood thirsty, murderous despot — that would be Kim Jong-un. The pictures give Kim some mojo, but he needs cash, not mojo.
The public face of the meeting will end with a love fest.
In the background, the Chinese in the person of President-for-Life Xi Jinping will be giving North Korea and Kim the final nod. Nothing will happen unless China says it will happen.
Bottom line – a success and the first of seven to ten substantive exchanges between the two nations.
What does everybody want, Big Red Car?
The Americans want a nuclear free North Korea – no nuclear weapons and no missiles capable of delivering weapons. The Americans want to de-fang North Korea.
The North Koreans want what they always want – money, gobs of money and a head fake. They want to pay lip service to American desires (something they have been doing for almost half a century) and get a big check for a head fake. The North Koreans are strangling under international sanctions.
The South Koreans want a unified Korea with a footrace toward democracy, but they are willing to accept an “integrated” Korea meaning no military boundary between the North and South as well as free passage and enhanced trade. By osmosis, they will undermine North Korea. You can’t keep the fellas on the farm when they’ve been to Paris.
The Chinese want a stable regime in North Korea and a lessened American presence in South Korea, meaning pulling US troops and air power out of South Korea.
[The air power really worries China. It is 514 nautical miles from Osan Airbase in South Korea to Beijing which would take less than an hour for the bombs to arrive. It is more than 1100 nautical miles from Japan to Beijing which would provide two hours of warning. Can you see the difference? Yes, you can.]
The Chinese look at South Korea as a permanently anchored aircraft carrier just south of Manchuria. They were willing to fight to get rid of the Americans in the 1950s and nothing has really changed since then.
The Chinese do not want a unified Korea. They do not want a democracy on their Manchurian border.
Who’s calling the shots here, Big Red Car?
The big shot caller is President Trump. He has abandoned decades of American diplomatic protocol saying, “Yeah, I’ll meet with that murderous little shit. Why not?”
The genius of President Trump’s negotiating prowess is not that he is good at negotiating, but that he is willing to negotiate anything.
The first rule of life is: “Everything is negotiable.”
The second rule is: “Remember to negotiate.”
The third rule is: “Give yourself a chance to get lucky.”
President Trump has given himself and the USA a chance to get lucky.
Kim has had to eat worms to get the summit to happen – returned our detainees, stopped his testing program (haha, head fake), and destroyed his testing facility (another head fake).
He has spent his entire time in office poking the bear with a stick and now he has to face the bear mano-a-mano. He is a very insular chap and is out of his depth, but he has the guidance of Xi Jinping to help him. He has to follow the Chinese lead or they will cut off his oil.
President-for-Life Xi Jinping is the force behind the throne. If he says “jump” then Kim will jump. If he says “sit” then Kim will sit. You get the idea.
What’s the dirt, Big Red Car?
OK, here’s the dirt, dear reader.
1. The whole world is scared of President Trump and his bluster. This is made all the more credible by two missile strikes against Syria and the constant military maneuvers and training with the South Koreans. The world is convinced that DJT is not running a bluff.
2. The North Koreans are just about broke. This is a country which cannot feed its people and which is starving. Kim has come to the realization that he has to do something. His predecessors were able to get money for baloney and he is going to take his shot at it.
3. The North Koreans are whining they can’t afford to pay their summit hotel bill. Ahhh, they have enough money to build nukes, but they can’t afford to pay for the presidential suite at their digs? They are broke.
4. The North Korean return of US detainees – after killing Otto Warmbier — is a good first step.
5. Little Rocket Man has canned his top three military advisers in the last month replacing them with younger men thought to be more amenable and intellectually nimble to ending the baloney. This is a huge development.
6. The North Koreans haven’t really stopped their nuclear development program; they have just taken a pause. Ditto the headfake of destroying their test facility. As a former demo guy, the tiny explosions the press caught on video weren’t sufficient to destroy an underground tunnel. They destroyed the entrances which could be reopened in less than a day with a Cat D-7 and a decent operator. Head fake.
7. President Trump is doing the right thing by treating NK and Kim with a firm, but friendly, hand. It was a good stroke to cancel the meeting and then to reinvigorate it. Well done.
So, dear reader, there you have it. This North Korean summit thing is going to work. Big love fest in Singapore. Same shtick as always – North Korea wants money and will say or do anything to get some.
President Trump is equal to the task.