Opinions may differ

In the WP: The spectacle of the murderous dictator Kim Jong Un on equal footing with the president of the United States — each country’s flag represented, a supposedly “normal” diplomatic exchange between two nuclear powers — was enough to turn democracy lovers’ stomachs. President Trump naturally made things worse.

In the NYT: Kim seems to have completely out-negotiated Trump, and it’s scary that Trump doesn’t seem to realize this. For now Trump has much less to show than past negotiators who hammered out deals with North Korea like the 1994 Agreed Framework, which completely froze the country’s plutonium program with a rigorous monitoring system.

More from the WP: Reporters crowded into a Singapore auditorium Tuesday, expecting President Trump to walk out and announce the results of his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Suddenly, two huge screens on either side of the empty podium came to life. Soaring music boomed over the speakers, and the reporters were bombarded with a montage portraying North Korea as some sort of paradise. Golden sunrises. Gleaming skylines and high-speed trains. Children skipping through Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang, North Korean flags waving between images of Egyptian pyramids, the Taj Mahal and the Lincoln Memorial. In a split-screen shot, Kim Jong Un waved to an adoring crowd while President Trump stood beside him with his thumb in the air. The pair appeared over and over again, like running mates in a campaign video. The film went on like this for several minutes, with brief interludes of missiles, soldiers and warships interrupting the fanfare. Some journalists, unable to understand the Korean-language narration, assumed they were watching one of Pyongyang’s infamous propaganda films. “What country are we in?” asked a reporter from the filing center. But then the video looped, playing this time in English. And then Trump walked onto the stage and explained that the film was not North Korean propaganda. It had been made in America, by or on the orders of his White House, for the benefit of Kim.“I hope you liked it,” Trump told the reporters. “I thought it was good.”

In the DB: The Trump-Kim summit held Tuesday in Singapore represented the triumph of hype over experience. The event was the first reality-television summit in American history, a sham staged for the cameras featuring D-list characters from supporting players like Dennis Rodman and Sebastian Gorka to the two leaders themselves. But unlike the more engaging reality-TV shows that contain a little drama and even a smidge of humanity, this was pure rose ceremony from beginning to end, a pre-cooked bromance based not on true love or respect but on the need of both principals to be known and admired by audiences watching at home. It was also much worse than that. Because as shallow as the exercise was and as inconclusive as its discussions proved to be, it did have real consequences. The president of the United States essentially provided the kind of elevation and endorsement the North Korean leader and his family have sought for decades. Not only did he treat him as an equal; he did not in any meaningful way make an issue of the fact that Kim, his father, and his grandfather had enslaved their people, wantonly tortured and murdered them, and violated every norm of civilized behavior.

We’re optimistic, since North Korea’s nuclear facilities are largely destroyed anyhow, as China reported. With that being the case, Kim now has a new direction to go in, as that odd video showed. Kim got the best deal he could under the circumstances, and the interests of all parties are served by cooling things down, particularly China’s as it seeks greater regional domination. Oh yeah, and North Korea could be great for hotel and casino development.

Final point: the writers above all sound like that MIT prof who got the vapors listening to Larry Summers.

Final Final point: constitutional crisis, Yikes!

One Response to “Opinions may differ”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    This site really doesn’t seem to want to take comments anymore.

    I write comments and they disappear into the ether.

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