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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

North Korea: Heckuva Job, Orangie

In Defying the Odds, we discuss foreign policy issues in the 2016 campaign.

Mike Allen at Axios:
President Trump prides himself on negotiating savvy. But North Korea is trying to outfox him with a return to harsh public rhetoric immediately after the first overnight visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who came with press in tow.
  • After last month's Singapore summit, Trump tweeted: "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. ... sleep well tonight!" He assured reporters: "[T]hat problem is largely solved." On Tuesday, he congratulated himself: "If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!"
  • But then Pyongyang issued a statement accusing Pompeo of trying to jam them with denuclearization demands: "The U.S. is fatally mistaken if it went to the extent of regarding that [North Korea] would be compelled to accept, out of its patience, demands reflecting its gangster-like mindset."
...
A smart reading-between-the-lines of the North Korean statement comes from Vipin Narang, an MIT specialist on North Korean nukes, who tweeted:
  • "This is not the end of the process. It’s a negotiating tactic, but signals several serious things: (1) We aren’t unilaterally disarming. Stop saying it. Stop asking for it. Never going to happen. (2) Any other stuff short of that? Gonna cost you chief. And burn a lot of clock."