by Post Editorial Board · March 10, 2018
Credit President Trump for abandoning decades of failed diplomatic strategies and for thinking outside the box when it comes to North Korea.
His dramatic agreement to meet with dictator Kim Jong-un, after a year spent tightening the screws on the rogue regime, just might yield a true breakthrough.
Of course, it could also make him the latest US president to be played by Pyongyang.
This much is certain: Trump’s only real chance for an agreement that honestly denuclearizes North Korea is if he’s truly prepared to walk away from anything — repeat: anything — less.
And that’s the crux of the problem: There are any number of agreements that Trump might grab to claim victory but that amount to little more than an Asian version of the sorry Obama-Iran nuclear deal.
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The only accord that Washington should embrace — a complete and verifiable end, not postponement, of Pyongyang’s already well-advanced nuclear program — is one that Kim seems very unlikely to accept.
Nukes, after all, are his key bargaining chip — including the disaster he could unleash on South Korea in case of a US military strike.
The outsider’s approach has served Trump well so far, but he needs to heed his experts going forward.
For more than a quarter-century, the North Korean regime has outfoxed and outmaneuvered successive US presidents — particularly Bill Clinton — through lies and deception.
Maybe Trump’s concerted pressure — including the implied use of military action — has persuaded Kim to reconsider, maybe even offer major concessions.
But it’s far more likely that Little Rocket Man is playing for time while he works to build and improve his nuclear arsenal, and/or hopes he can pull the wool over the eyes of a president who’s winging it.
Play your cards carefully, Mr. President.
New York Post · by Post Editorial Board · March 10, 2018