In Which I … Kinda Side With Trump

This weekend saw a somewhat concerning diplomatic faceoff. North Korea indicated they were going to test a nuclear weapon and Trump had hinted at the possibility of pre-emptive or retaliatory strikes, sparking fears of a second Korean War. It wasn’t clear exactly what was going on because it was all rumors and innuendo. Ultimately, the Nork’s nuclear test failed (possibly due to US cyberwarfare) and the situation was defused.

Today, however, a new chapter in the saga came out. Trump is apparently talking to China to try get them to reign in North Korea. We’ve done that before but Trump is apparently breaking with long-standing US policy and offering trade concessions to China if they reign in Kim.

And … I’m actually not averse to that.

Look, we all know that Kim is China’s pet. China provides almost all their energy and trade. China has long had the ability to at least threaten North Korea, if not reign it in. Trump has been talking big on China for some time. He’s apparently reversed a number of positions after talking to Xi, including backing down on labeling China a currency manipulator. That’s another kettle of fish, of course. But if get China to clamp on Kim AND not have a trade war … that’s a win-win, isn’t it?

I’d like to hear why I’m wrong about this. But if my criticisms of Trump are to have any meaning, I have to point out when he’s done something right. Avoiding a trade war and getting North Korea in line is exactly the kind of “deal” Trump promised.

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  1. InsipiD

    You’re right about this, bigtime.  Trump’s often a bit less guarded about what he sees as US interests, and that’s probably a lot better than not talking about it at all, which the Obama administration was likely to do.  There’s a knee jerk reaction to question anything big just because Trump did it, but I think that’s the right way to approach this.  Contrary to popular belief, China isn’t the de facto controller of North Korea, but they are respected.  China is a much more modern place, with normal trade outside.  They don’t want to have that ruined by their association with NK.  They can wield a lot more influence than we can.  NK has gotten a bit out of control, and it’s not inappropriate to ask China to do some of the heavy lifting.  No need to use the stick when China is addicted to carrots.

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