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The Consequences of Reckless Rhetoric

Americans may not be paying much attention to the reckless rhetoric coming from the Trump administration on North Korea, but North Korean officials certainly are [1]:

A close aide to Kim unleashed a torrent of invective against the Trump administration Thursday morning, calling Vice President Pence a “political dummy” for remarks he made to Fox News on Monday.

“As a person involved in the U.S. affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the U.S. vice-president,” said Choe Son Hui, a vice foreign minister who was previously the regime’s top official in charge of relations with the United States. The daughter of a former premier, she is also thought to have direct access to Kim.

Pence repeated [2] Trump’s dangerous threat [3] of military action and regime change against North Korea’s government, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the North Koreans were not pleased with what they heard. The Trump administration doesn’t seem to grasp that it is digging itself deeper and deeper into a hole with public comments connecting negotiations with North Korea and what happened to Gaddafi. If the administration wanted to poison the atmosphere leading up to the summit, they could not have done a better job over the last week and a half.

It may be that administration officials are trying to anger North Korea so much that they call off the summit to save Trump from an embarrassing failure, or it may be that they are so clueless about the implications of their rhetoric that they don’t realize that they are jeopardizing negotiations with North Korea for the sake of silly soundbites. Whatever the real reason is, the Trump administration needs to stop with its irresponsible rhetoric if there is to be any chance of salvaging something from this meeting.

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9 Comments To "The Consequences of Reckless Rhetoric"

#1 Comment By Taras 77 On May 23, 2018 @ 11:45 pm

Intent is clear-it is all by design.

No one really expected or expects this neo con administration to use diplomatic tools. They are incapable or unwilling, take your pick, it does not matter.

Does anyone believe that bolton and pompeo could negotiate fairly-their idea is to capitulate and then we “may” talk.

#2 Comment By JR On May 24, 2018 @ 2:10 am

Peace in Korea would remove any pretext of US having to have a presence there. So racking up the tension again serves the US purpose of maintaining troops there to ‘contain China’. The Libya comparison by Bolton (and later Pence and Pompeo too) was quite intentional to sabotage any chance on peace.

#3 Comment By Celery On May 24, 2018 @ 3:59 am

Trump’s inability to negotiate due to his complete lack of understanding of any of the subjects he is dealing with makes him dangerously incompetent. All Trump has is bluster, and it’s quickly failing him around the world. Someone should tell him that announcing your victory before talks have ensued is not negotiation. It’s hard to believe that Trump is such a child that he thinks all he has to do is want his shiny new Nobel Peace Prize, and he’ll be given it. I think negotiations with N Korea should be put on hold until someone capable is in the White House.

#4 Comment By Uncle Billy On May 24, 2018 @ 6:23 am

This whole concept of “regime change” that we keep hearing from the Trump Administration does no good. It only stiffens the resolve of those countries. It does not intimidate them.

Trump employs bellicose negotiating tactics, trying to intimidate the other party. This may work with building contractors, but it does not work with tyrannical foreign governments.

#5 Comment By b. On May 24, 2018 @ 10:15 am

Given Pence’s posture as low profile impeachment insurance, inserting himself in this manner into the process was a political move. Is it to early to drop the tunnel vision focus on Trump and start discussing the Bolton-Pompeo-Pence axis of evil? Given the potential body count of this “nuclear excursion” of what passes as US “foreign policy”, we might want to get the players right.

#6 Comment By Gerard On May 24, 2018 @ 10:16 am

Honestly, it’s hard to believe that Pence — or anyone — could be dumb enough to blather about Libya in the lead-up to what might have been a historic breakthrough with North Korea. The fact is, Libya is an object lesson in why NOT to give up nukes. I mean, look what it got Gaddafi.

As for Trump, the guy could not find Korea on a map if one of his minders didn’t point to it. It’s now been shown that he’ll do what his neocon Establishment overlords tell him to do.

And guess what: late-breaking news, they’ve apparently told him to cancel the meeting with Kim. So that’s what Pence’s ridiculous rhetoric was pointing toward. Mission accomplished.

#7 Comment By C. L. H. Daniels On May 24, 2018 @ 10:19 am

Annnnnnnd it’s been cancelled. By us.

It’s like they want North Korea to have nuclear weapons so they can have an excuse to try something really stupid.

The World: “There’s no way the U.S. wants to get into a confrontation with two nuclear powers.”

Trump: “Hold my beer.”

#8 Comment By Susana Warren On May 24, 2018 @ 11:04 am

Thanks, Daniel and all those who have posted comments – many different points made but all correct.

Okay, “hold my beer” is my favorite but, hey, what’s the use of having nuclear weapons if you can’t use them!

#9 Comment By Corwin On May 24, 2018 @ 11:23 am

If I were living in South Korea, I’d be getting very nervous right about now, and not necessarily because of what North Korea might do.