Home/Daniel Larison/The Trump Administration’s Dishonest North Korea Spin

The Trump Administration’s Dishonest North Korea Spin

President Trump greets U.S. State Department officials in Singapore, June 11 ahead of the talks.  U.S. Department of State/Flickr

The Trump administration keeps pretending that North Korea has agreed to disarm when it did no such thing:

“What we are going on is the commitment that Chairman Kim made to our president, and that is the commitment to denuclearize. That is something that we certainly anticipate that he will hold up his end of the bargain,” Nauert said.

North Korea didn’t agree to disarm at Singapore or at any other time, and administration officials who keep claiming that they did are misleading the public by misrepresenting the results of the summit. When we see reports that North Korea continues to work on its nuclear weapons and missile programs, that should come as no surprise because North Korea’s government made no commitments not to do those things. It is important to understand this because the administration may try to accuse North Korea of cheating or backtracking later on, but North Korea didn’t make any promises to disarm. There is no agreement to be violated, and there is no commitment for North Korea to follow through on. No bargain was struck, and so there is nothing for North Korea to do to fulfill its end of a non-existent bargain. Clinging to the lie that Kim made a commitment to disarm is absurd, and it makes it impossible to trust anything that the administration says about this issue.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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