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Trump Touts a ‘Contract’ with North Korea That Doesn’t Exist

The president continues to misrepresent the results of the summit with North Korea:

Trump’s confidence is not the least bit reassuring, since he then proceeds to mislead the public about what North Korea agreed to do and what was signed in Singapore. There was no contract, and North Korea committed to do nothing specific with respect to its nuclear weapons and missile programs. Kim did not agree to the “denuclearization of North Korea,” but did agree to “work toward” the denuclearization of the entire peninsula. Trump and Pompeo keep lying to the public that these are the same thing, but they aren’t. Pretending that they are the same thing doesn’t fool anyone, least of all the North Koreans. They know very well what they have and haven’t agreed to do. The only reason to claim that North Korea agreed to disarm when they haven’t is to create an excuse for accusing them of deception or being in breach of a “contract” they never signed.

I recently summed up the problem with the administration’s North Korea policy this way:

Trump’s accusation that China may be somehow responsible for what is happening is a weak effort to shift blame to anyone except himself, and it echoes the deranged rhetoric [4] coming from Sen. Lindsey Graham. Yesterday Graham publicly threatened the North Korean government with assassination of its leadership:


“To our North Korean friends — can’t say the word friend yet — you asked Pompeo did he sleep well,” Graham said. “If you knew what I knew about what we could do to the leadership of North Korea, you wouldn’t sleep very well.”

Graham is a lunatic warmonger who is always saying absurd and alarming things, but we should bear in mind that on this issue he is also a close ally and confidant of the president. If Trump thinks that he has somehow been betrayed or cheated, he is much more likely to listen to the ravings of Graham and Bolton, and that would be disastrous for everyone. The danger here is that hard-liners in the administration exploit Trump’s delusions to make him think that he has been fleeced and urge him to abandon the diplomatic track all together.

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10 Comments To "Trump Touts a ‘Contract’ with North Korea That Doesn’t Exist"

#1 Comment By john On July 9, 2018 @ 12:03 pm

HA, HA. He may find out a contract with Kim is worth even less than a contract with Trump. Still I am happy he thinks he is winning, no war required.

#2 Comment By balconesfault On July 9, 2018 @ 12:33 pm

Blaming it on the Chinese? Seriously?

No unbiased observer believed that the NK’s were anywhere near to being willing to give up their nuclear capability.

Love the “no takebacks” tweet.

The biggest question these days isn’t whether or not a real nuke deal will be made. It’s whether Trump actually believes himself.

#3 Comment By liberal On July 9, 2018 @ 12:49 pm

Kim did not agree to the “denuclearization of North Korea,” but did agree to “work toward” the denuclearization of the entire peninsula.

Well, by the same token, doesn’t the NPT require us to work toward global (i.e., including American) denuclearization? I’m sure Trump will get right on that!

#4 Comment By Kent On July 9, 2018 @ 12:51 pm

What is the United States supposed to be giving up for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula? Will there be no discussion of that?

#5 Comment By Sid Finster On July 9, 2018 @ 3:18 pm

In other news, Trump is ill-informed, uninformed, unintelligent, and easily manipulated.

Details on the hour.

#6 Comment By One Guy On July 9, 2018 @ 4:41 pm

I don’t think Trump even cares if there is an actual agreement with North Korea. As long as he claims there is, his supporters will believe him, and continue to idolize him. This adulation is what he actually wants. And, of course, he can now blame Pompeo if things do go badly. I’m betting Pompeo doesn’t understand this.

#7 Comment By b. On July 9, 2018 @ 5:06 pm

If Trump wanted to shift the blame, he would have been well-advised to blame “Russia!”, or even Iran – a solid biparty majority would instantly applaud him for another moment in which he’d “become President”.

But dragging China – the one nation that decides whether “maximum pressure” will even be possible in any relevant way – into the global pile-up that is Trumpian “diplomacy” sounds more like the echo of global conspiracy theorism – Communists are everywhere – within a hollowed head. Everything is connected to everything, everything is an attempt to take advantage of good upstanding “US”, and just like the Houthis have no agency in Yemen, North Korea cannot possibly have a say in what is obviously part of a Chinese “full court press” to mess with the “international order”.

Even the connection to economic warfare and sanctions is tenuous – in Trump’s mind, our “allies” are sabotaging NATO, leeching of the US, are doing business with Iran and other terrorists, and are also exploiting US generosity in trading, so he threatens them with sanctions and tariffs just as much as he threatens China, Russia, Iran, North Korea…

I suppose we can count ourselves lucky he isn’t blaming North Korea on France and Germany yet.

#8 Comment By b. On July 9, 2018 @ 5:08 pm

FFVD is the new CVID? It just does not have the same ring without “irreversible” or “permanent”, but then, “final” has a good ring to it, historically speaking.

#9 Comment By Whine Merchant On July 9, 2018 @ 5:37 pm

So, the Fantasist-in-Chief spins another self-comforting tale for his flock to re-tweet in their echo chamber. Those who do not worship him now never will, and those who still do need to be reminded that they are on the one true path.
Pronouncements from the Vatican are called a “Papal Bull”. Those from the current White House are just bull…

#10 Comment By Uncle Billy On July 9, 2018 @ 8:15 pm

Kim is playing Trump. Kim wants massive aid and funding in return for promising to get rid of his nukes, which he will never do. Trump will eventually realize that he has been conned, but will pretend that it did not happen.