Regardless of his motives, Kim Jong Un’s desire to meet with President Trump to negotiate a potential denuclearization deal is a very remarkable and welcome development. Despite the Kim family regime’s 25-year record of defaults on previous agreements, we can hope for better prospects under America’s present no-nonsense, lead from the front, White House.
Donald Trump won’t be hornswoggled by the same stalling ruse perpetrated on prior administrations by Kim’s father and grandfather. Meanwhile, they continued their nuclear program in secret, extracted concessions in return for talking, and then broke every promise they made.
Kim’s recent peaceful epiphany purports to seek unification with South Korea, a public relations extravaganza carefully choreographed for the joint North-South Paralympic spectacle. If his real agenda was to drive a strategic wedge between the U.S. and South Korea, that ploy doesn’t seem to be working. Joint U.S. — South Korean military exercises remain scheduled to proceed at the end of this month as planned.
There are good reasons to doubt that Kim Jong Un seriously wishes to open a pathway leading to a unified Korea. Doing so would unlock gates of isolation and disinformation he depends upon to hold his oppressed people hostage.
Kim’s tyrannical regime can only continue to hold power so long as his captive, impoverished, brainwashed and spied upon citizens are kept in the dark by propaganda and outside communication blackouts. Unification would lift those lead curtains to reveal a neighboring economic and industrial South Korea juggernaut . . . a world of freedom, opportunity and prosperity they are being cheated of experiencing.
Even the enthusiastic-appearing North Korean cheerleaders we saw featured at the Paralympics in South Korea were strictly forbidden to talk to anyone, including each other, about conditions outside their country. Nevertheless, information has a leaky way of spreading across the tightest borders. Visitors and defectors report that North Koreans are becoming increasingly conscious of conditions elsewhere through secreted iPads, radios, and smuggled copies of international news and entertainment publications.
Outside information is also being brought back by trainloads of workers returning from U.N. member countries far and wide that are enforcing sanctions upon their employment. Tragically, those same sanctions which have been imposed to drain money away from the Kim regime’s military exploits, also heap unavoidable collateral hardships upon his already beleaguered people.
Many thousands of people are being starved because money and resources needed to provide for basic public living essentials are being diverted to develop atomic weapon and delivery systems used to intimidate those who would challenge the regime. Favored military and political elites share lavish perks that are subsidized by this oppression.
Short of regime change, massive North Korean armaments will continue to be targeted on the South, Seoul in particular. Even in the unlikelihood that Pyongyang denuclearizes and dismantles its intercontinental missiles, the capital will still remain vulnerable to catastrophic destruction by hundreds of thousands of conventional missiles and warheads.
President Moon Jae-in has been working assiduously behind the scenes to arrange the diplomatic dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang which led to the upcoming summit. The two Koreas are also set to hold their own high-level meeting at the Panmunjom truce village on the inter-Korean demilitarized zone in late April. This will be the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade.
The only Korean unity that can truly be trusted is between South Korea, Japan and America . . . one where diplomacy is backed up by strength and a resolute willingness to use it when reasonableness fails. South Korean President Moon Jae-in realizes this. He has pledged that his country will stick with tough economic sanctions against North Korea until "real progress" is made toward ending its nuclear weapons programs.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shares allied skepticism that Kim Jong Un will ever seriously consider abandoning his family’s core ideological goals. Key among these are to become an internationally recognized nuclear power, to expel U.S. forces from the peninsula, and to conquer and take control of South Korea. Abe urges, "We must not give anything of value in exchange for words that anyone can say."
The planned U.S.-North Korea summit will mark Kim’s first direct encounter with any foreign head of state since taking over as supreme leader in 2011. Add to this, that neither his father, nor grandfather before him, have ever met with a sitting U.S. president. Simply meeting with President Trump can provide a feigned aura of legitimacy on the world stage.
Let’s be wildly hopeful that Kim Jong Un brings more to those discussions than a transparently disingenuous stalling talk tactic to buy time and offer cover for nuclear and ICBM developments purchased with extortion money. If so, unlike previous North Korea and Iran deal appeasers, he’s up against a seasoned player who will call his bluff and Trump it.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2012). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.