Donald Trump’s failed North Korea gambit goes further south

Mike Pompeo was drafted into Donald Trump’s cabinet as Secretary of State to replace oil magnate Rex Tillerson. Pompeo was presumably picked by Trump because he’s known to take a hardline toward most issues, such as keeping Guantanamo Bay open and torturing terrorist suspects. A Secretary of State needs to have a deft touch when it comes to diplomacy, so Trump sent Pompeo over to antagonize North Korea into denuclearization.

Pompeo visited the beleaguered country, where he was hoping to have a one-on-one with the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un and present him with a gift from Donald Trump, to presumably pave the way toward friendlier relations. So, why not present a peace offering of a CD of Elton John’s Rocket Man, signed by none other than The Donald himself? Trump is fond of calling Kim Jong-un “little rocket man.” What a great party favor: I had a sit down with Trump’s guy, and all I got was this lousy insult.

No wonder Kim Jong-un blew off the meeting and went to inspect potatoes instead. Pompeo has returned to the US, touting the meeting as productive, but now everyone knows he actually got stood up on prom night. And the Elton John CD? Well, Trump is holding onto it, in hopes that one day he will be able to really stick it to Kim Jong-un.

In actuality, Trump may want to switch to the genre of gangster rap, as that may be a more realistic understanding of Trump’s diplomatic style, according to Kim Jong-un. I think it is reasonable to conclude that talks are not going all that well between the US and North Korea. It is almost as if North Korea doesn’t have an arsenal of nukes and an itchy trigger finger. Or almost like Trump has no intelligence. The real victims of Trump’s juvenile bullying may very well end up being South Korea and Japan, as they have the most to lose in terms of security.

It’s almost as if those nations should be involved in these discussions too, as Kim Jong-un has repeatedly mentioned. China, the really big cat in the neighborhood, also should be involved in discussions surrounding peace talks and stabilizing the region, but the Trump administration seems to be working around those figures rather than with them.