Bargaining with a Monster: Trump Shows Savvy in Run-Up to Kim Meeting

For all of us reading the headlines or learning of the president’s letter to Kim Jong-un cancelling the meeting between the two, this came to mind.

Most of us glancing at world events as reported in all kinds of media tend to do this; that is, we skim past it noticing only the headline.

At first blush, the cancellation of the meeting between Kim and the president coming after he got the North Koreans to release three Americans who had been held in jail for a year is looking more like something that might have been planned.

I wouldn’t put it beyond someone thinking strategically that getting the three hostages released before anything else without giving anything up is pretty savvy.

Such strategy goes largely unnoticed among the millions, like myself, who glance only at the headline, “The Big Meeting Has Been Cancelled by the President,” and then get on with our business.

I got to thinking… did the president get the three hostages released appearing to give the house away, knowing he would later cancel out on the meeting, after the hostages were released, to give him the edge over Kim in the future?

The hostages were released.

We gave away nothing to Kim.

He gave away our hostages.

He got nothing back.

This is big victory and a good bit of strategic thinking by the president unless I am badly mistaken, which is always a possibility.

If the release of the hostages by Kim is connected to the cancellation, well, this puts the president in another league.

He has outfoxed the fox, at least in this instance.

We have our nationals back.

He makes nice like a pushover.

He calls off the meeting.

Win for the home team.

America gets the edge, for now.

Kim now must be thinking about the situation.

“I’ve given them three hostages and blown up my nuclear facility, and Trump goes and cancels our meeting. Shit. What do I do now?”

You figure it out, that’s what you do.

Kim is thinking, “What do I do?”

The position he has been put in right now depends on Kim moving forward with an outstretched arm with olive branches showing plainly.

He put himself into the position of bargaining with Trump like a statesman.

He liked the feeling of bargaining like a world leader with the American president. For a guy like him, descended from psychotic tyrants who hated America, it doesn’t get any better than meeting on the same terra firma as the American president and determining a small chapter of world history.

He enjoys what Trump enjoys: the eyes of the world upon them.

What will Kim’s response be?

We won’t really know until it happens — such are the vagaries of speculation about current events and history not yet made. We cannot know what is going to occur until after its has occurred.

Kim can’t walk away.

He loses face if he does.

Losing face is not an option for the swaggering North Korean.

He must go forward with his original plan to somehow show the world he is a giant of a man for his people, a great leader who finally made peace with the dreaded enemy — the United States of America.

Kim needs to move on with the peace effort, because if he dares Trump to pounce, he is doomed.

In many ways, he is doomed either way.

All tyrants are doomed, aren’t they?!

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