Perhaps it was always too good to be true.
Donald Trump, a President who was widely lambasted by the liberal left on account of his political inexperience, became an unprecedented hero in an unlikely situation with North Korea early into his presidency.
For reasons perhaps still unknown, Trump’s opening of a dialogue with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un suddenly seemed to bring the DPRK back into the global community. Part of this resurgence included, as it must, a promise of denuclearization by the hermit kingdom.
Somewhere along the way, things have fallen off the rails, likely at the behest of Kim himself.
Now, ever more astonishingly, the dainty despot is pushing the envelope even further with claims of a new weapons test.
North Korea said Thursday that it had test-fired a new type of “tactical guided weapon,” its first such test in nearly half a year, and demanded that Washington remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations.
The test, which didn’t appear to be of a banned mid- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle negotiations, allows North Korea to show its people it is pushing ahead with weapons development while also reassuring domestic military officials worried that diplomacy with Washington signals weakness.
And that’s not all: The DPRK is also now taking pot shots at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Separately, the North Korean Foreign Ministry accused Pompeo of playing down the significance of comments by leader Kim Jong Un, who said last week that Washington has until the end of the year to offer mutually acceptable terms for an agreement to salvage the high-stakes nuclear diplomacy. Both the demand for Pompeo’s removal from the talks and the weapon test point to North Korea’s displeasure with the deadlocked negotiations.
Was this all a ruse by North Korea, orchestrated to temporarily lighten sanctions placed on them by the Trump administration, or is something more nefarious in the works?
Given what we already know about the maniacal Kim Jong Un, it may be foolish to take any options off the table.