Don’t get hopes up regarding N. Korea

The announcement last week that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has agreed to meet face-to-face with President Donald Trump to discuss the rogue regime’s development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles was hailed by many as wonderful news.

Let’s not get our hopes up.

Kim, like his late father, Kim Jong Il, is a master of brinkmanship — putting much of the world on edge at the prospect of a nuclear war, then appearing to back away. For decades, that has been North Korea’s strategy to get away with an arms buildup that has made Pyongyang a major threat to peace.

Trump’s no-nonsense method of talking about Kim, combined with stiff economic sanctions against North Korea, indeed may have prompted the dictator to rethink his arms buildup schedule. But, as the White House has warned, it all may be part of the grand strategy of aggressive weapons development. Kim may be hoping to buy time.

Still, the Trump administration should take Kim up on his offer.

It is highly unlikely this president will fall victim to the same errors in judgment committed by his predecessors, Republican and Democrat. They made the mistake of believing they had convinced North Korean leaders of the error of their ways.

If Trump meets Kim, the discussion should be short and blunt. It should consist of informing the dictator that Americans see him as a threat to our homeland — and that is not acceptable.