We’ve seen this before
For decades, North Korean leaders have been masters of using the carrot-and-stick approach to getting what they want. The key has been their ability to switch between the two with lightning speed.
This week, dictator Kim Jong Un did just that. He called off high-level talks between his regime and South Korea, just hours before they were scheduled to begin. And Pyongyang suggested the anticipated meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump might be canceled.
Why? Because of joint military exercises being conducted between U.S. and South Korean forces. North Korean officials referred to them as “this provocative military ruckus.”
The maneuvers should continue. Trump should not bat an eye. This is all part of a time-tested strategy by North Korea, which plays on the hopes of many people for peace, then uses saber-rattling bullying to prompt the regime’s foes to offer more concessions than they might have otherwise.
Not this time. Trump should stick to his formula of willingness to agree to a deal that could reduce the nuclear threat posed by Kim — tempered with a refusal to bow to bullying or dishonesty.