For decades Presidents have simply not agreed to face to face meetings with the North Korean dictator, regardless of who he is. Now, Kim Jong-un has achieved what has been illusive to both his father and his grandfather.
The US has not agreed to such meetings for several reasons:
- The North Koreans are always breaking promises and commitments. Why have the President and the United States suffer such an embarrassment on a global stage?
- It gives legitimacy to a regime that is beyond rogue. It got the name “Hermit Kingdom” for many reasons.
- Rather than supporting dissidents in this torturous state, it sends a message that we are closer to their dictator than them. In fact, the only condition to having such a meeting is that North Korea stop developing its nuclear program. Nothing was said about the nation’s horrific human rights policies.
But the meeting is on, and the Administration is celebrating it.
Vice President said on March 6 that “Whichever direction talks with North Korea go, we will be firm in our resolve. The United States and our allies remain committed to applying maximum pressure on the Kim regime to end their nuclear program. All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization.”
Then on March 9 that “North Korea’s desire to meet to discuss denuclearization – while suspending all ballistic missile and nuclear testing – is evidence that President Trump’s strategy to isolate the Kim regime is working. The North Koreans are coming to the table despite the United States making zero concessions and, in close coordination with our allies, we have consistently increased the pressure on the Kim regime. Our resolve is undeterred and our policy remains the same: all sanctions remain in place and the maximum pressure campaign will continue until North Korea takes concrete, permanent, and verifiable steps to end their nuclear program.”
Again, just documenting a face to face is more than any North Korean dictator has been able to achieve. Getting concessions from the regime, after its long history of failing to keep promises, creates an opportunity for him to simply embarrass the West.