The news was a blockbuster.
President Donald Trump had agreed to sit down with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Here is the story as headlined by Fox:
Trump will accept Kim Jong Un’s invitation to meet, White House says
The story begins:
President Trump will accept an invitation by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to meet, the White House confirmed Thursday night, in a dramatic development after months of sabre-rattling between the two world leaders.
Kim extended an invitation to meet with Trump and the president agreed that the two would meet by May, South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong announced at the White House.
“President Trump greatly appreciates the nice words of the South Korean delegation and President Moon,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined. We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”
And what does this remind?
If one is old enough to recall the shock in the day, it is the announcement in 1971 that the legendary-anti-Communist President Richard Nixon would be going to China to meet with China’s tyrannical Communist Chairman Mao Zedong.
Nixon’s then- national security advisor and later Secretary of State Henry Kissinger would write of this totally unpredicted event:
On the third anniversary of Nixon’s Inauguration Day (1971) we were in the thick of planning an event nobody imagined possible in 1969: the visit of a United States President to Peking.…
China was not important to us because it was physically powerful; Chou En-lai was surely right in his repeated protestations that his nation was not a superpower. In fact, had China been stronger it would not have pursued the improvement of relations with us with the same single-mindedness. Peking [now Beijing] needed us to help break out of its isolation and as a counterweight to the potentially mortal threat along its northern border [the Soviet Union]. We needed China to enhance the flexibility of our diplomacy. Gone were the days when we enjoyed the luxury of choosing the moment to involve ourselves in world affairs. We were permanently involved — but not so physically or morally predominant as before. We had to take account of other power centers and strive for an equilibrium among them. The China initiative also restored perspective to our national policy. It reduced Indochina to its proper scale — a small peninsula on a major continent. Its drama eased for the American people the pain that would inevitably accompany our withdrawal from Southeast Asia. And it brought balance into the perceptions of our friends around the world.
Change a few things here and there and what we have in this description of the legendary ex-Secretary of State about the events of Thursday night. In which we learned that, in essence, as Nixon went to China, Trump is going to sit down with North Korea.
After decades of letting the “experts” deal with North Korea, the United States now faces a North Korea that is by all accounts mere months from getting nuclear weapons. North Korea helped immeasurably by the Neville Chamberlain style of naïveté like this from then-President Bill Clinton in 1994:
“Good afternoon. I am pleased that the United States and North Korea yesterday reached agreement on the text of a framework document on North Korea’s nuclear program. This agreement will help to achieve a longstanding and vital American objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula.
“This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world. It reduces the danger of the threat of nuclear spreading in the region. It’s a crucial step toward drawing North Korea into the global community.”
Not a word of this was true. Clinton’s assurances were as worthless as Chamberlain’s proclaimed promise of peace from Adolf Hitler in 1938. Chamberlain and Clinton had made the same exact mistake. Peace is not gained with weakness. As Ronald Reagan proclaimed and demonstrated in reality, peace was only gained through strength.
Not to put too fine a point on all of this, but here is the Jerusalem Post on North Korea and what it has been up to in Syria:
FORMER SYRIAN GENERAL: HEZBOLLAH IS IN POSSESSION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS
According to General Sha’arq Zuhair al-Skeit, Tehran is building short- to medium-range missiles with chemical warheads in Syria.
The story says, among other things, this:
On the issue of Syrian cooperation with North Korea, Saqit confirmed that North Korea had indeed supplied Damascus with chemical weapons and assisted in their installation and operation against civilians. He also said that in his capacity as senior officer in the Syrian Army, he accompanied North Korean officers who came to advise on chemical weapons for the various units.
So. What do we have here?
What we have here is Nixon goes to China, or Reagan’s Peace Through Strength that ended the Cold War. President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he is more than willing to use peace through strength — which is to say nuclear weapons — to stop Kim Jong Un in his tracks.
Suddenly, Kim wants to talk.