The Art of the Deal – by Kim Jung Un

Written by Jill Chapin. Posted in Opinion, Politics, War

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Published on June 16, 2018 with No Comments

President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un shake hands in a first ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, 6/12/18, Singapore. Pool photo.

By Jill Chapin

June 16, 2018

Have you ever watched TV commercials late at night when suffering from insomnia, and you see a terrific offer for a state-of-the-art vacuum? It looks so good that you’re about to reach for your phone when the announcer says, “But wait! Order in the next 17 minutes and we’ll throw in free attachments!” That does it – you start punching in the 800 number when the announcer interrupts your imminent purchase with an even better deal – two for the price of one. Okay, you’re thinking this is too good to be true, but when he throws in free shipping, you begin to wonder what’s in it for the seller. Even in your sleep deprivation, you wonder why they keep upping the offer when you sheepishly admit to yourself that they had you at hello.

The TV announcer reminds me of our president during his meeting with Kim Jung Un. The Korean leader hardly had a chance to reciprocate or even acknowledge all that Trump was throwing at him, so deferential and obsequious was our president toward what can only be described as an oppressive cruel tyrant, forcing hundreds of thousands of his own citizens into labor camps where they die from starvation or torture. There is a reason why North Koreans are smaller than people around the world; they are malnourished.

Trump oozed flattery, telling Kim Jung Un that his country loves him, that you can see the fervor in his people. Wouldn’t anyone show great fervor toward Kim, knowing that if you aren’t yet in a prison camp, you live in fear of ending up in one? As if that weren’t terrifying enough, if you are sent to a labor camp, they send three generations of your relatives there too – essentially a death sentence for your entire family.

Yet before Kim had a chance to wonder if Trump would bring up human rights, he practically heard the TV announcer say, “Wait, there’s more!” Trump then answered a decades-long fantasy of the Kim family meeting and greeting the leader of the free world in a series of photo ops, finally casting him as a legitimate and respected world leader.

I imagine Kim Jung Un must be wondering if this is all too good to be true, much like the insomniac watching a tempting commercial. But before he had to put any skin in the game, another whopper was dropped into his lap.

Speaking impulsively without consulting South Korea or the U.S. military, Trump handed a gift to Kim on that proverbial silver platter – an unprecedented give-away with his unilaterally deciding to end joint military exercises with South Korea.

Kim must have been hyperventilating at this point, when Trump aka TV announcer, bellows, “That’s not all!” He invited Kim Jung Un to the White House, a long coveted dream come true.

There is no denying that agreeing to meet with one’s adversaries with no pre-conditions is at least a first step in toning down the belligerence and harsh rhetoric that can lead to an accidental war. So it would be difficult even for Trump’s detractors to deny that this summit was at the very least a potentially good beginning toward better relations.

But what is undeniable is that the U.S. got nothing in return. Reading the text of the Kim-Trump signed statement, it was simply a boilerplate declaration of joint efforts, and commitments to working towards denuclearization. But these generalities had been previously agreed to with other presidents without one iota of movement toward nuclear disarmament.

So with Trump pre-emptively giving away the analogous vacuum with all the bells and whistles before seeing what concessions Kim Jung Un would offer, it is obvious who was far superior in the art of the deal.

Our blustery president who spouts off impulsive and often contradictory rhetoric without forethought reminds me of something Plato said long ago: Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.

Jill Chapin

Jill Chapin has been a guest writer and columnist in several Los Angeles area papers for over fifteen years. She has written a bilingual parenting book titled, "If You Have Kids, Then Be a Parent!" and a children's book entitled, "My Magic Bubble."

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