For those who believe nuclear weapons in North Korea are a recent phenomenon, check your powder. The rogue regime has been working toward this endgame since the early 1990s. It was young Donald Trump that pointed to the Asia nation’s dark aspirations in 1999, and called for immediate action.
“The biggest problem this world has is nuclear proliferation,” Trump said in a 1999 Meet the Press interview. “And we have a country out there in North Korea, which is sort of whacko, and they’re not a bunch of dummies, and they are going out and developing nuclear weapons. And, they are not doing it because they are having fun, they are doing it for a reason.”
“And wouldn’t it be good to really sit down and negotiate something. And ideally negotiate,” he said. “If that negotiation doesn’t work, you better solve the problem now rather than solve it later. And every politician knows it and nobody wants to talk about it.”
At the time, Trump had announced his presidential candidacy affiliated with the Reform Party. Interestingly enough, his platform then focused on bad trade deals and he promised to marry his then girlfriend, Melania Knauss, and make her First Lady. Check!
But, the North Korea situation weighed heavily on then-candidate Trump’s global thinking as he predicted North Korea would eventually achieve its goal of being able to strike an American target.
“Do you want to do it in five years when they have warheads all over the place, every one of them pointing to New York City, to Washington and every one of us, is that when you want to do it, or do you want to do something now?” Trump said on Meet the Press. “You’d better do it now. And if they think you’re serious … they’ll negotiate and it’ll never come to that.”
As now Pres. Donald J. Trump greets three freed Americans from North Korean detention and readies for a denuclearization and trade summit, he appears to be keeping a campaign promise made in 1999 to “negotiate like crazy.”
Over the years, it has become commonplace for everyday Americans to become jaded about presidential campaign promises because so many failed to match their words with deeds. Consider the three presidents who botched the North Korea problem.
Although the left-leaning media routinely gave Pres. Bill Clinton as pass for his errors, with the exception of adulterous affairs in the White House, the U.S. and North Korea stood on the brink of war in 1993. That was when the enemy state developed its first significant missile. Capable of striking Japan, Pres. Clinton sent his predecessor Jimmy Carter to negotiate.
The mild-mannered ex-president brokered a lopsided deal that lifted sanctions, supplied North Korea with oil and paid them off in cold, hard American cash. The funds were to be used to build a nuclear reactor, no less, designed to produce energy. Among the many mistakes in this deal, North Korea was not required to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. The Republican-held Congress balked at the arrangement, delayed and by 1998 North Korea had resumed its nuclear weapons program. Clinton got fleeced.
Pres. Bush came into office with both sides abandoning the agreement and nuclear proliferation on the rise. Dubbing the Asian nation part of the “Axis of Evil,” along with Iran and Iraq, the Bush Administration took the policy position that harsh sanctions would cause them to yield.
Although the average citizen in North Korea suffered, by 2003 North Korea announced it had a nuclear weapon. After gaming China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the United States in denuclearization talks, the rogue nation began testing bombs and shipping technology to Syria by 2006. Bush got conned.
Early in Pres. Obama’s first term, North Korea effectively detonated a nuclear weapon underground. In response, Pres. Obama implemented a policy infamously known as “Strategic Patience.” The liberal-biased media touted his position that North Koreans were really just kind souls that would come to their senses.
Kim Jong-un assumed leadership after his father’s death and doubled-down on the hardline anti-American war efforts. North Korea expanded its efforts to include cyberattacks, and ramped up long-range missile efforts to deliver a payload to any American location. Obama sat on his hands while Rome burned.
The Trump Administration’s North Korea policy has been unorthodox to say the least. From name calling to open threats of a full-scale war, Pres. Trump and Pres. Kim seemed like a pair of schoolyard foes looking to square off in a fist fight. But that bare-knuckled approach appears to be the best opportunity to get results.
Pres. Trump, unlike the foolhardy approaches taken by his three predecessors, ratcheted up international pressure. He even worked a side deal to pull long-time ally China from North Korea’s side. Unlike previous presidents, sanctions were far more stringent and enforced through naval warships. Pres. Trump didn’t just engage in a war of words, bribery or sit on his hands, he maximized his powers as Commander-in-Chief to bring Kim to the table.
With a Republican majority behind him, the president has a rare opportunity to broker a denuclearization and trade deal that could be ratified by the Republican-led Congress and stick. Whether successful or not, Pres. Trump has kept his 1999 campaign promise to “negotiate like crazy.” It’s been a wild ride.
~ Conservative Zone