One would expect the headlines would already be starting to scream. About North Korea that is. That is also, if one is not watching the permanent distraction programming of American media as Michael Cohen, perhaps the worst possible choice of witness, tries to save his tail from prison and malign President Trump at the same time.
However, in Viet Nam, a much more important story continued to develop. President Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un failed to reach an agreement on denuclearization of the North Korean peninsula, and from the North Korean perspective, the failure was that the US did not lift all of its present sanctions against the isolated North Korean State.
When the media realizes there is a way to hit President Trump for this, they will. And in fact, this has probably already started.
In fact, the UK Daily Mail seems to be an early hitter in what is possibly going to be a “berate President Trump for failing to force Kim’s hand” session. The British tabloid combined the news of the collapse of the talks in Viet Nam with the so-called “bombshell” testimony in which Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal attorney, claimed his former boss was in a “criminal conspiracy” involving a hush payment to porn actress Stephanie Cliffords (stage name “Stormy Daniels”).
We put this term in quotes because there is no crime at all involved in making a payment for someone to keep quiet about embarrassing information if that person is threatening to publish it. The allegations of campaign finances being used to pay for this are ludicrous because the President financed much of his own campaign while a candidate and the money used was not from donations.
However, the truth does not matter in America when it comes to President Trump, and in fact, apparently, America doesn’t matter to some of her political leadership.
Consider the reaction of House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi to the news that the US – North Korean talks did not end with a deal. From the Daily Mail:
At home, Democrats mocked the summit as ‘amateur hour’ and called it a ‘failure’ — with Speaker Nancy Pelosi touting Kim the ‘big winner’ for getting the president to sit down and negotiate.
‘I guess it took two meetings for him to realize that Kim Jong Un is not on the level,’ Pelosi told reporters of the president in the Capitol Thursday. ‘He was a big winner, Kim Jong Un, in getting to sit face-to-face with the most powerful person in the world – the president of the United States.’
During the day, though, the US media seemed not to be doing its usual hysteria that would be expected over a “failure” to reach an agreement. It appears that this is because of two possible factors: One is that the Viet Nam talks are 12 hours’ time difference from Washington DC and New York, so much of what happened with the talks took place while America was going to bed.
The second factor is the complete and utter media circus surrounding convicted former attorney Michael Cohen’s three-day testimony before Congress. This drama is still playing out at the time of this writing, and we are electing to sit and watch before offering a conclusive analysis.
But so far the testimony is actually rather surprising, as Mr. Cohen denied the existence of collusion between Mr. Trump and agencies in Russia – the most he seemed able to point to was the “strange” manner in which President Putin and Candidate Trump expressed respect and praise for one another during the 2016 presidential campaign. And the only “strange” thing about that is that doing such a thing goes against the establishment policy view towards Russia.
Nevertheless the mainstream media and Fox News and other conservative outlets are either sweeping the regular run of daytime dramas for the hoped for real drama of some sort of massive implication that President Trump is really a criminal deserving of punishment. However, so far the only drama or tension appears to be the efforts of the mainstream press to cobble together some fragment of their hopeful narrative. Time will tell how that goes.
To examine the actual fact of the Hanoi talks is possible, even though at this time information is still coming out about what exactly happened.
The upshot was that Chairman Kim wanted the US to lift all its present sanctions against North Korea first, and then the country would totally commit to nuclear disarmament.
Fox News went into more detail on what happened, and we refer to their piece here:
President Trump abruptly walked away from negotiations with North Korea in Vietnam and headed back to Washington on Thursday afternoon, saying the U.S. is unwilling to meet Kim Jong Un’s demand of lifting all sanctions on the rogue regime without first securing its meaningful commitment to denuclearization.
Trump, speaking in Hanoi, Vietnam, told reporters he had asked Kim to do more regarding his intentions to denuclearize, and “he was unprepared to do that.”
“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump said at a solo press conference following the summit.
Trump specifically said negotiations fell through after the North demanded a full removal of U.S.-led international sanctions in exchange for the shuttering of the North’s Yongbyon nuclear facility. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the United States wasn’t willing to make a deal without the North committing to giving up its secretive nuclear facilities outside Yongbyon, as well as its missile and warheads program.
“It was about the sanctions,” Trump said. “Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that.”
“I’d much rather do it right than do it fast,” Trump added, echoing his remarks from earlier in the day, when he insisted that “speed” was not important. “We’re in position to do something very special.”
Perhaps part of the reason also that the mainstream media is not doing a full-court press against the President is that they know he is correct in his action. While this is politically and ideological unpleasant, it is true. The principle is simple: The bully doesn’t get to set the terms.
While President Trump and Chairman Kim apparently do have a good relationship, the problem is still the same. North Korea was a real pain for many countries in its local region, China, Russia, South Korea, Japan – countries which are not allied with one another nor are all of them allied with the United States. While Chairman Kim was launching missiles over Japan and setting off nukes underground in North Korea, his behavior was problematic for everyone.
Perhaps if the situation really were just between North Korea and the United States, then the Western media could legitimately pile on Mr. Trump for the predictable array of “reasons” the talks failed, with attribution likely being “Trump was a weak negotiator not to be able to force an agreement.”
However, such an allegation is not based in reality, and Mr. Trump’s closing of the talks was.
Sometimes you have to walk. This is true, and anyone who read Mr. Trump’s The Art of the Deal would know that. This is a negotiating tactic. And this president is a master at this trade. Kim Jong-un simply needs some time to think over what just happened. It would be a great surprise indeed if the North Korean leader decided to revert to the old bluster and threaten routine.
But he has to come to realize that, himself, and now he has some time to do it.
Apparently the negotiations did not end in a hostile manner. All things considered, there will be a deal signed, but it will just take some time for it to happen.
It would appear that this reality is not amenable to mainstream media bias, for once. Perhaps the Cohen hearings were a blessing in disguise. Only time will tell.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.