“Little Rocket Man,” Kim Jong-un of North Korea, got the photo-op that he so desperately wanted from President Donald Trump: the U.S. and North Korean flags side-by-side and President Trump smiling and shaking his hand. Trump said it was “an honor” to meet him.
This will now run on a loop on North Korea’s state-run propaganda media to show that North Korea’s Supreme Leader, by developing nuclear weapons and an ICBM missile that can deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental United States, forced the President of the United States into meeting with him one-on-one as an equal among nuclear states, and obtained assurances from the president of the survival of his despotic murderous criminal regime.
Other despotic regimes around the world will take away the message: get yourself some nukes, and force the United States to deal.
Michael Green, senior National Security Council official on Asia policy during the George W. Bush administration, writes at Foreign Policy, Trump Pardons Another Celebrity Criminal:
In Singapore on Tuesday, the president of the United States demonstrated that he has the authority to give unconditional pardons not only to felons at home, but also on the international stage. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime has violated multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions by continuing to test ever more dangerous ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons and was found guilty of crimes against humanity by a U.N. Commission of Inquiry in 2014. In Singapore, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he trusted Kim, said it was an honor to meet him, and declared peace on the Korean Peninsula. The situation on the peninsula is so horrible in terms of human suffering and threats to peace that one wants to hope for the best with this diplomatic pageant. Maybe I am just another “hater and loser” — but parsing what we know thus far, it is hard to see what we have achieved for the North Korean people or the safety of the world in exchange for pardoning Kim.