Robinson: Playground taunts will not defuse North Korea crisis
San Jose Mercury-News ^ | August 11, 2017 | by Eugene Robinson
Posted on 8/11/2017, 11:00:29 AM by Oldeconomybuyer
This is what we dreaded. Some international crisis was bound to flare up, and President Trump would make it worse. Now we can only hope that the mature adults surrounding him are able to cool things down.
Trump probably thought it was oh-so-clever to answer North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear provocations with a taste of the dictator’s own apocalyptic language, threatening “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” It sounded like a playground taunt, reflecting the president’s emotional immaturity.
Dealing with this crisis will require patience and realism, both of which Trump totally lacks.
There is no quick solution. If there were, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or Barack Obama would have implemented it long ago.
Trump once said he would be willing to meet with Kim. If the president can be kept from making further threats and the present crisis allowed to subside, perhaps we can eventually offer direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang — something Kim dearly wants — with the subject being a verifiable freeze on the North Korean nuclear program. After a freeze is in place for a while, it might be possible to negotiate reductions.
As I said, we need to be patient and realistic. Someone please distract the president with a shiny object for the next few years.
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