No Deal – President Trump Holds a Press Conference Prior to Departing Hanoi, Vietnam…
Despite several positive and remarkable comments from Kim Jong-un, President Donald Trump and the North Korean Chairman could not come to a substantive agreement after two days of negotiations on the process to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
During a press conference prior to departing Hanoi, Vietnam, President Trump cited two issues: (1) A North Korean demand for the immediate removal of all multinational economic sanctions; and (2) The unwillingness of North Korea to be fulsome about their missile and nuclear locations. WATCH:
UPDATE: Here is a link to the transcript. Additional Thoughts:
In the backdrop of the Hanoi summit, and as U.S-China trade negotiations continue, the Trump administration suspended the implementation of the March 1st tariff increase on Chinese goods. Unfortunately, attaining this goal may have empowered a cunning Chairman Xi Jinping to influence the demands of DPRK Chairman Kim.
A covert influence connection will become clear if President Trump now takes an even more firm trade and tariff position toward China. We’ll keep watching closely.
Chairman Xi may have won this round, but we can expect an angered and strategic President Trump to hit back twice as hard.
In this dance with the dragon President Trump cannot simply reverse the tariff suspension, that approach would be too obvious. Instead my suggestion would be to look for signs of the U.S. reviewing Chinese violations of the North Korea sanctions.
A key indicator will be if over the next several weeks, we see the U.S. Treasury and/or Commerce Department beginning to point out those who are violating the sanctions against North Korea.
It’s an open secret that China is the largest violator; but President Trump has been giving everyone a pass due to progress on both the China trade and DPRK nuclear talks.
With a set-back in the overall process, and with China playing games, we might just see a renewed focus on U.S. sanction enforcement, specifically targeting China.
What we will not see is President Trump acquiescing to China on trade and economics simply to get Kim Jong-un away from Beijing’s clutches. That massive ransom payment falls too heavily, and too exclusively, on the United States – while regional allies gain the benefits of peace on the back of a lessened U.S. economy.
That sh!t deal wouldn’t pass the MAGAnomic ‘America First’ test; not even close.
That exact conversation is what President Trump likely will be explaining to South Korean President Moon Jae-in (the Asian Obama), and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the flight home. THAT EXACT CONVERSATION!