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Kim gets propaganda victory

To the editor:

I read with great interest the Independent’s March 5 editorial Kim needs new plan, regarding President Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The editorial ends by stating, “This is precisely the strategy American leaders should have adopted decades ago… This time around, North Korea will not get something for nothing.” I question how familiar the editorial’s author is with Trump’s recent dealings with North Korea.

North Korea has offered to meet with every sitting U.S. president for decades. Each president prior to Trump has responded with a list of preconditions for such a meeting to take place, as a meeting with a sitting U.S. president is in itself a victory for the North Korean dictator. Indeed, the North Korean propaganda film “The Country I Saw” ends with the U.S. president bowing to demands to meet with the North Korean leader without preconditions. This is precisely what Trump did in his meetings with Kim.

In addition to the victory Trump gave Kim by agreeing to meet on Kim’s terms, Trump has taken other measures to appease Kim while getting nothing in return. Trump absurdly proclaims that Kim was unaware that North Korea was torturing American student Otto Warmbier to death. Trump still claims that he and Kim “fell in love.” Finally, the day after Trump walked away empty handed in Hanoi, Trump acquiesced to Kim’s demand that we cancel military exercises with South Korea. All the while, Kim’s regime continues to build up its rocket and nuclear capabilities.

This is not Trump’s only blunder regarding North Korea. Recall he tried to intimidate Kim with “fire and fury.” North Korea did not stop its threats against the United States. Kim called Trump’s bluff seven hours later and threatened to nuke Guam, proving Trump’s threats toothless.

To recap: Kim walked away with a propaganda victory and a cancelation of our military exercises. We walked away with nothing. Does the Independent’s editorial team truly believe this is the correct strategy?

Matthew Zabka

Marshall

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