What the critics of Trump's deal missed
...This is another sane analysis as opposed to the sour grapes seat of the pant griping coming from most of the mainstream media and the Democrats. There are still bridges to be crossed before it is finalized but I think Trump has made the world safer with this deal and it may also be a stepping stone to a real deal with Iran.
Naturally, there has been no lack of criticism of the summit. But anti-Trump mania drives most of the critical narrative, rather than a reasoned analysis of strategic opportunity. The president was mocked for being overconfident, even as he approached the summit with repeated cautions that perhaps nothing would result.
He was scoffed at for being an amateur in foreign policy, a reality TV star in over his head and ill-prepared. But as Dilbert creator Scott Adams pointed out, Trump has spent his entire 50-year career making deals, while young dictator Kim has never had to negotiate anything.
We saw a preview of the power dynamic when the president walked away from the table two weeks ago and North Korea blinked.
Now the supposed experts, pundits, former officials and other naysayers will have to eat their words. Trump the diplomatic novice — with an assist from eccentric former basketball great Dennis Rodman — is achieving what the cream of Ivy League-educated Washington swamp-dwellers could not.
So is this just Big Mac diplomacy, trading a McDonald's on every corner for an end to Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions?
Not at all. The Singapore summit was the product of the politics of power and interest. President Trump’s most important diplomatic move came over a year ago when he explicitly linked the North Korean issue to trade negotiations with China, which no previous president had attempted. This was the key point of leverage, bringing Beijing to understand that it could not continue to support its North Korean ally without cost.
Pyongyang’s growing nuclear ballistic missile capabilities potentially threatened the U.S. mainland and thus presented an unacceptable risk. Washington asserted a credible threat of force against this threat. Beijing’s choices were to pressure Kim to negotiate, or to suffer not only trade consequences but also the probability of direct U.S. military action against North Korea. It was an easy choice for Beijing, which suspended iron, coal and lead imports from North Korea, and cut off Pyongyang’s access to Chinese banks.
With his meager economic lifelines being cut, Kim had no other realistic choice but to meet with Trump. This alignment of interests was the art of the deal in action.