If this really comes across as any kind of a shock to the Moon administration in South Korea, it's more ate-up with the desire to appease than I'd thought.North Korea said Thursday it will never unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons unless the United States first removes what Pyongyang called a nuclear threat. The surprisingly blunt statement jars with Seoul's rosier presentation of the North Korean position and could rattle the fragile trilateral diplomacy to defuse a nuclear crisis that last year had many fearing war.The latest from North Korea comes as the United States and North Korea struggle over the sequencing of the denuclearization that Washington wants and the removal of international sanctions desired by Pyongyang.The statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency also raises credibility problems for the liberal South Korean government, which has continuously claimed that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is genuinely interested in negotiating away his nuclear weapons as Seoul tries to sustain a positive atmosphere for dialogue.The North's comments may also be seen as proof of what outside skeptics have long said: that Kim will never voluntarily relinquish an arsenal he sees as a stronger guarantee of survival than whatever security assurances the United States might provide. The statement suggests North Korea will eventually demand the United States withdraw or significantly reduce the 28,500 American troops stationed in South Korea, a major sticking point in any disarmament deal.
So Charlie Sykes's tweet really sums up what winning looks like as of late:
Trump’s week so far: caved on Wall, Foundation shut down, Flynn conspiracy collapses; Moscow Project letter surfaces, stock mkt drops, NK says no Nuke deal, Stone indictment looms ... and to change narrative he bugs out of Syria, betrays Kurds, hands huge win to Russia and Iran.
Time for some 5D chess!