Trump's China Meeting Could Help With North Korean Threat
Trump is currently having a weekend summit with China's President Xi Jingping, and it's anyone's guess what could come out of that meeting. Trump has an opportunity to express his previous concerns regarding trade between the US and China, but it's also his first opportunity to attempt a bond with a world power that actually may help wrangle that pesky North Korea.
With the onslaught of news regarding Trump related madness, it's hard to know what the future holds. Being able to speculate on what's next for the country between wild accusations about wiretapping from the previous administration, millions losing their health care, and the never ending well of conflicts of interests between government and business, is a daunting gauntlet. But this hysterical windmill of nightmares does give one a chance to hurl their theories at the wall with safe odds of being at least partly right. So, let's indulge.
North Korea has been a unique threat to the rest of the world for quite some time now. They're unique in the sense that they never really get involved in large-scale foreign attacks, but they're constantly engaging in weapons testing to show the world that they could if they wanted to. Next to fishery products and bowl cuts, it seems that missiles deployed into the neighboring Sea of Japan is North Korea's greatest export.
But, to this point, the threat from North Korea as a military power has been largely arbitrary and abstract. They're like a cornered possum who just needs to spray its stink at people who get too close in order to remain at a safe distance from every threat, real or imagined. It seems to be less about being an invading global force, and more about being left the fuck alone. After all, how would Kim Jung Un convince his subjects that he won 11 NBA Championships, beat American wrestling super-champion Hulk Hogan in a game of thumb war, and received the award for 'Smartest Dear Leader Ever' from the Intergalactic Space Commission if other countries were allowed to intrude on his turf?
This (apparently) abiding belief in the importance of propaganda seems to be the key motivation for a country like North Korea to feel the need to flex its military might at anyone who may knock on their door. Don't get me wrong, their lack of armed invasions of foreign nations doesn't mean that we should take them lightly. By most accounts, they appear to have the ability to reach out and touch their neighbors with some serious firepower, and it's been confirmed many times over that they have enough missiles permanently fixed on Sol to make the major city nothing but a footnote in future textbooks. But, so far, we've had a good deal of success by treating them like a poop-smeared hobo at the bus stop across the street. You keep an eye on them, but as long as they don't get too close, you let them do their own thing. They may be yelling at the mailbox in front of the Walgreens about lizard people feeding Jesus to the dinosaurs, but they're not necessarily hurting anyone. Of course, if they bit a guy riding by on his bike, you'd have to get involved for the overall good of your city's downtown. However, until then, you just keep 'em in your line of sight.
Now, if you were to introduce a second hobo with the viewpoint that Jesus fought off the lizard people and the dinosaurs, then the situation could escalate to a dangerous level. This is where President Trump comes in.
Donald Trump has been sending journalist Graydon Carter golden outlines of his hand over magazine pictures of himself since 1988, which was the year when Carter made a snide comment about the small stature of his hands. That is true. So, Trump is not exactly one to let something go, nor does he think like a normal adult. So his status as the second hobo in the above hypothetical analogy is well earned.
Now, let's circle back to the point. Will Trump use this meeting with President Jingping to attempt to leverage US/Chinese relations to reign in North Korea, or will he pout like a kid who didn't wanna talk to the old lady at church, and refuse to shake his hand like he did with Chancellor Merkel?
In order to begin this line of speculation, it seems that we should start by looking at motivation. Trump is obsessed with projecting strength and power, even to the detriment of himself and others. He's proven this with his business dealings time and time again. The best example of this may be Trump University. The current president ran a scam that landed him in court and forced him to pay a $25 million settlement. When he does things the Trump way, there seems to be a complete abandonment of advisable behavior and general logic, which causes him to ride his businesses three miles past complete failure. Trump will follow a dead business venture straight to hell if it prevents him from having to admit that he was wrong. This mentality of his is why his meeting with Jingping could go anywhere. Will he ask for help from another world power, or will his ego take us all down a deadly path?
North Korea has lobbed a lot of empty threats at the US, but it's not outlandish to worry that Trump may bite the line one day. For example, about a week ago Kim Jung Un said that they were considering a preemptive nuclear strike on the US. While their confirmed weapons technologies offer a pretty serious threat to their neighbors, it's largely unknown whether or not North Korea has the necessary means to pull off such a strike.
Un's threat was segued by the sentiment that North Korea has no fear of economic repercussions from America. This is where Trump's reckless abandon and disinterest in how his decisions effect other people, could actually work out for the best.
We import nearly a half a trillion dollars annually in goods from China, which gives us enough economic leverage to influence an alliance with the massive country. North Korea gets all of it's oil from China, and much of their economy is contingent upon a good relationship with the much larger nation. This means that if Trump went off half-cocked and said “We're gonna boycott Chinese imports bigly. Believe me. It'll be tremendous. We have the best boycotts.” then China might have to consider pinching it's little brother on the ear, and tell Un to sit his crazy ass down and let the adult in the room figure it out (Jinping is the adult in this scenario, by the way). An economic stalemate between the US and China would hurt both economies, but China not dealing with North Korea anymore would cut the latter off at the knees. If it all worked out, then Trump's usual fast and loose bullshit may actually work.
In the end, we won't know what's gonna happen with American/North Korean relations until it actually happens. Hell, it's doubtful that Trump even knows what he's gonna do. According to reports from insiders, Trump requires his daily briefings to be kept to one page with “lots of graphs and maps.” If his aides foolishly put information about North Korea's reliance on China to sustain themselves economically on page two and, god forbid, forget to include pictures, then we may not see any plan until it's too late.