Donald Trump has been remarkably quiet about North Korea lately.
After he met with Kim Jong Un, the autocratic leader of the totalitarian nation, in Singapore a few weeks ago, Trump was practically writing his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech while declaring that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”
Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
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Now less than a month after the historic summit, the reality that every previous administration that has dealt with North Korea warned Trump would come to pass has started taking place, with reports that rather than beginning a denuclearization process, North Korea is expanding a facility to build solid-fuel ballistic missiles as detected in satellite views of the country.
Given the vague and inconclusive language of the statement signed by both leaders at the summit, and the history of North Korean reneging on previous agreements with the U.S., the new development is not in the least surprising and was the basis for the enormous skepticism that experienced diplomatic professionals felt about the summit from the beginning.
Congressman Ted Lieu was concerned enough about the reports of the North Korean undermining of the deal that Trump made with Chairman Kim — a deal already criticized as one-sided in North Korea’s favor — that he took to Twitter to demand an explanation of the current status of North Korean compliance with the denuclearization process.
Dear @realDonaldTrump: If the various reports are true, then Kim Jong Un is making you look weak and like a fool. You need to level with the American people. Tell us the truth about what the Administration knows about North Korea. https://t.co/NAyUmoxLAM
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 2, 2018
While Donald Trump needs no help whatsoever to make him look weak and like a fool, Rep. Lieu is correct in stating that Kim Jong Un’s backsliding amplifies the problem immensely, particularly after the president’s glib reassurances that his personal relationship with Kim would ensure the success of diplomatic negotiations.
At this point, Trump’s deal with North Korea is looking like it will be as successful as one of his bankrupt casinos.
Congressman Lieu’s demand for the truth from the president about what is going on with North Korea is completely justifiable given the news, but, given Trump’s arms-length relationship with the truth, any expectations of actually hearing anything close to reality from the president should be severely tempered by his track record to date.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.