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Not so long ago, Donald Trump withdrew from a nuclear deal with Iran, calling it rotten. Trump has held a warm meeting with another lover of deadly warheads, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Here is the paradox - Trump does not want to be friends with the ayatollahs, and Kim is "a very talented person who loves his country very much." Earlier, Trump has almost threatened the regime of Kim Jong-un with a war, and now he is happily photographed against the background of the North Korean flag and promises to invite the dictator to the White House. Why does it happen?
Promising to make America great again, Trump has focused on the domestic politics. Trump is quite a sloppy diplomat, although he flaunts, assuring that he is a dab hand at such negotiating. But Trump thinks like a businessman who needs to arrange a profitable deal. International politics are not the profitable deals. Although, if we talk about transactions, this issue is questionable.
According to Trump's own logic, any deal with the DPRK should be better, tougher, and more comprehensive than the Obama administration's agreement with Iran.
The Iranian deal stipulated that Tehran would utilize 98% of its uranium reserves, dismantle two-thirds of its centrifuges and plutonium reactor.
All this was to be observed by experts from the IAEA who had access to the nuclear facilities. The idea of the deal was to extend the timeframe for the possible creation of Iran's nuclear warhead from a few weeks to a year or more. This is insurance in case of any changes in the policy of Tehran. Since no one in the West had any illusions that the Iranian regime would say goodbye to the nuclear program. And Tehran began to fulfill the terms of the deal.
Trump also said that the deal was "catastrophic" because some restrictions on the possibility of enriching and processing uranium would expire in 10-25 years, and the deal did not concern the Iranian missile program, Iran's policy in the Middle East, and human rights violations in the country.
If Trump were consistent, a future deal with the DPRK should require from Pyongyang something more than the US demanded from Tehran. The question is, will Kim agree to it?
Unlike Iran, North Korea already has nuclear weapons, means for its delivery and a mechanism for its production.
According to various estimates, Pyongyang has about 60 nuclear warheads, dozens of ballistic missiles and a good infrastructure, which allows producing enough material each year to create about six new bombs. It turns out that the DPRK must completely eliminate its nuclear arsenal, dismantle missiles, close launchers and liquidate production sites where enriched uranium is produced. Western specialists should gain access to all these facilities and monitor the process. DPRK must stop selling weapons to the third countries and stop intimidating its citizens. In fact, North Korea must eliminate everything on which it has been standing for the last decades. What should Trump offer Kim to destroy the present DPRK to the ground and start building it in a new way?
Trump thought that Kim would almost pass the US his nuclear suitcase in Singapore, having heard enough about the beautiful western life, the NBA, and Disneyland. However, let us look at the final document, which was signed by the leaders of the countries. Restart relations, the intention to achieve stability, peace, and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. It is clear that this is only the first document, it is rather symbolic. But what can Trump get from Kim at the end of these flirting with the dictator?
Most likely, an interim agreement will be concluded: the DPRK might freeze the infrastructure and even dismantle several missiles in exchange for the limited economic assistance. Perhaps this will allow gaining some time to agree on a more comprehensive deal, including a diplomatic roadmap.
But did the Obama administration do this with respect to Iran? As in the case of Tehran, the US can offer opponents money and access to the markets. As in the case of Tehran, Pyongyang can moderate its ardor in the nuclear program right up to its freezing. The importance of nuclear weapons today is the possibility of blackmailing an opponent. But it is unlikely that Trump can get from Kim's some liberalization of the regime. Actually, does Trump need it?
So, how does all this bravado of Trump and Kim Jong-un differ from Obama's nuclear deal with Iran? By and large, there is no difference. It is Trump’s deal, and he would get all the standing ovations. And, probably, the Nobel Prize. This is the best reward for such a vain politician.
However, this will not save Trump from criticism within his own country and in the West as a whole. At a time when congressmen publicly apologize to their allies for the policy of their president, when the country's most famous people publicly say "F*ck Trump," the reception of the most odious dictator in the White House will be seen as a mockery.
Fuck Trump pic.twitter.com/p23ejbiSFO— Mikhail Golub (@golub) 11 червня 2018 р.
Trump breaks the world order. He is sure that he does it the way he likes. We still have to assess the scale of damage that Trump inflicted on the West, but it is already obvious how Europe, left with its problems, began to seek contacts with Russia. Instead of hoping that the EU will become stronger without the US umbrella, there is a big risk to face the thirties of the last century. So far, only authoritarian regimes benefit from Donald Trump's policy. Vanity and self-confidence are very dangerous traits for the ruler, especially for the head of the world's strongest power.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 112.International and its owners.