Trump Meeting with Kim Jong Un a Concession by U.S. 

Immediate Release
March 9, 2018

Washington, DC — Independent Women's Forum Foreign Policy Fellow Claudia Rosett released the following statement today following the announcement that President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un:

This looks more like a historic trap for the U.S. than a historic opportunity. It has all the hallmarks of yet another grand bamboozle by North Korea’s regime. North Korea’s totalitarian Kim dynasty has snookered and played the U.S., South Korea and their allies not just with rotten nuclear deals over the past 24 years, but with deceptions going all the way back to 1950, when North Korea launched a surprise invasion of the South, triggering the brutal 1950-53 Korean War.

For the American president to digify North Korea’s tyrant Kim Jong Un with a face-to-face meeting is in itself a concession by the United States. This would dignify this totalitarian dictator with the status of sitting at the same table to bargain as an equal with the elected leader of the world’s leading democracy. In exchange for what? North Korea has surrendered nothing. 

North Korea’s offer to suspend nuclear missile testing means nothing. We have seen multiple pauses over the years in North Korea’s testing — including a three-year pause, from early 2013 to early 2016, between their third and fourth nuclear tests . That was followed by rapid advances in their program, including three more nuclear tests and last year's testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles, including one launched over Japan.

Nor, short of an end to the North Korean regime, or a complete change in its character (which would amount to the same thing) is there any nuclear missile climbdown deal to be had with North Korea that could be genuinely monitored and enforced. North Korea’s closed society and pervasive system of state control means there can be no full access for any foreign monitors, unless the regime itself is prepared to surrender its totalitarian domestic powers. Sure, North Korea can allow inspectors in; but just as easily, as done repeatedly in the past, North Korea can kick them out.

We are hearing calls already for President Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un as soon as possible, even before the May time frame reportedly agreed to by Mr. Trump. That would amount to a scene in which North Korea’s tyrant beckons, and America’s president rushes to meet him. That’s likely to backfire badly with North Korea, and would set a precedent that can only embolden such predatory dictators as Vladimir Putin in Russia, and Xi Jinping in China.


Independent Women's Forum works to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free-markets and personal liberty.


Caroline Phelps
Senior Manager, Strategic Communications
Independent Women’s Forum
[email protected]