Trump’s secret diplomacy with North Korea
19 April 2018
Just months after threatening North Korea with nuclear annihilation, US President Donald Trump confirmed that CIA Director Mike Pompeo had visited Pyongyang over Easter and met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in preparation for a projected Trump-Kim summit. Having derided former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for “wasting his time” in trying to negotiate with North Korea, Trump is now preparing to meet face-to-face with the leader he ridiculed as “Little Rocket Man.”
The abrupt about-face does not express any fundamental change of heart on the part of Trump, who has just unleashed illegal missile strikes on Syria. Rather the Trump administration senses the possibility of advancing US imperialism’s interests and strengthening its position in North East Asia against its chief rivals, Russia and China, and potential competitors such as Japan.
Trump’s overtures to the Pyongyang regime parallel the sudden turn by the right-wing US President Richard Nixon toward China. Nixon’s national security adviser Henry Kissinger conducted a series of secret trips to Beijing in 1971 to establish the basis for Nixon to meet with Chinese Communist Party chairman Mao Zedong in February 1972. Nixon’s rapprochement with China, which was aimed against the former Soviet Union, laid the basis for capitalist restoration in China and its transformation into the world’s premier cheap labour platform.
It is by no means certain that a Trump-Kim summit will produce a deal between the two countries. While meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday, Trump told the media that the summit would be a “great chance to solve a world problem,” adding: “We’ll either have a very good meeting or we won’t have…