Is Kim playing a game?
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un may be telegraphing his punch. If so, it would answer the question of what his charm offensive is designed to accomplish.
President Donald Trump and Kim plan to meet in person to discuss a way to alleviate tension over Pyongyang’s weapons buildup. High hopes for “peace in our time” on the Korean peninsula have been raised by some of Kim’s preliminaries.
Kim has suspended nuclear weapons tests. In an unprecedented move, he has visited South Korea for discussions with that country’s president, Moon Jae-in. He has even suggested he may be willing to agree to a treaty ending the Korean War.
Now, Kim is accusing the United States of hampering prospects for a more sweeping weapons-control pact. His major complaint seems to be the Trump administration’s insistence the president’s hardline policy toward North Korea is paying off.
It all suggests an attempt by Kim to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States. He could claim he has demonstrated his peaceful intentions, only to be rejected by Trump.
The hopes of South Koreans have been raised by Kim’s actions – which may be no more than acting.
If his game is fracturing the U.S.-South Korean alliance, it needs to be stymied. Kim cannot be permitted to play the world like a violin – again.