Let’s make a deal

The Times solemnly reports on Trump’s North Korea caper as if it were sane and normal and likely to produce excellent results, and doesn’t talk to anyone who sees it differently until the last few paragraphs. Waaaay down at the bottom we get:

Analysts expressed skepticism about Mr. Trump’s decision to meet Mr. Kim, saying there was no indication that North Korea had given up its determination to be a nuclear weapons state.

“There is every reason to believe that North Korea is attempting to blunt sanctions and secure de facto legitimacy for its nuclear weapons program with this gesture,” said Michael J. Green, a former Asia adviser to President George W. Bush, speaking by telephone from Tokyo.

Evan S. Medeiros, an Asia adviser to President Barack Obama, said that any direct talks would elevate Mr. Kim and legitimize him. “We got nothing for it. And Kim will never give up his nukes,” Mr. Medeiros said. “Kim played Moon and is now playing Trump.”

This week, administration officials had spoken in scathing terms about North Korea’s offer of direct talks. They noted that Mr. Kim said nothing about halting the production of nuclear bombs or missiles during negotiations — which meant the North could build its arsenal while stringing out the talks.

It seemed that the only thing that changed was Mr. Kim’s invitation to meet Mr. Trump himself. The president’s deal-making skills, one of his aides said on Thursday, could produce an outcome different from previous rounds of diplomacy, which have always ended in failure and disappointment.

And pigs might fly.

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