The news from North Korea grows more horrifying every day, as the dangerous dictatorial power’s progress towards gaining possessing of nuclear weaponry grows more and more advanced. Only slightly less terrifying than a foreign megalomaniac with nuclear weapons, is the American version poking him with a stick. Trump decided to respond to the news of Kim Jong-Un’s actions with the implausibly impolitic statement: on- of all places- twitter.
North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been “playing” the United States for years. China has done little to help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2017
As Bloomberg painfully observes:
“President Donald Trump is a reckless bully with authoritarian leanings and a craving for attention. Kim Jong-un is a reckless bully with dictatorial powers and a craving for attention. Oh yes, and both have fingers on nuclear triggers. That’s why so many national security experts of both political parties struggle to think of a scarier pair.”
Trump has also blamed China for North Korea’s behavior; an assessment that displays a painful lack of political or historical literacy. The statement- and other updates from the east- come after Rex Tillerson’s frighteningly hawkish comments expressing a willingness to go to war. As Tillerson told CNN two days ago:
“Obviously, if North Korea takes actions that threatens the South Korean forces or our own forces, then that would be met with an appropriate [military]response…If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe that requires action, that option is on the table.”
This is all strikingly in contrast to the Obama administration’s priority towards diplomacy. Trump’s twitter tantrums are certainly discordant from the nuanced foreign policy experience America would have received from a President Clinton, but when it comes to the Trump/Clinton contrasts, foreign policy is just the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg.