Donald Trump Abandons South Korea

Why is this man so happy?Yonhap News/Newscom via ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

From the Washington Post on the outcome of the Singapore summit:

Kim, it seems, got at least one benefit up front. Trump announced that he will order an end to regular “war games” that the United States conducts with ally South Korea, a reference to annual joint military exercises that are an irritant to North Korea. Trump called the exercises “very provocative” and “inappropriate” in light of the optimistic opening he sees with North Korea. Ending the exercises would also save money, Trump said.

….South Korea’s presidential office seemed blindsided by the announcement on the joint exercises. “We need to try to understand what President Trump said,” a spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in said.

But it wasn’t just the South Koreans who were taken by surprise:

Both the South Korean government and US forces in the region appear to have been taken by surprise by Trump’s declared suspension of joint military exercises. US forces in Korea said they had not received updated guidance on military exercises. “In coordination with our ROK [Republic of Korea] partners, we will continue with our current military posture until we receive updated guidance,” a spokesperson told Reuters.

So far, Kim Jong Un has gotten a summit that treated him as an equal on the world stage. He’s gotten an end to US-ROK military exercises. He’s gotten the United States to ignore his appalling human rights record. And he’s gotten lots of new leverage in his relationship with China.

Donald Trump has gotten—nothing. Actually, that’s not quite right. He’s gotten less than North Korea has promised other presidents in previous negotiations. There was only the vaguest gesture toward ending its nuclear program. There was no promise of a testing moratorium. There was no promise of a development moratorium. There was no mention of “tangible” or “irreversible” or “permanent,” all of which had been previous US demands.

This. Is. Fucking. Nuts.

If this eventually turns into long-term peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula, then fine. Everyone can tell me I was just a partisan hack who refused to give Donald Trump his due. But I’m not too worried about that right now. Right now this whole thing looks like the same kind of train wreck dealmaking that produced the Trump Plaza Hotel. God help us when Trump finally figures out what really happened.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate