Word on the street in Pyongyang is that the Chinese are holding back a supply of gasoline to the hermit kingdom and North Korea is feeling the pinch in a big way. Normally gasoline in the North Korean capital goes for about $2.80 a gallon (they use kilograms over there and it’s about $0.70-0.80 per kilogram). It’s now shot up to over $5.00 a gallon and the North Koreans are starting to get edgy.
There are basically two questions regarding this. The first is, are the Chinese behind the move in an attempt to tell Kim Jong Un to curb his nuclear program? And the second is, is this a foreign policy victory for Donald Trump who has been pressuring the Chinese to help get the North Koreans to listen to reason?
To be honest, it’s been so long since the US has actually HAD a foreign policy win, it’s tough to tell. I’ve forgotten what one looks like. After eight years of bumbling and stumbling and mistakes, gaffes, lies, and just plain stupid moves, I forgot that when someone with an ounce of competence is in the White House, we occasionally get a foreign policy win. And if the Chinese are helping us, that would be a foreign policy win.
What would be an even bigger win is if all Trump had to do was tell the Chinese that he would stop calling them currency manipulators. That’s a relatively small price to pay to eliminate a nuclear threat. And that would be anywhere in the world. Hell, if he could run the same gambit with the Chinese on Iran, he might have to convert to Catholicism and become the next Pope!
Still, there are a LOT of happenings between now and the end of the whole North Korean situation. Frankly, these guys are used to screaming, threatening and crying and then we sit down with them and we give them aid of some sort to stop doing whatever they were doing that irked us. And they go away for a while until they need more money. It’s nothing more than a shakedown really. Only this time, and this is one good thing about having Donald Trump in the White House, they have a rather shrewd negotiator who doesn’t play that game sitting across the table from them. He’s there calling their bluff and they don’t have a very good hand.
I don’t trust Kim very much to do the right thing even with Chinese influence. I think that if this character really feels backed into the corner, say the price of gas goes to the point where no one in the country can afford it, and the country rises up in opposition to him, he COULD just start a nuclear war to get the masses off of his rather large backside. Desperate dictators have done a lot worse throughout human history. And I don’t know how smart he is. I’m kind of on the side that says he’s not insane as some thought, but I don’t know if he really is intelligent either. He was handed the world on a silver platter, and my guess is he is just waiting to piss it all away.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!