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Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: Kim wants gifts, but Trump's no Santa

Filed on December 25, 2019 | Last updated on December 25, 2019 at 06.07 pm

Trump would prefer a vase, but knowing Kim, who loves toying with some military hardware, a nuclear capable missile cannot be ruled out.

North Korea likes to think it's a gift that keeps on giving, if nuclear and missile saber-rattling can be seen as signs. Grapes of wrath, sounds better. But during the festive season of Christmas, some presents are coated in threats, they are veiled, depending on who receives them. Surprise, surprise, says the regime in Pyongyang, and the United States waits with bated breath for delivery of the parcel. And the joke is on the world to think that Kim Jong-un, a despot and a leader who has run his country to the ground economically after bumping off his domestic foes, is the 'wise' man from the east. He isn't Santa Claus either. But after a long pause in his engagement with the US, he has promised to send a Christmas gift to President Donald Trump, who is home for the holidays. Trump would prefer a vase, but knowing Kim, who loves toying with some military hardware, a nuclear capable missile cannot be ruled out.

But then, the US has been reading the signs well and says it is ready for any gift (read threats) from the 'wise' man from the east. And if the signs are correct, Kim wants to receive gifts and is messaging desperately for lifting of the sanctions against his impoverished country. He is unwilling to grant any concessions on the North's nuclear capabilities and also its missiles that have been used to threaten its neighbours South Korea and Japan. If Kim wants Trump to play Santa, the US isn't playing ball just yet. Washington is unlikely to ease the pressure on the North during an election year. Impeachment proceedings have been an irritant for the presidency as Trump bids for a second term. Domestic politics is keeping him occupied and he can afford to keep the tough guy option open when it comes to Kim who had his opportunity to break new ground with the West after his two meetings with the US president. Sadly, he blew the chance and finds himself stranded with his sole supporter China also feeling the economic crunch after Beijing's trade war with Washington. The US knows Kim's gift has no value when there are bigger battles to fight at home. North Korea is not a priority and Trump realises his despotic friend is again desperate for some attention, which he will not get this time. Some gifts are not worth the trouble.


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