Michael Malice: Donald Trump’s Unpredictability with North Korea ‘One of the Most Powerful Assets in Negotiation’

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un
Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg/Getty/AFP

President Donald Trump’s self-described unpredictability is “one of the most powerful assets in negotiation” in dealing with North Korea, Michael Malice said on Monday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with Breitbart News’s Senior Editors at Large Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.

Pollak invited Malice, author of Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, to offer his analysis of Trump’s approach to international relations, his North Korea strategy in particular.

“I am very, very optimistic,” said Malice. “The fact that [North Korea is] reaching out to South Korea, the fact that the entire U.N. denounced [North Korea], the fact that China is turning their back on [North Korea] – these are all positive steps – and the fact that North Korea doesn’t know what to make of President Trump is one of the most powerful assets in negotiation you can possibly have. They knew Barack Obama wasn’t going to do anything. I don’t blame Barack Obama for not wanting to do anything, in a sense, because this is a nightmare with no easy solution. So there’s plenty of blame to go around, and the only blame should be on the North Korean regime itself.”

Trump’s use of a “good cop, bad cop” approach towards North Korea with China is a “very effective negotiating tactic,” said Malice.

“President Trump first got sworn in and the head of China came over to Mar-a-Lago, and they basically did a good cop, bad cop [strategy] with Trump as, ‘I’m fire and fury,’ and then, the Chinese president gets to be like, ‘Come on. Work with us. We’re a lot calmer and saner than President Trump,’ and that’s a very effective negotiating tactic,” said Malice. “Frankly, it’s always going to be much more China’s problem than ours because we’re never going to have millions of North Korean refugees crossing our border. We’re not going to have a possible enemy up against our borders if the Koreas reunify as a U.S. ally.”

News media criticisms of Trump’s rhetoric towards North Korea as “reckless” – a narrative pushed and informally coordinated by many left-wing and Democrat-aligned news media outlets – neglect to consider the lack of results from decades of conventional political rhetoric in addressing North Korea, said Malice.

“Over the summer, they were going to hit Guam, [and] everyone attacked him for his reckless rhetoric, and my point was, the non-reckless rhetoric hadn’t gotten us where we wanted to be anyway; let’s try something else, and Guam is still here,” said Malice.

Trump’s derision of Kim Jong-un as “Rocket Man” will cause problems for the North Korean head of state’s English-to-Korean translators, explained Malice:

“‘Korean’ has several tenses,” said Malice. “They have a tense in North Korea that’s used specifically for the leader, a form of address in their language. For their translators to translate things like ‘Little Rocket Man,’ which is such a condescending offensive term, they wouldn’t know what to do about it because the whole point is we’re supposedly scared of North Korea. Kim Jong-un has us terrified, and now the president is speaking about them with such disrespectful and contemptuous language; they don’t know how to address this or deal with it because this completely breaks diplomatic protocol.”

News media descriptions of Kim Jong-un’s meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in as “unprecedented” are inaccurate, said Malice, pointing to meetings between North and South Korea’s heads of state in 2000 and 2007.

“This is also not unprecedented,” said Malice. “During the nineties, the South Korean Kim Dae-jung went to Pyongyang; he met with Kim Jong-il. They had something called the Sunshine Policy, which meant, ‘Let’s just give North Korea whatever the heck they want, and maybe they’ll act civilized,’ and I have no problem with that because let’s try everything, whatever works. Let’s try bribing them if that works. But again, this is the context that the reporters are dropping. This is not unprecedented. They tried it before.”

The United States should be flexible in its pursuit of peace across the Korean Peninsula, said Malice.

“There’s no one who’s a bigger fan of Korean peace than me,” said Malice. “I have been making the point very much to tone down the rhetoric – the idea that if Kim Jong-un insults us … we’re going to bomb North Korea and kill millions of people. I’m the biggest guy out there saying, ‘Guys, take a step back. This is nuts.’ But I think it’s also important, again, to keep in mind who we are talking about. At this very moment, there are twenty million people under [Kim Yo-jong’s] control who are not being given medicine for no reason; the medicine is there because they have to say if it doesn’t come from government, you shouldn’t have it.”

Breitbart News Tonight airs Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).


Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.


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