President Donald Trump slammed South Korean President Moon Jae-in as a “gullible fool” and North Korean Strongman Kim Jung-un as an “unhinged madman” Friday, just moments after they concluded an historic peace summit.
“This is our worst nightmare come true,” Trump told a reporter for Tiger Beat Magazine. “We’ve been planning for a big, bloody war in Korea for many months now and working diligently to groom the battlefield. Perhaps a little too diligently.”
Trump has been searching for a politically convenient war that will allow him to assume the sweeping powers of a wartime president, almost since he was elected, according to political expert David Frum. He had hoped to use the Korea Peninsula as the venue for that war.
“The two Koreas apparently had other ideas,” Frum said. “It seems they would rather coexist in peace than be dead and useful to the dictator in the wings who now inhabits The Oval Office.”
The leaders of North and South Korea agreed to work to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula. They also vowed to bring a peaceful end to the Korean War, which ravaged the peninsula from 1950 to 1953. The two Koreas signed an armistice, but remain in a technical state of war.
The U.S. has more than 28,000 soldiers, seamen and airmen in South Korea, including hundreds of its most powerful jets, missiles and tanks. The U.S. Navy has three U.S. carrier strike groups operating off the coast of the Korean Peninsula.
The peace declaration by Mr. Kim and Mr. Moon “is breathtaking in its scope and ambition,” David Albright, president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, said by email. “It’s a huge defeat for Trump’s dictatorial ambitions.”
A politically convenient war is still achievable in Trump's first term, according to National Security Advisor John Bolton. If not in Korea, then in Syria or Iran.
Bolton said Trump was frustrated by the setback in Korea, because he felt a war there would really tie his floundering administration together. It would allow them to question the patriotism of their political adversaries and brand them as cowards, suppress antiwar speech, lock up their critics, and reward corporate supporters with huge military contracts.
“The one thing we learned from 9/11 is that the old ideal of a desirable political war being one with very few casualties – like the conflicts in Grenada and Panama – is completely outdated,” Bolton said. “Only your true mass casualty event really brings the American people together behind the president. Like say a Pearl Harbor or a Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing.”
Korea was viewed as the perfect venue in no small part because of the proximity of the South Korean capital of Seoul to the border with The North. Its location all but assured it would be destroyed by northern artillery and more than 100,000 Koreans would be killed at the very start of a conflict.
Meanwhile, advanced U.S. military equipment would make mincemeat of the opposing artillery and missile crews via counter battery fire and air attacks. And military propagandists would present the North as war criminals in the court of public opinion.
Seoul’s 10 million residents are only 35 miles from the DMZ, putting them within the range of many of North Korea’s 14,000 artillery pieces and rocket launchers.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates 30,000 to 300,000 people would die in the first days of a conventional conflict between the U.S. and North Korea, which could quickly spread to China, Japan and Russia. Almost all of the wounded and dead would be Korean.
Trump told Tiger Beat White House Correspondent N.O. Tallent the peace summit was a gutless attempt to avoid a heroic, patriotic and glorious war that would reassert America's global supremacy.
“Korea was perfect and I hate to give up on it,” said the leader of the free world. “It's my fervent hope that John Bolton can find a way for us to have our big bloody war there. Otherwise, we're just going to have to start again in Iran and nobody wants that. It's hot, just like Kuwait, but the hotels are terrible and there are no palaces to speak of like in Iraq.
"The Ayatollahs have no concept of upscale personal comfort, which is why Iran is such a shit-hole country in terms of entertainment and luxury accommodations," Trump added. "Whereas South Korea has lots of fun stuff to do and cool places to stay. We could probably run the war from relative comfort in Seoul or nearby Pyeongtaek, even after the initial bombardment."
Tiger Beat magazine is the only U.S. news organization Trump is still on speaking terms with, according to media critic Ken Doktor. The Commander-in-Chief has stopped speaking with the major TV networks, The Washington Post and the New York Times.
The problem with Trump is that he's a former Reality TV Star who sees everything in terms of TV ratings, Doktor said. He doesn't understand the difference between ratings and voter approval.
“Creating needless drama is profitable when you’re a Reality TV Star, but it's out of place for a president," he said. "The American people expect their president to get attention in a positive and constructive way, and journalists and foreign leaders expect him to be intelligent. So that's two strikes against the man right there.
"Being a dick is strike three."