How Kim Jong-un got his ruse to bloom and Seoul’s knees to buckle
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has already won gold in next month’s Olympics.
As everyone understands but South Korea’s elected leader, that’s a ruse not a rose in Mr. Kim’s teeth.
The American press and South Korea’s liberal President Moon Jae-in are wetting their pants with joy over Mr. Kim’s deigning to send athletes to the winter games at an Alpine resort near Seoul.
Mr. Kim and Mr. Moon have agreed to have their athletes march together under a blue-on-white “flag of unification” in the Feb. 9 opening ceremonies, in what CNN called a “diplomatic breakthrough.”
The South Korean president even got Mr. Kim to agree to fielding a joint women’s hockey team. Mr. Kim, who took his good old time before saying yes, knows the art of the deal when the deal is with the gullible.
Understandably, some of South Korea’s hockey players who had qualified for the team are, um — rhymes with “hissed” — over getting bumped to make room for the North’s players.
They’re not the only ones who feel that way.
A Jan. 11 poll found more than 70 percent of South Koreans oppose a joint team.
For South Korea’s dovish president, however, it was a small price to pay for making nice-nice with Mr. Kim.
Not your run-of-the-mill third-world dictator, Mr. Kim heads the last Stalinist-style police state on the planet. Mr. Kim is a Joseph Stalin, not a Mikhail Gorbachev. He has made it clear that the only unification he’ll accept would extend his dictatorship to democratic capitalist South Korea.
Clearly not a guy to mess with, Mr. Kim ordered the assassination of his brother and the execution by anti-aircraft gun of five of his top officials. All told, so far, he has ordered the execution of 340 persons, about 140 of them senior officers in his government, his military and his ruling party.
Not one to forgive and forget, when he didn’t get what he wanted at the 1988 Olympics, Mr. Kim had his agents hide a bomb on a South Korean passenger plane. The explosion killed all 115 passengers and crew.
Mr. Kim’s Olympics nice-guy ruse makes it harder for the U.S. to get some cheating nations to stop trading with North Korea, as the UN’s economic sanctions require. Mr. Kim needs money from trade to keep improving his ICBMs, in his mind a cause than which nothing could be more worthy.
The White House, which gets what the Kimster is up to, says Vice President Mike Pence will attend the opening of the games bearing “grave concerns that Kim will hijack the messaging around the Olympics.”
If Mr. Pence had said the truth, that Mr. Kim has already hijacked the 2018 Olympics, the world would be wondering why Mr. Pence, at President Trump’s direction, is attending the games in the first place. You have to assume Mr. Pence means to speak truth to — and about — Mr. Kim, onsite at the games.
But by appearing to legitimize Mr. Kim’s unification fakery at the Olympics, Mr. Moon has already helped Mr. Kim divert attention from the enforcement of economic sanctions against him.
Award Mr. Kim the gold medal for cross-country murder?
Mr. Pence can save the day by bearing a message from Mr. Trump to Mr. Kim.
Two words will suffice.
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