A mere two days after the Wall Street Journal reported that American security officials are considering whether or not to launch a preemptive military strike against North Korea by bombing missile test facilities—known charmingly as the “bloody nose” strategy—the very same paper gave credence to Donald Trump’s new claim that his relationship with Kim Jong Un is... friendly.
During an interview Thursday with reporters from the Journal, Trump told those assembled that he “probably ha[s] a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un.”
“I have relationships with people,” Trump said. “I think you people are surprised.” Those comments, the Wall Street Journal reporters remarked, suggest that Trump “is open to diplomacy after months of escalating tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear-weapons program.”
You might consider that, in the past six months, Trump has referred to Kim as “Rocket Man,” “Little Rocket Man,” “a sick puppy,” a guy who doesn’t “have anything better to do with his time,” and “a madman who doesn’t mind killing or starving his people”; he has also openly wondered what would happen should the U.S. bomb Kim’s country. But Trump has thought about this.
“I’m a very flexible person,” he said during the interview. He’ll insult someone online “and then all of the sudden somebody’s my best friend. I could give you 20 examples.”(So could your average teen, but OK.)
Consider next, then, that the Wall Street Journal’s interview was only 45 minutes long and tread such ground as revising NAFTA, getting Mexico to pay for a border wall, our corrupt FBI, Steve Bannon’s betrayal, the Republican tax bill, an infrastructure plan, the total destruction of the free press, and our gutless Congress. It is unclear exactly what it was about the depth and nuance of Trump’s comments Thursday that inspired the paper to report that he “appears open to Pyongyang.”