North Korea keeps playing Trump, and he keeps falling for it.
Trump has been duped by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, says a high-profile defector familiar with the regime's inner workings.
Despite North Korea's loud threats about harming South Korea and other U.S. allies, Trump is treating the rogue nation as an equal and negotiating — and even praising — the country's dictator.
"They are trying to tip the extremely uneven scale when it comes to conventional weapons compared with the United States and South Korea," said Thae Yong Ho, was North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom until he fled his post in 2016 and is the highest ranking official to defect from the country.
"I believe, unfortunately President Trump fell into this trap," Thae said.
"No one in the world can persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons," he added. Since meeting with Trump, the regime has continued to pursue its weapons program, despite Trump's insistence that thanks to his efforts, North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat.
Thae believes Kim made noise about attacking South Korea and other U.S. allies in the hopes that he could pressure America into a peace agreement and see sanctions eased.
Trump has helped him along that path by meeting him as equals when previous administrations have treated the North Korean government like the international pariah that it is.
Trump is slated to meet again with Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam.
He even gave in to a major demand from the North Koreans and cancelled planned joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States.
Soon after, U.S. intelligence agencies and other outside groups determined that North Korea has continued to build and test weapons of mass destruction.
Thus far, North Korea has successfully played Trump for a fool, getting him to repeatedly praise the nation's dictator and declare some sort of success while North Korea continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions.
It seems likely that that Trump is headed for yet another failure while North Korea continues to play him like a fiddle at next week's summit.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.