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This post was edited by abcfirst at 2017-9-5 12:34|
This is indeed a game of chicken, which we have re-analyzed as a game of Turkey.
Turkey, because while Trump does not really want war, he has been crippled in his ability to conclude any peace treaty with NK, under any terms. Trump is handicapped by the fact that Congress will never ratify any peace treaty with NK unless NK has had a regime change, regardless of what Trump, Tillerson or Mattis says. Trump may be driving an 18-wheeler as against Kim's minivan, but Trump's 18-wheeler has a non-functioning brake. He may only threaten, swallow his pride when his threats are ignored, or act on his threats. Any attempt by him or Tillerson to talk peace before regime change will be termed "appeasement".
Kim, on the other hand, welcomes escalation of threats, because he can couch his next advance in testing his weapons as a rhetorical counter-threat, when in fact, it is not just rhetorical, but all too real. Two birds with one stone. While Kim is getting nowhere with his rhetorical threats and counter-threats with Trump, he is moving rapidly in increasing his real capabilities.
The only way to stop Kim is to offer him a real peace treaty, so he has no excuse to say he needs his nuclear weapons as deterrence in self-defense. But Trump is not allowed to offer it. The failure is in the so-called balance of powers, in that in the present configuration, POTUS is no longer empowered to offer peace, and can only threaten or execute war. This might not be a bad negotiating tactic, much like Kim postures himself as a madman incapable of rational compromise. Unfortunately, the former is real, and the latter is a mere pretense. Is it possible for Trump to force Kim to fold just by doubling down? Not really, because Kim has a long, long way to go before he can achieve full nuclear capability, and thus when offering Peace is not appeasement but effective diplomacy in stopping NK nuclear development, it is termed "appeasement" rendering Trump incapable of stopping NK by diplomacy. Trump may say talking does not work, and it would be true, because nobody has really talked about a final Peace Treaty for all the talk they made.