Trump deal making —strategy for NK talks?

Trump deal making

KIm Jong Un has a choice between a helping hand and a knockout punch from Donald Trump.

PRAYER ALERT on Trump deal making. On March 10 US President Donald Trump tweeted that a “deal is in the making” even before his unprecedented meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. From Trump’s million+ bestselling book The Art of the Deal, we can glean his key strategy points. They made him a winner in multiple business negotiations. How might they apply to his upcoming talks with Kim?

Trump’s time-tested strategy uses six points which we can identify with the acronym POTTER.

P—Prepare your proposal as the best option for your adversary.

North Korea is suffering severely under US-supported sanctions. Trump can stiffen sanctions if Kim keeps pursuing nuclear strike capability. Kim wants that competitive nuclear advantage so he can bully other nations and get his way. Trump takes the competitive advantage away from him by threatening overwhelming retaliation at the first hint of an NK strike. Trump can put his far superior nuclear capability in place for a totally devastating knockout blow. Accordingly Kim should see that he will lose the economic war and also the nuclear war if he chooses to engage Trump. His best option is to denuclearize and make economic deals that will lift his nation out of dire poverty.

O—Objections must be anticipated and answered ahead of time.

Kim may object that the US will keep all of its nuclear capability whlle North Korea has none. Trump can answer that the more trade ties with the US, the more foolish it will be for the US to bomb its new partner. China may object that this partnership would reduce its own influence over the dependent NK state. Trump will have to make the deal advantageous to China. That may become the stickiest part of the negotiations.

T—Turn their desires into your advantage.

What does Kim desire? To stay in power. Quite possibly to take over South Korea. For now Trump can allow him to stay in power if… If Kim forms a partnership with South Korean Moon Jae-in instead of challenging him. What does China desire? To increase its sphere of power in Eastern Asia. Moreover, to keep North Korea separate from the heavily US-influenced South Korea. Yet China doesn’t desire a war that will drive many impoverished North Koreans into China. Therefore it may consider a US-brokered partnership with South Korea too.

Like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, can there be a Pacific Ocean Treaty Organization?

T—Target your desired outcome.

The US would rather help North Korea with a Marshall Plan to become a valuable ally instead of an enemy. And it would rather have China as a friendly partner than as a suspicious and dangerous competitor. The vast Asia market beckons both. Henry Kissinger’s idea of a NATO-like alliance for may provide a template for future relations with China, the Koreas, and other countries around the Pacific Ocean. Such an alliance would also curb Russia’s ambitions to stretch its power eastward.

E—Every development can turn to your advantage.

President Moon and other South Koreans will keep pursuing reunification. At some point Trump can bring them into the talks. The more the Koreas seek reunification, the more they will see denuclearization as a pre-condition. China will want to join the talks to keep its domination over North Korea. Trump can bring them into better relations with his ally South Korea. Russia will want to join too, just as it wanted to join NATO. Together the US, the Koreas and China can exact concessions from Russia better than they can separately.

R—Rushing the negotiations is prohibited.

In order for all these developments to happen, the negotiators must have patience. Not the “strategic patience” that has allowed North Korea’s nuclear capabilities to advance for three decades. But the patience to verify that commitments on paper translate into action. The Trump administration’s current demand that North Korea show “concrete actions”—proving its halt of nuclear testing— strikes the right note as the talks approach.

We must pray that God will guide Trump, Kim and the whole process toward a truly denuclearized and reunified Korean peninsula.

PRAY WITH US. Father God, You change times and seasons. You set up kings and depose them. We declare that now is the time for North Korea to change. Too long it has kept multitudes of Christians and others bound in miserable prison camps. Too long it has starved its people while lavishing funds on its nuclear program. And too long it has threatened its neighbors and the US with nuclear destruction.

Thank You for replacing the war of words between Trump and Kim with an agreement on peace negotiations. Many call it a miracle. Miracles are what You do. Set Trump and Kim on a sure and verifiable course of denuclearizing and uniting the Korean peninsula. South Korea is a largely Christian nation. Furthermore, it has been praying mightily for its estranged neighbor. Give it North Korea as a harvest field. Cause the reign of terror to end and the increase of Your government to begin. Show China and Russia their divinely appointed roles in the new scheme of things. Reveal Jesus as the ultimate desire of the nations. And make every development lead to more peace on earth and more of Your good will toward men. In Jesus’ name, amen.


DailyInsight. One word of peace from God can disarm a thousand violent words (see Prov. 15:1).

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