The Pyongyang Shuffle Redux

The Chinese Communist Party’s strategy of playing the White House and the EU for suckers is in full swing with attempts to resume the six-way talks with North Korea once again, only this time after North Korea violated every single other agreement, developed long range missiles and a hydrogen bomb all because Obama and the West did nothing about it, except take away Kim Junior’s allowance. This was Obama’s solution to every single international problem (sanctions, or lifting them) and I can’t think of a single example of it working, and in fact it made each situation worse (Russia with Crimea, Ukraine, or Iran, Cuba, N. Korea, Syria, etc.) because it left the actions with little downside and emboldened each horrible regime to double down on infamy.

We imagine Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is on his way to North Korea, riding the secret train, and right now we are back in the midst of the Pyongyang Shuffle Redux, a dance choreographed by the CCP and Kim Jong-il, and now Kim Jong-un, which has been the number one hit in China and North Korea for the past 20+ years.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall when the two “leaders” meet (Li has been diminished as Xi has been elevated, and Kim Junior leads by exterminating all perceived enemies, it seems, including family members).

Kim: (to Li, while watching some old Elvis movies): “Congratulations on sixty-eight years of absolute power. It is almost as long as my family’s 69 years of absolute rule.”

Li: “Thank you. One party rule is definitely the way to go, especially when your family or your best friend runs the party (they both laugh). Now, as for the purpose of my visit, we want you to try to be nice for a change.”

Kim: “I’m always nice.”

Li: “Yes, well, the Americans don’t understand that. We want you to offer them something. A meeting perhaps in exchange for movement on your nukes. Give Tillerson something he can work with.”

Kim: “I’m not giving up the nukes.”

Li: “I know that, you know that, but they don’t know that, and we like it that way. As long as they think you are being genuine, we will have this very useful leverage over them. It’s called ‘six-way talks’, but we know it’s ‘four plus two talks’. As long as they don’t know that, it’s better. If you play along with us, we will take care of you, as always.”

Kim: “Yes, and along those lines, I need some more beluga. And lots more of that Dom Perignon you sent last time, the limited edition – though I hear there’s a nice Perrier-Jouet limited edition for a mere fifty thousand Euros – you can have someone stop off in Epernay next time you’re scamming the Europeans. And duck – fat, juicy duck, and lots of it. You know what I like.”

Li: “Anything for your people?”

Kim: “Oh, them. You can also send along some trainloads of rice and cabbage. The people love rice. You can never have enough rice – or kimchee.”

Li: “Okay. So, this is how it works. Right now, the world is anticipating this trip of mine. I will go out there, and face the cameras, and put on a look of serious contemplation, like this (makes a stern face – Kim laughs). Then I will tell the reporters with a straight face that we have made some progress towards denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, talk about peace in Asia, common goals, blah blah blah. Maybe I will call it a breakthrough, give a little gift to Trump.”

Kim: “But we’ll know better (chuckling).”

Li: “Right. Do you want to stand next to me?”

Kim: “No, not this time. We can find some old footage. I put on a lot of weight with that champagne and caviar diet, and I look fat and a little puffy and weak. I can’t appear to be the powerful juggernaut I am commanding a two million man army if I weigh more than 150 kg and have trouble walking. It’s okay. It’s part of my enigmatic personality if I don’t appear. The people accept my lofty nature.”

Li: “Okay then. So, we offer them some movement, and then let’s plan to string out these latest talks until after Trump’s next State of the Union address in late January, 2018. That’ll give him something to brag about, and soften him up on human rights, democracy, Taiwan and Tibet, and other areas, like trade. We can make some good progress in our plans. Then, say March, you can pull out, or fire some missiles or anything to justify breaking away from the talks, and we will start all over again. Just don’t hit anything with the missiles.”

Kim: “Can I hit something uninhabited? It’s getting boring spending all this money to sink my missiles in the ocean. The boys need something to encourage them.”

Li: “Not at this time. It’s a delicate balance with all those American ships and the aircraft carrier parading around in our sea just off our coast. And don’t get too close to Guam. Ever. This guy in the White House is not the same as Obama, who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Trump is just itching to roll out some nukes. We don’t need that right now.”

Kim: “Okay, okay. I get the point. You know how to make me happy. What will your position be in March?”

Li: “Mock surprise and horror of course. But don’t worry, it’s only for show. I’ll send along some nice dumplings and a few hundred fat ducks on the next train, and see if I can get someone to stop off in Epernay. And maybe some Krug 1995.”

Kim: “There’s one other thing. My son.”

Li: “What about your son?”

Kim: “Well, that’s the thing. I’m not finished making sons yet, so I don’t know. But when I do know, I need your promise you will support him in all that he asks. He will need to consolidate his internal power. I will have taught him to play this little game of ours. At this rate, it can keep going for at least another 30 or 40 years years. By the way…”

Li: “Yes..?”

Kim: “I’ve got a little something going on the side with that nice fellow, the Ayatollah. Quite a little supply thing going on. It’s good cash right now. Any problems?”

Li: “No, not at all. But do understand that at the U.N. we will sound upset. But we won’t vote upset. Don’t worry. And stop using ships that can be tracked.”

Kim: “Okay. That guy is always begging for a nuke. ‘Give us one, even a little one, something nuclear, anything…’ He won’t take no for an answer.”

Li: “Well, you can give him something very small, but make it defective, and you can blame it on the sand or Israel. This nuclear intrigue gives us more leverage over the Americans, but we need to control the Iranians in different ways. They copied this game from you and play it well, and we go along with them on watering down the Americans’ sanctions, but they don’t listen to us like you do – they don’t like champagne and caviar, and they don’t want nukes just to play – they want to actually use them. You at least understand us. The Iranians hate us, and love us at the same time. Actually, they call us ‘infidels’ behind our backs, but they buy our weapons every day, anyway. As long as we can use them to make the Americans sweat without risking nuclear war, we’re happy.”

Kim: “Yes, well, they are all westerners as far as I’m concerned. Maybe they will kill each other off. Here, have some more kimchee, and a Big Mac. Wash it down with this Moet you sent me for my birthday.”

Li: “Don’t mind if I do.”

Stay tuned for more of the Pyongyang Shuffle as the saga continues.

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