The art of the deal

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The art of the deal

Was there a deal at all? And did Donald Trump get a good deal?

The world watched with awe as US President Donald Trump met North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un on Sentosa Island outside Singapore. This was not a meeting anyone would have thought possible when Donald Trump surprised everyone, and if you believe the books even himself, when he won the US Presidency in November 2016. Donald Trump fancies himself as the master of making deals, his book was called ‘The Art of the Deal’, however many in the US media think of him as a charlatan, unfit to be President and incapable of making deals. Others said that United States normalised human rights violations by meeting a despotic regime, which is odd given that the United States themselves are currently separating children from parents trying to cross their southern border illegally, and the US has always supported huge human rights violators, Nixon and Kissinger's support for the murderous regime of Pakistani President Yahya Khan should never be forgotten in India.

There were a couple of takeaways from Donald Trump’s epic Press Conference, something that other world (and national) leaders should actually emulate. Firstly, he sees a massive real-estate opportunity in North Korea as it is located between China and South Korea. The second, possibly more important, is that the United States and South Korea will end their war-games on the Korean peninsula immediately. Both of them sound oddly like major wins for Kim. But we do not know what Kim is giving up for the economic development of his impoverished country, which is increasingly becoming a source of cheap industrial labour for China. Will Kim give up his nuclear weapons? If he wants South Korea and Japanese money and the removal of sanctions, he will have to.

But Trump has a couple of points, things will take time and getting North Korea to the negotiating table is just the start. In a time of instant gratification though, people should be a bit patient. Trump still has major hawks, notably John Bolton in his cabinet and if North Korea thinks they will try and pull the pull over Trump’s eyes, well, the Korean peninsula could still go boom. Trump however does not seem as desperate as Barack Obama was for a deal with Iran, which was a plainly poor deal for the United States and Trump is determined to get better deals for the United States on the trade front, which is why even this country ought to be very wary, and Trump is willing to torpedo long-standing relationships to do that. Donald Trump is far smarter than most people give him credit for which is why even Kim and his political puppeteers in Beijing should be slightly wary.

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